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Entrepreneurs Invited to Test Business Ideas at Virtual Idea TestLab

By Colin McEvoy on August 18, 2022

Aspiring entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to test the viability of their business ideas through a free, four-week program called the Virtual Idea TestLab offered this fall through the Penn State Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Launchbox, among other organizations.

Applications are due Sept. 1 for anyone interested in participating. Visit here to register or for more information about the program.

“In the program, participants will work through the customer discovery phase of the startup process, gaining an understanding of their ideal customer and developing potential solutions for consumers’ needs,” said Stephanie Gresh, coordinator of the IDEA Hub and other Invent Penn State initiatives.

“It’s our goal to provide personalized attention and coaching to these individuals so they can find success in the next phase on their entrepreneurial journey — whether that’s in a pitch contest, a community partnership or something else,” Gresh said.

The Virtual Idea TestLab will provide access to one-on-one business mentoring and help participating entrepreneurs test the viability of their business ideas.

George Lewis, Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Research for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), serves on the Lehigh Valley LaunchBox Advisory Board.

“Startup businesses are an important element of Lehigh Valley’s economy,” Lewis said. “The Idea TestLab provides a unique opportunity for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs to test their ideas and receive one-on-one mentoring from experienced business leaders.”

The program is open to any adult with an idea they would like to turn into a business, and participation is not restricted solely to Penn State students. Teams are also welcome to register.

Approved applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program on Sept. 2, and the first workshop with mentors will be held on Sept. 13. These workshops will be held weekly until Oct. 4, when the next steps for business success will be determined.

Participants are required to attend all class sessions in order to participate in the final pitch session event. By the end of the program, participants will have verified their assumptions about the problem they are seeking to solve and which potential customers are experiencing the problem.

They will also be able to understand what motivates their customers to keep looking for a solution and be able to pinpoint how the participant can provide value with their solution.

The Idea TestLab is a customer discovery deep-dive designed to help you better understand the customer problem you’re trying to solve and how to provide value in a differentiated way.

In tandem with the IDEA Hub, Lehigh Valley LaunchBox and other Launchbox programs across the Commonwealth seem to stimulate economic development and job creation through signature business programming, partnerships and dedicated resources for start-ups, budding entrepreneurs, and more.

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