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Penn State ‘Startup Week’ Conference To Take Place March 20-24

Penn State’s annual entrepreneurship conference and networking event, Startup Week, will take place from Monday, March 20, to Friday, March 24. The conference will host a slew of speakers and workshops that can be attended in person at the Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub or virtually.

For the first time in Startup Week’s history, each day will have a specific theme. Each day’s speakers and activities will correspond with the daily concepts. The themes are as follows:

  • Monday: Startup Week Kickoff
  • Tuesday: Accelerators/Technology/Venture Capital
  • Wednesday: Social Impact
  • Thursday: Female Entrepreneurs of Color
  • Friday: Explore PA Entrepreneurship

Throughout the week, Penn State students can build Jared Boxes, hear directly from Penn State alumni who have started their own businesses, and challenge their innovation skills.

Some notable events include an OriginLabs Experience, where attendees can get hands-on experience with welding and operating a robotic arm to create a small object. The workshop is hosted by Ryan Mandell, the director of OriginLabs, a new prototyping and product design facility in the Innovation Hub. The OriginLabs Experience will be available at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, and Thursday, March 23.

Former Penn State and NFL football player Aaron Maybin will host a discussion titled “Art Activism and Social Impact” on Wednesday, March 22 — available both in person and virtually. After making the choice to step away from the NFL, Maybin has transitioned to a career in art. Maybin continues to promote causes close to him through his artwork, activism, and philanthropic efforts.

Another workshop will offer students the chance to create their own upcycled clothing. Sewing machines, heat presses, Cricut machines, and more will be available for attendees to use throughout the two-hour workshop in order to produce their own designs. Following the workshop, Kathleen Tesnakis, founder of ekologic, will speak about her sustainable clothing business and the textile industry’s impact on the environment.

Additionally, several startup competitions will be held throughout the week. Students have the opportunity to pitch their ideas in the Happy Valley Venture Capital Pitch Competition, the Bardusch Family IdeaMakers Challenge, or the FastTrack Accelerator Pitch Competition for a chance to win money to help develop their startups.

Event organizers have also planned after-hours events to foster connections between students and professionals. These include a free skate at Pegula Ice Arena, a concert featuring GoGo Retro, and rock climbing at Climb Nittany.

Startup Week has been an annual event at Penn State since 2016. For a more detailed schedule and registration for individual events, visit the Startup Week website.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a senior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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