Invent Penn State dedicates Innovation Squared project
WILKES-BARRE, PA —Penn State dedicated the next phase of the Innovation Squared Project, an economic development project that will foster job creation, as well as develop and implement a dual entrepreneurial ecosystem and mentorship program for downtown Wilkes-Barre. Penn State president Eric Barron and Penn State Wilkes-Barre Chancellor Charles Davis, in conjunction with the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, hosted a dedication and ribbon cutting on Thursday, Dec. 17, at the site of the Innovation Center Technology Workshop and Multi-Media Center, home to the Wilkes-Barre Connect Initiative. “The Innovation Squared Project, specifically the Technology Workshop and Multi-Media Center, represents a true collaborative effort between our ABC’s: the Academia led by Penn State; the Businesses led by eBay; and the Community led by the city of Wilkes-Barre, Sen. John Yudichak, Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, and the Commonwealth Finance Authority,” said Wico van Genderen, president and CEO of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. “We expect the Technology Workshop and Wilkes-Barre Connect Initiative to be fully operational during the first quarter of 2016, in our continued efforts to establish Wilkes-Barre as an Innovation Center of Excellence.” Penn State provided a $50,000 grant to support Innovation Squared, that is aimed at creating jobs and developing a mentorship program and what Barron called an entrepreneurial “ecosystem” in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The 5,000-square-foot, cutting-edge technology workshop and multi-media center will provide local professionals, businesses, and colleges and universities access to shared workshops for research and development; private conference rooms for training, presentations and virtual meetings; and a multi-service center to be utilized for virtual board meetings, podcasts, lectures, technology competitions, and mentorship activities. The Wilkes-Barre Connect Initiative is the program that will run within the workshop and media center to provide mentoring, training, networking and technical assistances, as well as access to capital, facilities, and other resources, to startup and existing businesses.