Open house unveils Mont Alto LaunchBox

Penn State Mont Alto innovation hub to promote entrepreneurship in Franklin County
Mont Alto LaunchBox Open House

Chancellor Francis Achampong explains how the Mont Alto LaunchBox initiative will support aspiring entrepreneurs with their business and product ideas.

Credit: Debra Collins

MONT ALTO, Pa. ― Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis K. Achampong hosted an open house and reception on Nov. 16 to introduce the Mont Alto LaunchBox, a program to promote entrepreneurship in Franklin County. The event was held in conjunction with Penn State’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 12-16, and highlighted what Penn State is doing to promote entrepreneurship. 

“The idea is to offer free services to entrepreneurs in communities around the commonwealth to help them start and grow businesses that will drive economic development in their communities,” said Achampong.

The Mont Alto LaunchBox ― one of 17 innovation hubs at the Commonwealth Campuses ― is part of Invent Penn State, a broader Penn State initiative to promote entrepreneurship and innovation across the commonwealth. It is located at 40 North Second Street in Chambersburg.

Seeded by a three-year, $50,000 grant, the Mont Alto LaunchBox will serve as an incubator to help aspiring entrepreneurs develop their ideas and take their products and services to market.

The project has already received a $15,000 gift from the Franklin County Area Development Corporation (FCADC) that will be matched by Penn State, according to Achampong.

As part of its A Greater Penn State fundraising campaign, Penn State has committed to matching dollar-for-dollar all funds raised for entrepreneurship in the 2017-18 fiscal year. In addition to the one-to-one match, the University will match up to $1 million raised for the LaunchBox specifically and, if the entire gift comes from one donor, the University will name the LaunchBox after the donor.

LaunchBox services will include legal and patent advice, co-working space, mentorship to help de-risk and accelerate startups, and connection to micro grants and other resources.

The Mont Alto LaunchBox is slated to open in early 2018.