DALLAS, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre has partnered with several other campuses to help potential entrepreneurs in the community test the feasibility of their ideas.
The Northeast Region Idea Testing Lab, offered through the Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and Lehigh Valley campuses, brought together a group of people in all phases of entrepreneurship to provide expert feedback and support your ideas. The group met virtually every week for five weeks, culminating in a “brainstorming” session on October 11.
“Idea TestLab is a free program that was designed for individuals, teams, or companies interested in finding out if their idea makes sense to move forward,” said Stephanie Gresh, IDEA Hub coordinator and assistant professor of business. Gresh was one of the Northeast Region Idea TestLab coordinators and trainers.
The program’s trainers helped participants consider the feasibility of their ideas, how to correctly identify potential clients, and what they would need to move forward. Business experts were also brought in to help on a variety of topics.
“The experts came from different disciplines, including technology and accounting. Presenters were identified based on the needs of this particular group,” Gresh explained. “We’re trying to help people before they invest heavily in an idea. We want to help them think through their ideas early in the process in case they need to pivot or change before investing a lot of time or money.”
He noted that participants also have the benefit of brainstorming with other potential entrepreneurs to hear their thoughts and ask questions.
“We continue to develop programs to support our local entrepreneurs,” Gresh said. “We want to keep the momentum going in the future. With the success of Idea TestLab, we plan to run this program each fall as one of our core programs offered in partnership with Penn State Hazleton and the Lehigh Valley.”
Idea TestLab is part of the IDEA Hub at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and Invent Penn State, a statewide initiative to spur economic development, job creation, and career success for students. Launched in 2015 by Penn State President Emeritus Eric Barron, Invent Penn State is a $30 million initiative that redefined the university’s land-grant mission to include entrepreneurship and innovation programs, tools, and resources that accelerate development. movement of great ideas to market and make a substantial contribution. impact on economic development in Pennsylvania and beyond.
The Idea Hub at Penn State Wilkes-Barre will also hold events during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 14-18. GEW Penn State, administered by the Penn State Small Business Development Center, celebrates the relationships between members of the University and local business communities. Community members are invited to virtual presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities specifically geared toward entrepreneurs, local startups, and innovators.
Upcoming GEW events taking place across Penn State Wilkes-Barre include:
- A free online Grow with Google session will be held on November 17 from 1-2 pm. “Selling Online with Ecommerce Tools” will cover how to sell products online and list them for free with Google Business Profile and Merchant Center. This workshop walks through the product tab in Google Business Profile, introduces Google Merchant Center and the basics of creating a free account and product feed, and shows how to connect your eCommerce website (using Shopify as an example) to Merchant Center . Register online here.
- The tecBRIDGE Entrepreneurship Institute Student Conference will take place on November 18 starting at 8:30 am at King’s College. A virtual option will also be available. This conference is designed for FBLA students, aspiring entrepreneurs, curious students, teachers, coordinators, and mentors. Gresh will serve as the keynote speaker on the topic of Entrepreneurship and Emotional Intelligence. The conference will include presentations from other speakers, breakout sessions and panel discussions.