Back

Business acumen sharpened thanks to Lehigh Valley jaunt

By LVEDC Staff on November 2, 2012

Business acumen sharpened thanks to Lehigh Valley jaunt

LVEDC’s Entrepreneurial Resource Bus Tour shows future magnates the road to prosperity

Even a master carpenter is rendered inept without the proper tools.

The LVEDC sponsored Entrepreneurial Resource Bus Tour held October 26th introduced 36 college students, educators and entrepreneurs to some of the Lehigh Valley’s most valuable resources to assist new business startups and foster the spirit of innovation.

Anyone with a good business idea knows that finances play a vital role in getting an enterprise off the ground. The first stop on the tour focused on money – where to get it, how to use and when to save it or spend it. Wayne Barz, manager of entrepreneurial services at the TechVentures Incubator on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus, Gus Kamnitsis, co-founder of the LV Angel Investors, Patrick Clasen, finance director for Eco-Tech Marine, provided a realistic assessment of where to acquire seed money, angel investment and grants. Barz then took the bus riders on an up-close-and-personal tour of TechVentures, so they could see firsthand the many new technology startup businesses located in their incubator.

With the bus’ engine still warm, riders journeyed down the hill to Southside Bethlehem to visit the Northampton Community College Southside campus. Paul Pierpoint, vice president of continuing education at the school, welcomed everyone to the Southside campus and briefed the participants about the Fab Lab they would tour. Joe Kelly, director of community and economic development, stepping in for a hurricane-strategizing Mayor John Callahan, spoke about the need for adequate space and facilities for startup businesses and discussed how the city partnered with the KIZ to create the PI (Partnership for Innovation) Center. Santiago Rivera, an entrepreneur who has started SoBeCoworks the Lehigh Valley’s first privately-owned co-working space, explained the value of co-working to the audience. Co-working resonated with many students who in starting out could not afford to rent office space. Shahri Nagshineh, an entrepreneur and benefactor of the Fab Lab, spoke briefly about the value the rapid prototyping lab had for growing businesses.

The bus then headed west for the final stop of the day at Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown. Mayor Ed Pawlowski spoke about business opportunities in the city before an interesting review of talent and networking took place. Jarred Steckle of Make Lehigh Valley, Mark Koberlein and Anthony Durante of Start UP Weekend all spoke about their various enterprises and Matt Tuerk, assistant director of Allentown Economic Development Corporation, offered closing remarks.

The day was a success for reasons obvious and obscure. By assisting the next generation of inventors, we make an investment in others and ourselves. The Lehigh Valley is showcased as a burgeoning hub of entrepreneurial activity. And this meaningful innovation helps secure our region’s future relevance.

LVEDC wants to thank the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University and the Allentown Economic Development Corporation for co-sponsoring the LVEDC Entrepreneurial Resource Bus Tour.

Wacker Polymers: Lehigh Valley’s Das Wunderkind

The Germany-based chemical manufacturing company’s Lehigh Valley operations are on the move….literally. Depending on your point of view, buildings are like people. Each posse[...]

Continue to Next Page

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

Investor Spotlight
City Center Lehigh Valley
Industry Spotlight

10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

Investor Spotlight
Lehigh Valley Health Network
By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

Investor Spotlight
Air Products
Investor Spotlight
Lehigh Valley Electricians
By the Numbers
$66,865

Median Household Income

Investor Spotlight
PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
676,700

Population

Investor Spotlight
Olympus
By the Numbers
347,612

Labor Force

Industry Spotlight

26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

Investor Spotlight
Mack Trucks
Investor Spotlight
UGI
Investor Spotlight
Magestic Realty Co
Investor Spotlight
NFI
Industry Spotlight

14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

Investor Spotlight
Wells Fargo
By the Numbers
$7.1 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

Investor Spotlight
Truist
Industry Spotlight

69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

Investor Spotlight
Key Bank
Industry Spotlight

10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

Investor Spotlight
St. Lukes University Health Network
Industry Spotlight

82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

Investor Spotlight
Workforce Board
By the Numbers
149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

Investor Spotlight
FirstEnergy