DALLAS, Pa. — Aspiring entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to test the viability of their business ideas through a free, four-week Virtual Idea TestLab program offered this fall through the Penn State Wilkes-Barre IDEA Hub and Penn State Hazleton and Penn State Lehigh Valley LaunchBoxes.
Those wishing to take part in the program do not need to be Penn State students to participate. Any adult with an idea they would like to turn into a business is encouraged to register. Teams are also welcome.
“In the program, participants will work through the customer discovery phase of the startup process, gaining an understanding of their ideal customer and developing potential solutions for consumers’ needs,” said Stephanie Gresh, assistant teaching professor of business at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and coordinator of the IDEA Hub and other Invent Penn State initiatives.
“It’s our goal to provide personalized attention and coaching to these individuals so they can find success in the next phase on their entrepreneurial journey — whether that’s in a pitch contest, a community partnership or something else,” said Gresh.
The schedule of events for the Virtual Idea TestLab is as follows:
- Aug. 1 – Application window opens at this link. A maximum of 16 teams can participate, so those interested are encouraged to apply early.
- Sept. 1 – Application window closes.
- Sept. 2 – Approved applicants are notified of their acceptance into the program.
- Sept. 13 – Workshopping the customer discovery process with mentors, 6-8 p.m.
- Sept. 20 – Workshopping the customer discovery process with mentors, 6-8 p.m.
- Sept. 27 – Workshopping the customer discovery process with mentors, 6-8 p.m.
- Oct. 4 – Workshopping the customer discovery process with mentors, 6-8 p.m.; determining next steps for business success.
In tandem with the IDEA Hub, LaunchBoxes across the Commonwealth aim to stimulate economic development and job creation through signature business programming, partnerships and dedicated resources for start-ups, budding entrepreneurs and more. The Virtual Idea TestLab is one of the centralized programs LaunchBox offers.
For more information about the Virtual Idea TestLab or any Invent Penn State initiative, please contact Stephanie Gresh at [email protected].