Innovation Cafe takes over The Hershey Story

On December 5, members of the Penn State Hershey community, entrepreneurs, investors, small business owners and economic development agencies from Central Pennsylvania and beyond took over The Hershey Story. A venue dedicated to the life and legacy of successful entrepreneur, Milton S. Hershey. Guests enjoyed great food & drink while touring the museum and sharing what they are doing to foster innovation and economic development in Central Pennsylvania.

We are going big in 2014! Don’t miss the next Innovation Cafe on February 12. We are bringing together a panel of local experts to discuss funding opportunities. Show us the money! Registration is now open.

Want to know more about the Innovation Cafe – contact us at Share your thoughts bout the entrepreneurial ecosystem  @innovcafe #innovationcentralpa

Innovation Cafe Blog - Collage 12-5-13 Innovation Cafe Blog - Collage 12-5-132 Innovation Cafe Blog - Collage 12-5-133


Innovation Cafe selected as finalist in university economic development initiatives in North America

We pleased to announce the Penn State College of Medicine has been selected as a finalist for the University Economic Development Association’s 2013 Awards of Excellence for the Innovation Café!

Each year various University Economic Development Association (UEDA) member universities around the country submit nominations for innovative programs involving economic prosperity. The awards are designed to help accelerate nominated programs by recognizing cutting edge initiatives and promoting their adoption by other UEDA member institutions. A record number of nominations were received in 2013.  Innovation Café was selected as one of four finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category.

UEDA Summit Graphic

The Innovation Café was born out of the Office of Technology Development in early 2012 and has quickly become an exciting focal point for building and sustaining the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Central Pennsylvania. Combining networking and high profile speakers the program united investors, entrepreneurs, economic development corporations, government agencies, talented faculty, staff and students and the community. The reoccurring events foster collaboration and growth by connecting individuals from various backgrounds with a shared goal of growing the life science community.

Representatives from College of Medicine will present the project at the University Economic Development Association’s Annual Summit in October. At the summit participants will evaluate the finalist’s presentations and select one winner in each of the five categories. Finalist’s initiatives will be judged by summit attendees on the basis of reliability, scalability, sustainability and originality. Awardees will be announced at the conference.

“We are honored to be a finalist and appreciate the support from partner organizations that have helped to develop the initiative” said Keith Marmer, director of the Office of Technology Development and associate dean for research innovation. “In a short period of time, the Innovation Café has connected the life science community in Central Pennsylvania to vital resources required commercialize technology and grow the economy.”

Have yet to find out what the Innovation Café is all about? Join us for the next event on October 9 with guest speaker Dr. Albert Giovenella discussing drug development trends of the 21st century. Space is limited so reserve your spot today:

What innovative strategies or programs is your organization hosting to promote economic development?