Happy Valley: Live & Launch

According to Entrepreneur.com, Happy Valley is “One of the Top 15 Places to Live and Launch a Business.” Whether it’s because of the inspiring energy that students bring, or the sight of local businesses thriving in the community, Happy Valley gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to live and grow in a promising environment. 

But what exactly can entrepreneurs do to attain the same success rates as some of their counterparts in the community? The answer is, “there is no correct formula to entrepreneurship,” says 1855 Capital’s Managing Director, Matt Rhodes. Many times, there is a falsely perpetuated idea about entrepreneurship, implying that attaining success is an identical process for every business. Realistically, every entrepreneur needs to be willing to start somewhere, and find what works for them. Further, if that first resource does not work, then they must be willing to start again with something else. 

That’s why 1855 Capital would like to briefly highlight some of the resources that are offered through Penn State’s community, so that every aspiring entrepreneur can “start somewhere.”  Below is a list of a few major resources to help you launch your business, receive advice, and ultimately START! 


1855 Capital

We are an early stage venture fund, with a focus on Penn State affiliated startups. Our motto is “Investing in the Penn State Community” which leaves the door open for more than money. We offer mentoring and advising, as well as funding, to Community Entrepreneurs, Penn State Faculty & Advisors, Penn State Graduates, and Penn State Undergraduates. Contact us today at info@1855capital.com 


Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Ben Franklin Technology Partners offers direct funding, business assistance, and networking for early-stage and established technology companies. (cnp.benfranklin.org)


Garber Venture Fund

The Garber Venture Fund is a student-run investment fund that operates through the Smeal MBA program with an emphasis on Penn State affiliated startups. (smeal.psu.edu/garber)


Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC

Happy Valley LaunchBox offers desk space and walk-in legal advice to Community Entrepreneurs, Penn State Faculty & Advisors, and Penn State Undergraduates. It is also an accelerator, offering a 24-hour co-working space and free WiFi. (launchbox.psu.edu)



Innoblue is a place where Penn State students go to connect, brainstorm projects, and build businesses. (innoblue.org)


Invent Penn State 

Invent Penn State is an “umbrella” program operating across all the university campus that connects and provides programs, events, tools, and support for entrepreneurs and industry. (invent.psu.edu) 


Lion LaunchPad

Lion LaunchPad is a place where like-minded student entrepreneurs share living space and tailored programs. (lionlaunchpad.psu.edu)


Penn State Startup Week

Penn State Startup Week offers entrepreneurial workshops, networking events, student pitch competitions, and talks from successful startup founders, including many Penn State alumni. (startupweek.psu.edu) 


Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

SBDC offers no-cost, confidential consulting services and low-cost seminars for small businesses, and individuals considering starting a business. (sbdc.psu.edu )


Other Resources 

You can learn more about startup resources by visiting invent.psu.edu/resources


About the author

Danielle Ibuaka is a graduate of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State, where she studied International Politics and Digital Media Trends & Analytics.

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