Invent Penn State Conference Set for Oct. 6-7

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and representatives from startup businesses will gather on Penn State’s campus for the inaugural Invent Penn State Venture and IP Conference, to be held Oct. 6-7 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

The event will connect promising startups and emerging technologies with investors looking for ground-floor investment opportunities.

“The Venture and IP Conference will not only feature innovations and intellectual property from our Penn State faculty, staff and students, but it will also bring entrepreneurs and investors from around the country to collaborate around entrepreneurship,” said Neil A. Sharkey, Penn State vice president for research.

With the Invent Penn State effort, the University is looking to leverage its locations, expertise, research and technology to foster entrepreneurship across the commonwealth.

The Venture and IP Conference is just one of several signature programs from Invent Penn State, a $30 million initiative launched in January 2015, which aims to drive job creation, economic development and student career success throughout the commonwealth.

In addition to the conference, Invent Penn State programs include 13 innovation hubs throughout Pennsylvania, including at its Shenango Valley campus, as well as the Fund for Innovation, which provides grants to faculty and researchers whose research leads to commercial potential.

The conference will feature several keynote speakers, including Ray Lane, partner emeritus at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and former president and COO of Oracle, and moderated panel discussions, along with participatory events designed to connect investors and entrepreneurs.

More than 80 early-stage companies are registered to pitch their concepts at Venture Connection roundtable sessions. Investors will host the tables, and groups of entrepreneurs will be matched to a table session based on industry and capital needs.

A select group of entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their company in a competition fashioned after the hit ABC television series “Shark Tank” to win cash prizes from event sponsors.

All registered attendees will receive a published guide detailing more than 40 promising innovations from Penn State, including intellectual property currently available to license.

Penn State undergraduate students with startup ideas will also get involved through the Inc. U Student Startup Pitch Competition. Up to 10 winning students will earn grant money, plus the chance to share their startup concept on stage with the investor audience.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit

SOURCE: Penn State news service.

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