The first step to bringing your new business vision to life


By Beverly Molnar

Photo: Provided.

Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank is now accepting applications for its Idea TestLab, a four-week program beginning in October to help would-be entrepreneurs and business owners take the first step toward making their ideas a reality.

“The first step is to determine whether you have identified a problem or need that others have, and if so, what value you can provide to them,” said Elizabeth Hay, LaunchBox’s Jack White Family Director. “During the Idea TestLab, participants will receive guidance to clearly articulate the problem or need and whether it is worth addressing. They will have the opportunity to connect with at least 40 potential customers to help them define a niche for their target customers. Finally, they will look at existing solutions and identify the value they can provide that others do not offer.”


Photos: Provided.

With an emphasis on entrepreneurs who wish to start businesses in Pennsylvania, the Idea TestLab is open to the local community of Happy Valley, as well as Penn State students, staff and faculty. There is no cost to participate, and teams retain complete ownership of their business ideas. The program includes:

  • Four weekly Tuesday-evening sessions held at the Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub in downtown State College
  • Up to $500 for use in customer discovery. All teams learn tips and techniques for discovering potential customers and receive guidance on how to apply them.
  • Optional one-on-one mentoring and advice

The deadline to apply for the Fall 2022 Idea TestLab session is Sept. 19. (The program is also offered in the spring and summer.) Complete the application form on the LaunchBox website.


Photos: Provided.


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