About

Supporting and building our local economy.
Our mission is to connect local entrepreneurs to the support, resources, and facilities they need to de-risk and accelerate their ventures. It's good for them, and it's good for our economy.
What we do:
  • Co-working space (re-opening Aug 16)
  • Structured accelerator programs
  • Expert Speaker Series
  • Legal and intellectual property advice
  • Business advice and next steps
Run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

Our staff have all started and run businesses and we bring that experience to everything we do.

We love helping others to jump start and grow their businesses so set up at time with us to talk about next steps.

A focus on empowering entrepreneurs.

Our goal is to hep you make more informed business decisions. To to that we believe you need to have access to a variety of experts so we’ve build a network of 60+ industry and domain experts that help you avoid common mistakes.

The entrepreneurs we assist are typically working to launch non-traditional businesses with an unknown, or unproven, business model and are in the early stages of defining and launching their ventures.

Learn fast. Fail fast. Iterate.

All our programs and coaching are based on a lean startup approach. Key to the this approach is learning quickly and cheaply, then adjusting based on what you’re learning.

We help entrepreneurs to “get out of the building” and interact with potential customers to validate their assumptions before they build anything. This way they build what they know people want, not what the think they want.

We like to have fun too.

Starting a business is hard, so we make sure that we we work in some fun too.

Sometimes we even take road trips to get inspired by visitng amazing startup companies here in Pennsylvania.

Penn State funded, but open to all.
The Happy Valley LaunchBox is a signature program of Invent Penn State, a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation, and student career success. While initially funded by Penn State, we are open to all.
a bit more, if you're interested:
  • Open to the public. No affiliation with Penn State is needed.
  • All our services are no-cost
  • We partner with other local economic development groups
  • We are one of 21 Innovation Hubs across the Commonwealth
Meet the LaunchBox Team
Lee Erickson

Chief Amplifier

Lee’s role at LaunchBox is to help startups de-risk and grow their businesses. She runs the accelerator programs, provides advice on turning ideas into businesses, and teaches a series of workshops on entrepreneurial thinking. When she’s not spreading the word about lean startup tools and processes, she’s figuring out a way to work a movie or music reference into the conversation. Prior to joining LaunchBox, Lee was a co-founder of multiple businesses including Erickson Barnett, a full-service marketing agency specializing in B2B technology marketing. Her clients have included AT&T, GE Information Services, the FDIC, the FAA, the Kauffman Foundation, New Enterprise Associates, Columbia Capital, Oak Investment Partners, and VeriSign. Between her entrepreneurial experiments and working at the LaunchBox, Lee received her Ph.D. from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) here at Penn State and spent 3 years teaching and setting up the College’s entrepreneurship curriculum.
Jason Huber

Entrepreneurial Cog Coordinator

Jason’s role at LaunchBox is to run the facilities, manage all the events, welcome visitors, give impromptu tours, and build a network of resources that startups can leverage. He has a wicked sense of humor and is great at recognizing movie and music references randomly slipped into conversations. When he’s not connecting entrepreneurs to much needed resources, he’s sharing his experiences as an entrepreneur, and creating some of the most amazing calendar art you’ll ever see. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, Jason has been involved in a number of businesses, including starting, running, and selling a successful graphic T-shirt design and print shop with his co-founder.
Ben Nason

Idea Catalyst

Not a day goes by when Ben isn’t thinking about how to turn cool ideas into viable businesses. He's a natural idea machine, chaos wrangler, and science nerd. His most recent startup venture was with Phospholutions, an agricultural technology company focused on reducing phosphorus runoff. While there, he helped grow the team, support research trials, and sales across the East Coast. Ben is now bringing his passion for the early-stage startups here to the LaunchBox as the Idea Catalyst where he is building new programs to support blossoming entrepreneurs.

Interesting in meeting with someone about your idea? We’d love to hear what you’re working on.