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Allentown Business Incubator Adds Entrepreneur-In-Residence

By Colin McEvoy on February 1, 2016

Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell

The Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown has recruited a new Entrepreneur-in-Residence, who will assist clients at the business incubator with setting strategic goals and developing tactical plans.

Karen Campbell, who had a long career at Air Products that covered a wide variety of commercial roles, will be the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bridgeworks, a business incubator dedicated to manufacturing startups, located at the refurbished former Mack Trucks Plant 4A.

“We are very excited to have Ms. Campbell on board as our first Entrepreneur-in-Residence,” said Scott Unger, Executive Director of the Allentown Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), which runs Bridgeworks. “Karen’s experience and knowledge in business development, market analysis and team building will be invaluable to our early-stage companies.”

The new Entrepreneur-in-Residence program capitalizes on the expertise that seasoned executives, like Campbell, bring to the table to drive early-stage companies towards growth, according to Anthony Durante, program manager at Bridgeworks.

With Campbell’s assistance, companies will develop detailed marketing plans, strategically grow their executive teams, and build out processes that spur revenue creation and sales growth, Durante said.

“I had the opportunity to meet Karen through our interactions with Lehigh Valley SCORE last year,” he said. “I was thoroughly impressed with her credentials and with the way she interacted with one of the clients who we had referred to SCORE for some assistance. When we decided to create the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, Karen was the first person I thought of to fill the role.”

Campbell’s most recent position was managing an organization providing global business and technology analysis that supported strategic marketing and business development decisions, according to AEDC.

She spent most of her career at Air Products in new ventures where she commercialized new technologies; managed the idea pipeline evaluating research and development activities for commercial value; developed go-to-market strategies; worked with startups as key partners for acquisition, licensing and co-development; and shuttered projects not meeting expected valuation criteria.

After leaving Air Products, Campbell worked with the Lehigh Valley chapter of SCORE, the SBA-funded all-volunteer corps of executives that provides mentorship to small businesses and startups across the country. Through SCORE, she is helping companies transform ideas into business plans, develop marketing strategies, and create succession plans for their companies.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Bridgeworks incubator program and look forward to working with its entrepreneurs,” Campbell said. “I believe that in the Entrepreneur-in-Residence role I can help them accelerate their success by sharing my experience and applying some of the innovation methodologies I have used successfully.”

AEDC is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying, encouraging, developing and managing strategic business opportunities for the benefit of Allentown and the Lehigh Valley. Its goal is to improve vacant and underutilized properties by assisting manufacturers, business owners, and entrepreneurs in obtaining the resources and opportunities they require for success in the City of Allentown.

Over the course of its 27-year existence, the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center has helped launch more than 70 companies in Allentown that have created more than 300 jobs. Today, the Center is home to Architrep, ColdEdge Technologies, the Colony Meadery, County Seat Spirits, HiJinx Brewing Company, JH Plastics, LightLab International Allentown, MTS Ventures, Polymer Contours, and Zzyzx Polymers.

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