Innovation Happens Over Coffee – November Innovation Cafe

Join us for the November Innovation Cafe! It will be on Wednesday, November 19 from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The event will be held at the Cocoa Beanery in Hummelstown, PA.

Come out to this event to chat over coffee or tea with innovators, entrepreneurs, and others involved in the world of innovation. The connections you make at this event could lead to a new phase in your career!

If you are new to the Innovation Cafe events, the Innovation Ambassadors can be your guides during this event! They can help to introduce you to others at the event and facilitate networking.

Interested in attending this event? You can register here and remember, space is limited! You can also connect with us at our twitter, @InnovCafe, or visit our website for more information about what we do.


The spirit of innovation is alive and well in Central Pennsylvania!

October 29 marked the fourth annual Penn State Hershey Innovation Awards. Faculty, staff, students, partners and the community gathered to celebrate the spirit of innovation.

The Innovation Awards recognize members of the Penn State Hershey community whose ideas moved forward through execution of a license agreement, starting a company or earning a patent between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. The award ceremony began in 2011 to raise awareness of the innovation and commercialization activity taking place among Penn State Hershey researchers.

A dinner was held at the University Conference Center followed by a keynote address by Charles Smith, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Apogee Biotechnology Corporation, Inc., entrepreneur-in-residence at Penn State College of Medicine and professor within the Department of Pharmacology. As a faculty entrepreneur, Charles shared his journey of starting a company and tips for those who follow in his path.

Following the keynote address, awards were presented by Drs. Sheila Vrana, Ronald Huss and Kurt Kissinger along with respective department chairs. The Office of Technology Development recognized 25 individuals for their achievements during this event.

Congratulations to the following individuals and departments: Cellular and Molecular Physiology – Yuguang (Roger) Shi, Ph.D., Computer and Information Systems – Mathea Jacobs, Dermatology – Diane Thiboutot, M.D., Emergency Medicine – Christopher DeFlitch, M.D., Humanities – Michael Green, M.D., Benjamin Levi, M.D., Ph.D., Medicine – Abraham Mathew, M.D., Neurosurgery – Mark Dias, M.D., Ophthalmology – Joseph Sassani, M.D., Pathology – Keri Donaldson, M.D., Pharmacology – Arun Sharma, Ph.D., Dongxiao Sun, Ph.D., Kent Vrana, Ph.D., Todd Eric Fox, Ph.D., Surgery – Peter Dillon, M.D., Donald MacKay, M.D., D.D.S., Randy Haluck, M.D., Pennsylvania Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program – Carroll Rottmund, B.S.N., R.N., CLNC, CMI, Kelly Cappos, B.S.N., R.N., CLNC, CBIS, Marie Reed, M.Ed., B.S.N., R.N. and Mechanical Engineering, Mary Frecker, Ph.D. External collaborators included Barry Fell, M.S., TPC Designs, Joshua Allen, Ph.D. Oncoceutics and Gen Sheng Wu, Ph.D., Wayne State University.

The culmination of the event was the presentation of three awards for outstanding achievements in innovation; the Student Award for Excellence in Innovation given to Andrew Kelleher, Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Physiology; Investigator to Watch Award given to Arati Sharma, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology; and the Innovator of the Year Award given to the Surgery Innovation Group (SIG).

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Do you know someone who exemplifies innovation and entrepreneurship at Penn State Hershey? Call for nominations – 2014 Innovation Awards

The Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and the Office of Technology Development invite all Penn State Hershey faculty, staff, and students to submit nominations for the 2014 Innovation Awards.

Each year, special awards in innovation are announced. Awards include Innovator of the Year, Investigator to Watch, and the Student Award for Excellence in Innovation. Nomination guidelines and forms can be found on the OTD website. The deadline for nominations is Monday, August 25.

OTD will host the 2014 Innovation Award ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 29 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Penn State Hershey University Conference Center. At this event, faculty, staff, and students from a variety of departments and research focuses will be recognized for their achievements in moving innovative ideas closer to patients. The event will begin with remarks from Penn State Hershey leadership, dinner, and a keynote address, followed by the acknowledgement of individuals who have executed a licensing agreement, started a company based on a Penn State Hershey technology, or earned a patent between July 1, 2013 and June 30 of this year. The ceremony will conclude with the announcement of the Innovator of the Year, Investigator to Watch, and the Student Award for Excellence in Innovation.

Registration to attend the event is available at:

For questions or additional information, please contact Sara Love at or x286376.

A beautiful night for networking on the porch of the Cocoa Beanery

The sky cleared and the sun shone brightly just in time for the June 19th Innovation Cafe! The Summer Networking event was held on the porch of the Cocoa Beanery. The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Central Pennsylvania caught up while enjoying samples from Mount Gretna Craft Brewery, a local start-up.

Congratulations to our gift basket winner, Luke Peterschmidt! We send special thanks to Mount Gretna Craft Brewery for the beer tasting and the Cocoa Beanery  for hosting the event.

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Join us at the Cocoa Beanery June 19 for the summer networking event

MGCB_CanoeOvalJoin us for our Innovation Café summer networking event on Thursday, June 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cocoa Beanery in Hummelstown, Pa. Come for great networking, music, and samples from the area’s newest start-up, the small-batch brewing company, Mount Gretna Craft Brewery.

The event will include complimentary craft beer tastings from Mount Gretna Craft Brewery and appetizers from the Cocoa Beanery. Blues singer and songwriter Danielle Miraglia will also perform as part of theHershey Farmers Market Summer Concert Series. The Farmers Market was established in 2010 to increase accessibility to healthy, locally-grown foods in the community and sponsors a series of free concerts every Thursday.

The event is free and will be held rain or shine. Lawn chairs will be provided. Register for the event today!

PA Department of Health secretary, Penn State Hershey spin-off company share updates at May event

Innovation Cafe’s May event gave attendees an opportunity not only to network and learn how to translate scientific discoveries into marketable products, but also to hear presentations from prominent individuals working in the life science industry. Pennsylvania Department of Health secretary Michael Wolf discussed the state of the life science and healthcare industries in Pennsylvania. Later, representatives from the Penn State Hershey spin-off company Oncoceutics shared an update about the significant milestones they recently achieved in cancer therapeutics. If you couldn’t make it to the May Innovation Cafe, a recording is available here.


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Innovation Cafe participants learn to ‘perfect their investor pitch’

The March 26 Innovation Cafe event gave attendees the opportunity to speak with nationally recognized innovation and entrepreneurial mentors Merom Klein, Ph.D. and Louise Yochee Klein, Psy.D. They discussed interactions with investors, from perfecting the original pitch for a technology to the steps to take after an investor shows interest in funding the technology. The half-day workshop also focused on accessing the commercial potential of an academic finding and how to proceed from that point. If you missed this Innovation Cafe, you can view a recording of the event here.

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