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Lehigh Valley Entrepreneurial Community Highlighted in New LVEDC Video

By Colin McEvoy on August 19, 2016

A new video released this week by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) explains why the region is the perfect place for entrepreneurs and startup companies.

“The Lehigh Valley is so primed for entrepreneurship,” Lisa Getzler-Linn, Executive Director of Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, said in the video. “There doesn’t need to be a ‘next location’ for the startup. They should be able to stay here and thrive.”

Produced by the Emmy Award-winning FireRock Productions, the video highlights the many resources and financial incentives startups can access in the Lehigh Valley, and the ease with which entrepreneurs can move from the idea stage to manufacturing at a low-cost.

This is the fourth in a series of six planned videos commissioned by LVEDC focused on the region’s four target sectors, entrepreneurial community, and redevelopment projects. Past videos focused on the region’s high performance manufacturing, life science research, and food and beverage processing sectors.

Here is the direct link to the new entrepreneurship video on YouTube, which LVEDC encourages viewers to share and embed on their own websites or social media accounts.

“We often think of the Lehigh Valley’s economic history as that of manufacturing and industrial development, but the Lehigh Valley also has a long history of innovation and entrepreneurship that continues today, and this video really highlights that,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO.

The video interviews representatives from several Lehigh Valley companies, including OraSure Technologies, which began as a Bethlehem startup in the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania incubation program and is now a national leader in point-of-care diagnostic tests and specimen collection devices.

Patrick Clasen, co-founder and director of EcoTech Marine, was also interviewed. The Hanover Township, Lehigh County-based company designs cutting-edge aquarium equipment, and Clasen said he has been particularly impressed with the region’s highly-skilled workforce.

“The Lehigh Valley really provided a lot of unique opportunities to start a business,” Clasen said. “We were able to take advantage of not only the support structure from the universities, but also get funding from state, federal, and local sources; opportunities we wouldn’t have had elsewhere.”

Wayne Barz, Manager of Entrepreneurial Services at Ben Franklin TechVentures, discussed the many high-quality educational institutions in the Lehigh Valley, including Lehigh University, Lafayette College, Moravian College, DeSales University, and Muhlenberg College.

“The most important input into a startup company is people and talent, so I think the schools are a huge asset for the Lehigh Valley,” Barz said. “The resources and services that are required for a startup company are a lot less expensive here than in one of the larger cities.”

Other interviews included Asher Schiavone, Economic Development Coordinator with the city of Bethlehem; Greg Heller-LaBelle, founder and president of The Colony Meadery; Steve Boerner, founder and president of Hatch House; and Anthony Durante, Program Manager with the Allentown Economic Development Corporation.

Subscribe to the LVEDC YouTube channel to see the other videos in the series as they are released, and visit lehighvalley.org/start-here for more information about the region’s resources for entrepreneurs and startups.

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