MONT ALTO, Pa. — The Mont Alto LaunchBox, a program to support entrepreneurs in Franklin County, will host its inaugural Entrepreneurship Fall Forum from 12:20 to 1:10 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Wiestling Student Center on Penn State Mont Alto’s campus. The forum will feature Penn State students Shevy Karbasi and Jobe Matula, who have developed their own business ideas and acquired early-stage funding to help develop their products. The forum is open to all aspiring business entrepreneurs at no charge.
Karbasi and his startup Moichor developed a mobile app that works in combination with a blood test strip reader to give individuals a blood count test at home or anywhere within 30 seconds that can then be sent electronically to a health care professional. This helps immune-compromised individuals by eliminating their need to travel to hospitals or clinics for testing and ensures they aren’t unnecessarily exposed to harmful infections.
Matula is a graduate of Ben Franklin’s TechCelerator program in Altoona. Working with the Happy Valley LaunchBox in State College since 2017-18, his startup is called the LiveFirst Company, and he has developed a pet-proof trash can that reduces the occurrences of pet poisonings and prevents pets from tipping over the can.
Both students were awarded $10,000 each to participate last summer in Penn State’s13-week Summer Founders Program at the Happy Valley LaunchBox where alumni entrepreneurs mentor the student founders. Karbasi and his team at Moichor also won $30,000 to advance their product during the WPSU 2018 television episode of “The Investment”— a pitch competition sponsored by the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) at Penn State. PennTAP is a statewide technical assistance organization charged with supporting Pennsylvania businesses and institutions.
“The Mont Alto LaunchBox offers free services to entrepreneurs in our campus community to help them start and grow businesses like Moichor and LiveFirst that we hope will drive economic development,” said Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis K. Achampong. “The Entrepreneurship Fall Forum is meant to encourage and inspire our students and community members to venture into entrepreneurship that will help them develop their own businesses or find greater career success.”
The 2018 Entrepreneurship Fall Forum is being held in conjunction with Penn State’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 7-15, which celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation at Penn State with dynamic speakers and workshops, and exposes students and community entrepreneurs to startup resources available to them through the University.
The Mont Alto LaunchBox, a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative, is one of 21 innovation hubs located in Penn State’s Commonwealth Campus communities. Located at 40 North Second Street in Chambersburg, Mont Alto LaunchBox was seeded by a three-year, $50,000 Invent Penn State grant to provide co-working space, startup accelerator programs, and mentorship to help aspiring entrepreneurs develop their ideas and take their products and services to market.
For more information about this event, contact Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing at [email protected] or 717-749-6112. More information about the Mont Alto LaunchBox and its services is available at montalto.psu.edu/launchbox.