WYOMISSING, Pa. — The Berks LaunchBox powered by Penn State recently received a $53,000 grant from the County of Berks. Working with Furniture Soup, Berks LaunchBox will use most of the funding to revamp the coworking space with new desks, storage, and sound dampening, and to add a small meeting space for entrepreneurs to work collaboratively. The funds will also be used to purchase new laptops, makerspace materials and a 3D scanner to support computer-aided design and modeling of prototypes, as well as workshops on how to use this valuable software and hardware.
“These funds would go a long way to supporting early-stage startups and entrepreneurs in Reading, helping them to de-risk their startup and scale their business successfully,” states Erica Kunkel, director of Berks LaunchBox and continuing education at Penn State Berks.
The grant is part of the county’s IMAGINE Berks Strategic Economic Development Action Plan. The plan includes six areas of focus, with one focus being small business and entrepreneurship. A key strategy in the plan is to support small businesses working to scale their operations to increase efficiency and achieve exponential growth.
“The County’s IMAGINE Berks plan is focused on building up a foundation and resources that will allow our community to grow and thrive,” stated Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera. “This grant will bolster the incredible work that Berks LaunchBox is already doing and will help further fuel and support our local entrepreneurs.”
About Berks LaunchBox
The mission of 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 early-stage 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 advisers. 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.
Berks LaunchBox is supported by Invent Penn State — a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. For more information, visit berkslaunchbox.psu.edu or contact Erica Kunkel at 610-396-6221 or via email at [email protected].