Berks LaunchBox holds innovation symposium, announces future events

Berks LaunchBox
Credit: Penn State

WYOMISSING, Pa. –– The Penn State Berks LaunchBox recently hosted a “Town Hall Discussion and Conversation on the Innovation Economy” with business and academic innovation leaders seeking to transform the regional economy, with a look at how diversity and inclusion enhance innovation and job growth.

The keynote speaker was Ariel Coro, a leading technology expert and pioneer in bringing important topics such as technology and innovation to Spanish-language TV in the United States, who spoke to the group about "How Diversity Enriches Innovation." 

Additional speakers included:

  • James Gerlach, president and CEO, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
  • R. Keith Hillkirk, chancellor, Penn State Berks
  • James Delattre, associate vice president for Research and director, Office of Entrepreneurship & Commercialization, Penn State
  • Rob Wonderling, president and CEO, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Grow PA

A recording of the “Town Hall Discussion and Conversation on the Innovation Economy” is available here.

The event was hosted by Penn State Berks, the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, GROW PA, and The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

In addition to this virtual presentation, the Berks LaunchBox will host several events and webinars in the coming weeks, including a Startup Challenge.

Keep your Company Safe from Cybercriminals

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 6:30–8 p.m.

Cybercriminals get better at malicious activity every day, while the public becomes less forgiving toward businesses that fail to protect their data. More than one in five small to medium businesses reported a data breach in the last 24 months. Thirty percent of consumers surveyed by Bank of America said they wouldn’t return to a small business that suffered a data breach. Forty-one percent of small businesses reported suffering a breach that cost them more than $50,000. This webinar will help business leaders to develop a security strategy to protect their data. 

Register for free here.

Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, Oct. 8, noon–1 p.m.

Patent, trademark or copyright? Learn about the different types of intellectual property and how to protect your business ideas. This free live webinar features the Penn State Law Intellectual Property Clinic, which provides free legal assistance to Pennsylvania entrepreneurs. 

Register for free here.

MVP Creation

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

This webinar is for those who want to test brand new product idea. It will provide a brief overview of the steps to create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). An MVP will allow you to gain feedback from potential customers so that you can easily make adjustments to improve your idea, without incurring high costs to reconfigure.

Register for free here.

Startup Challenge

Runs from Nov. 6 to 14. Applications are due by Oct. 18th.

The Startup Challenge is an action-packed intensive for community members, students, and professionals with early-stage business ideas. Whether you are an experienced entrepreneur or just starting out, the Startup Challenge will provide the structure and support to build a business model and craft a powerful pitch while competing for prizes.

Prep Pitch Presentations

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Whether you’re preparing to present to potential investors, apply for funding, or simply introduce your business to potential advisers, having a polished pitch deck is essential. Join us to learn the basics of a pitch presentation, including the key elements needed to tell a compelling, yet concise story without extra fluff. 

Register for free here.

For additional information on any of these events, email [email protected].

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.