Penn State Berks LaunchBox hosts special Meetup on entrepreneurship

Berks LaunchBox
Credit: Penn State

WYOMISSING, Pa. — The Penn State Berks LaunchBox, located within the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in downtown Reading, will hold a Meetup titled “Entrepreneurship as a Second Career” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4. This event is free and open to the public but attendees must register in advance by March 4.

The Meetup will feature three local entrepreneurs who started thriving businesses after experiencing career success in other fields. Al Perelli founded Bigshots Archery LLC after a successful career in software sales. John Cusatis, an Air Force veteran with a doctorate in computer science, started Tilapia R Us after a successful but stressful career in information technology. Sherry Fuhrmann started Pure Wild Tea, which she runs while continuing her first career as an elementary school teacher.

In the article titled “Attention, Millennials: The Average Entrepreneur Is This Old When They Launch Their First Startup” in Inc. This Morning newsletter, Melanie Curtain cites studies out of Duke University, the Kauffman Foundationthe Founder Institute, and Northwestern, which state that “the average entrepreneur is actually 40 years old when launching his or her first startup–and the average age of leaders of high-growth startups is 45-years-old.”

Curtain also cites Adeo Ressi, founder of the Founder Institute, who stated, “Older individuals have generally completed more complex projects -- from buying a house to raising a family. In addition, older people have developed greater vocational skills than their younger counterparts ... We theorize that the combination of successful project completion skills with real-world experience helps older entrepreneurs identify and address more realistic business opportunities."

For more information on this event, contact Walt Fullam, director of continuing education and outreach, at [email protected]. For more information on the Berks LaunchBox, visit

About the Berks LaunchBox
The mission of the Berks LaunchBox, located in suite 105 of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in downtown Reading, is to support economic development and entrepreneurship. An innovation hub of Penn State Berks, the Berks LaunchBox connects local entrepreneurs to the support, resources, and facilities that they need to build sustainable and scalable businesses with a viable plan for growth. Services include assistance with prototyping, conducting market research, and connecting with mentors. The Berks LaunchBox offers entrepreneurship workshops, coworking space for startups, Meetups focused on business development, a makerspace with 3D printers for prototyping, and special youth programs.

The Berks LaunchBox is supported by Invent Penn State — a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student success, launched by Penn State President Eric J. Barron in 2016. For more information, visit or contact Michelle Hnath, Berks LaunchBox facilities coordinator, at [email protected] or 610-396-6400.