Gannon University’s Erie Technology Incubator Announces Fifth Technology Business Accelerator

Posted: February 18, 2016

The fifth in a series of Technology Business Accelerators, and the first to be held this year, began on Feb. 17 at Gannon University's Center for Business Ingenuity.

Fifteen local technology-enabled businesses and entrepreneurs have been approved to participate in the program for eight weeks of intensive coaching, skill building and guidance about key concepts, such as marketing, sales, accounting, budgeting, raising capital, competitive planning, business strategy and key legal issues.

As part of Gannon University's Integrated Business Transformation Program, participants will meet with instructors and other professionals from Gannon's Erie Technology Incubator (ETI), College of Engineering and Business (CEB), and Small Business Development Center (SBDC), along with additional experts from across Northwest Pennsylvania.

At the end of the program on April 7, each business will present its concept to a panel of judges with the winning pitch receiving a $10,000 cash award and six months of residency at ETI, along with further coaching and strategic mentoring.

At the fourth Accelerator session, that prize went to Khonsu, LLC, which is led by Gannon undergraduate student Denys Fedorchenko, recent Gannon graduate Mollie Sebald and Gannon graduate student Eyad Ghazzawi. The students received the grant after successfully pitching their "Easy Tent" pole concept, which Fedorchenko conceived after serving in the Ukrainian Army.

The fifth session includes entrepreneurs with expertise in a number of high-profile industries. "We are excited to welcome another strong, highly motivated class with expertise in e-commerce, manufacturing, fashion, software, app development and medicine," said Jeff Parnell, executive director of ETI. "This region is blessed with talent and we appreciate the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs who invest time and energy to stress-test their concepts, ideas, products and businesses."

The Accelerator integrates resources from Gannon's CEB, ETI and SBDC, and was created to give participating entrepreneurs an opportunity to test a new concept, idea or line of business through the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Program funding was provided to build capacity statewide to support Pennsylvania's businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services.

Entrepreneurs or business owners interested in participating can apply here.