The Fayette LaunchBox has received a pledge of $125,000 from an anonymous donor.

Established in 2018, Fayette LaunchBox is a no-cost business accelerator designed to help regional entrepreneurs and university affiliates develop ideas into commercially viable products and services. The Fayette LaunchBox is a joint venture between Penn State and Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, under the Invent Penn State program, which encompasses 20 similar programs across the state.

The facility, located at the Fay-Penn Economic Development headquarters, provides 6,000 square feet of state-of-the-science flex space, including 3-D printing and light manufacturing labs, as well as a 1,500-square-foot event center that can accommodate up to seventy people for meetings, workshops, training, seminars and conferences.

“We are grateful for the generosity of our community represented by this anonymous gift,” said Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Fayette. “The endowment will generate proceeds annually that will provide faculty, students, alumni and the community opportunities to develop innovative and entrepreneurial talent, comprehensive support for actual business startups within the community and a future readiness component to high school students to create experiences for learners to design and lead a purposeful life.”

In 2020, Penn State Fayette established an annual, six-week summer mentorship and microgrant program for students with promising entrepreneurial projects. The program’s second cohort is currently working under faculty supervision to complete business and marketing plans, video elevator pitches and more.

In 2021, Fayette LaunchBox held its first-annual Shark Tank Competition for University affiliates and community members, which required entrants to present a brief elevator pitch for a proposed product or service. A panel of judges awarded cash prizes.

Currently, donors who pledge endowments of $25,000 or more will be matched 1:1 by Penn State. To contribute a gift to the Fayette LaunchBox, contact Lori Omatick, director of development, at 724-430-4190 or lao11@psu.edu.

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