Editor’s Note: The following story is from Growth Report 2017, published by The Business Journal.
HERMITAGE, Pa. — At the beginning of 2016, the LindenPointe Development Corp., the nonprofit parent of the eCenter@LindenPointe here, hosted a strategic planning meeting with regional stakeholders. The meeting identified goals in four categories: incubator services, community development, outreach and fundraising.
“By the end of 2016, we were able to achieve most of our goals, and have started 2017 with another set of strategic meetings,” says the eCenter’s executive director, Ketaki Desai. “This year we plan to introduce a startup business competition for attracting new and innovative companies to our region.”
Last year the eCenter welcomed six companies to its incubator, Desai reports. They include Anderal Technologies, Earthbound Crystals, Verdant Software, Industry Weapon, The Guardian’s Nest and ATP Resources. The latter two are part of Penn State Shenango’s VenturePointe program.
ECenter’s team grew to three employees, she says. And the organization’s budget doubled with support from the Margaret Walker Charitable Foundation, the Sharon Steel Foundation, the Meszaros Family Charitable Foundation, CrossIT, Innovation Collaborative, UPMC, Hudson Companies and the city of Hermitage.
The incubator also absorbed a youth entrepreneurship program, rebranding it the LindenPointe Entrepreneurship Academy. Participating students work to develop business ideas throughout the year and have a chance to use the eCenter as an incubator over the summer. Seven high schools took part in 2016. Desai says 10 are expected to take part this year.
Among programs added in 2016 were the fall gala celebration, featuring a keynote address by the chief communications officer at Oracle Corp., Bob Evans, and a Startup Weekend where companies were created over the course of a weekend with judges and mentors coming from Erie, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York.
Copyright 2017 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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