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Happy Valley LaunchBox announces revised accelerator program

by on December 07, 2017 1:51 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Nine startups began Happy Valley LaunchBox's new FastTrack Accelerator business startup program Nov. 1. They will join 31 other companies that have gone through a similar accelerator program since Happy Valley LaunchBox opened in February 2016.

“Based on feedback from previous startups in the program, we extended and revamped our accelerator program to provide more mentorship and time for startups to test the market and create a sustainable business model,” said Lee Erickson, chief amplifier at Happy Valley LaunchBox.

The new program was expanded from 10 to 15 weeks over a five-month period in order to cover more ground and better serve State College's startup scene. Startups must be more developed than those in previous programs, and are required to have already identified a real problem and taken steps to validate the need before beginning the program. Startup teams will receive free office space for one year, Wi-Fi, printing and coffee. Additionally, the teams will have access to up to $3,000 to help with customer discovery.

The nine startups beginning the program are:

■ AARQ — software that allows auto repair shops to remotely diagnose a customer's vehicle and expedite the repair process

■ Customize IT — a website that streamlines the process of finding and comparing options for creating customized merchandise such as T-shirts and coffee mugs

■ HemoGO — a mobile blood testing application that reduces the need for individuals to travel to a lab for routine blood tests

■ Hidlo Studios — a digital marketing agency developing the world’s first Snapchat geofilter management software

■ Local Growcery — an online marketplace for conscious consumers to buy locally grown food direct from farmers in their community

■ Pathways AI — artificial intelligence-powered disease management for Parkinson’s patients, allowing them to better track the progression of their disease and provide that data directly to their physicians

■ Pets I’ve Met — a photo-sharing mobile app that allows pet lovers to keep picture memories of all the animals they meet

■ TransferMatch — a platform that helps universities reduce the time and resources needed to accurately identify transferable course credits by leveraging artificial intelligence to automate the course-matching process

■UnisBrands — 3-D printing technology that allows individuals to create custom footwear based on their individual styles and foot sizes

“I am looking forward to the rigorous, yet accessible, program," said Tim Flanagan, co-founder of Local Growcery. "We think Local Growcery has the right idea at the right time, but we don't have it all figured out. The LaunchBox team and the FastTrack Accelerator program gives us the best chance to put it all together, and make our company a success.”

LaunchBox also created a new program for startups looking to validate their ideas. The Idea TestLab is a four-week program that helps startups better define the problems they are trying to solve. The next Idea TestLab will run in February, and the deadline for applications is Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Happy Valley LaunchBox was created to provide no-cost services to Happy Valley entrepreneurs. It is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative, a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success.

For more information, visit www.invent.psu.edu.

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