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NWPA Innovation Beehive Network celebrates success and collaboration

Published: 07/26/2022

The Hive - NWPA Innovation Beehive Celebration

The Hive - NWPA Innovation Beehive Celebration

The NWPA Innovation Beehive Network celebrated the spirit and success of collaboration with an event hosted in Gannon’s Center for Business Ingenuity on Monday, July 25.  

This celebration brings together experts, local leaders and representatives, entrepreneurs, and businesses working with each node of The Beehive, including the Erie County Public Library, Pennwest Edinboro, Gannon, Mercyhurst, and Penn State Behrend, to network and celebrate under one roof while real Beehive clients showcased their goods, services and entrepreneurial journeys.

View photos from the 2022 NWPA Innovation Beehive Celebration here.

Since its inception in 2014, the Northwest Pennsylvania Innovation Beehive Network has worked to enhance the business expansion and development in the Erie Area. The Beehive is made up of five grant-funded centers that collaborate to encourage business growth. The centers work together to form the hive network, while each location operates in its own specialized area of expertise. 

Guests heard from keynote speaker and Gannon University Provost and Vice President for Student Experience, Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D.; Director of Entrepreneurial Operations at Gannon, Brad Gleason; and Rachelle Martin, owner of Alex & Thea LLC, “baby products that simplify parenthood.” Martin shared her experience as a client of The Beehive and the entrepreneurial guidance she received, from Gannon’s SBDC and Ben Franklin Technology Partners, to her experience working with students from each University node, to where they are today.

Clients sharing in today’s networking showcase include Alex & Thea, Away Together, Boho Basement, Culture Square, Elements Aligned, Kevo, Next Chapters, PuttTrue, The Study Buddy Box, Tandoori Hut, and Zenedge.

“The Beehive is designed to empower local businesses at every stage of development,” Iwanenko said. “It has provided an interconnected network of resources since it was established that has truly evolved in the same way that entrepreneurs across our region are starting and growing their companies.

This celebration is a moment to reflect on the service the Beehive has provided to our community, to Erie’s entrepreneurs and to our regional economy. We eagerly look forward to the great work we know each of the Beehives will do in the year ahead while helping businesses bring new, great products to market.”  

Each node of the Beehive Network brings a unique piece of business acumen to the puzzle.  

Erie County Public Library provides a maker space and first steps, offering classes to learn new equipment and technologies, open access to equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, audio recording and more.  

Pennwest Edinboro’s Center for Branding and Strategic Communication offers assistance in branding and marketing. Here, they work in collaboration with clients to align brand and marketing strategies by using a mixture of graphic & interactive design and public relations to develop original and creative content that reflects the unique mission, values and goals while strengthening brand recognition. 

Gannon University’s Center for Business Ingenuity creates a space for introductory business development, a collaborative experience that enhances the delivery of services to entrepreneurs in the community.  

Mercyhurst University’s Innovation Entente Lab provides clients with high caliber market analysis and competitive business intelligence strategies.

Penn State Behrend’s Innovation Commons brings plans to life through experienced engineering, product design and rapid prototyping.  

Stay engaged with The NWPA Beehive Innovation Network by following them here, and be on the lookout for future networking opportunities.  

Additionally, this event was sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

View photos from the 2022 NWPA Innovation Beehive Celebration here.


All media inquiries can be made by contacting Haley Figurski, Media Relations and Marketing Manager, at 814-823-1886.