Continuing to advance his JOBS1st PA initiative, Governor Tom Corbett announced that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) awarded a $200,000 Discovered in PA – Developed in PA (D2PA) grant to help the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies develop the Entrepreneurial Alchemy Network designed to encourage and develop both young and mid-career entrepreneurs.
“We are providing opportunities for our students and entrepreneurs to access education and programs to help their ideas take flight,” Gov. Corbett said. “Our partnership with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies can seed local innovation by providing our entrepreneurs with the tools they need to launch and grow their companies in Pennsylvania.”
In order to retain and attract young and professional talent to the region, the Entrepreneurial Alchemy Network will collaborate with a newly organized regional Alumni Network and Start Right Factory. The partnership will develop a robust talent pipeline in the greater Johnstown region by partnering students and aspiring mid-career entrepreneurs with already successful entrepreneurs and professionals.
The Network will work with students and aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages and levels together with business mentors identifying potential investment opportunities through a series of meetings, workshops and “pitchfests” designed to catalyze entrepreneurship, wealth creation and job growth in the Greater Johnstown region.
Funding will be used with the ultimate goal of creating a high-functioning community entrepreneurial network and talent pipeline, an active alumni network and database that will expand local entrepreneurial investments and business activity and include ongoing links to university connected intellectual property and technology transfer commercialization for the creation of six newly organized technology-based companies over the next two years.
“We are off and running with this initiative because of the great community interest, local partners and excellent facilitation,” said Community Foundation president Mike Kane. “The Commonwealth’s partnership in this allows it to move forward so quickly.”
D2PA was established by Gov. Corbett in 2011 to build capacity to support Pennsylvania businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services. Last fiscal year, the D2PA program supported initiatives tied to growing the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, business incubators, and education, workforce and economic opportunity collaborations.