Gannon University Announces Exciting New Opportunities for Local Entrepreneurs

Posted: December 2, 2015


The Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University (ETI) announced today that it will offer two additional programs to assist area entrepreneurs in early 2016.

The first program is a continuation of the University's successful Technology Business Accelerator, which debuted in September, 2014 and has trained nearly 75 entrepreneurs representing 48 businesses and concepts. Applicants accepted to the Accelerator program receive training in such areas as sales, marketing, finance, accounting, raising capital and the legal environment, while preparing for a competitive pitch event in which the winner receives a $10,000 startup grant.

"The Accelerator program addresses a significant skills gap or entrepreneurs in Northwest Pennsylvania, and with four successful programs under our belt, we are extremely pleased to offer Accelerator number five beginning on February 16, 2016," stated Jeff Parnell, ETI executive director.

The second component is an new program called Gannon Entrepreneurship Microgrants for Startups (GEMS), which will provide grants ranging from $3,000 - $9,000 to technology-enabled businesses for specific growth initiatives. The GEMS fund will provide access to $155,000 in investment capital, as microgrants are awarded between January - May, 2016.

As part of the University's Integrated Business Transformation initiative, GEMS will include key leaders from ETI, Gannon's Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Gannon's College of Engineering and Business, along with executives from Bridgeway Capital and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

"Entrepreneurs benefit tremendously when we bring key stakeholders together to learn more about their businesses and growth strategies. Bridgeway and Ben Franklin invest significantly in the region, so we're excited to welcome these organizations to the GEMS team," according to Parnell. "Clearly, we have a unique and immediate opportunity to drive economic growth, and we're excited to begin the process."

To learn more about the Accelerator and GEMS, applicants are encouraged to visit and complete short screening applications for the Accelerator here and for the GEMS program here.

The Accelerator and GEMS programs integrate resources from Gannon's College of Engineering and Business, Small Business Development Center, and Erie Technology Incubator, and were created to give participating entrepreneurs an opportunity to test or grow a new concept, idea or line of business through the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Program funding was provided to build capacity statewide to support Pennsylvania's businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development. 

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