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GEW Penn State orchestrates town and gown events for entrepreneurs

by on November 09, 2017 8:43 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK — Global Entrepreneurship Week Penn State, organized by the Penn State Small Business Development Center, is set to bring entrepreneurs from campus and the community together Sunday, Nov. 12, through Thursday, Nov. 16.

GEW Penn State is part of an international initiative with 15,000 partners in 170 countries. The goal is to connect entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policy makers and startup champions around the world.

GEW Penn State events will take place on 15 Commonwealth campuses — including University Park — where locations will extend into several entrepreneurial spaces in downtown State College including New Leaf Initiative, the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, Happy Valley LaunchBox and Schlow Library.

The Centre County commissioners signed a proclamation declaring the week “Global Entrepreneurship Week Penn State” and Michael Ryan, interim director for the Penn State SBDC, said the partnerships between Penn State, community groups and businesses have created an agenda full of dynamic keynotes and activities.

“Whether you are someone who is planning to start a business or already own one, GEW Penn State is designed for you,” Ryan said in a press release. “If you attend an event and listen to stories shared, you will walk away excited, encouraged and with a new perspective added to your skillset.”

More than 60 themed events, workshops and networking opportunities will take place throughout the week including “She Started It — A Documentary on Entrepreneurial Women,” “Growing your Company and Keeping True to your Startup Vision,” “The Art of the Possible,” “First Step to Starting a Business” and the return of CBICC Flavor Flights featuring local restaurants.

PSECU will sponsor one of the keynote speakers and offer complimentary lunches for student attendees. Entrepreneur and Penn State alumna Erin Weidemann will share her experiences with future proprietors at the luncheon.

“Starting, growing and improving a business is one of the most difficult challenges I have ever faced,” Weidemann said. “It takes passion, hustle and a laser focus on the problem we’re solving. I hope my story will encourage and inspire students to continue to pursue their passions and find the support they need to build businesses that promote positive change.”

Aaron Lamphere, founder of Lab 29, will participate in a panel discussion to share his path to entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship with others who may want to follow in similar footsteps.

“I advise budding entrepreneurs to look at three key points,” Lamphere said. “Don’t focus on finding your passion, but bring your passion to what you are doing. Things don’t need to be perfect, they need to be right for your company and it’s not about working harder — it’s about working smarter.”

For a complete schedule of GEW Penn State events, visit


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