The Lackawanna College Venture Lab helps students and members of the community launch new businesses in Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA). The lab offers professional services, innovative programs, and industry connections within a supportive peer-to-peer learning environment. We specialize in disadvantaged entrepreneurs creating microenterprises by applying a lean startup approach.
Microenterprises are very small-scale businesses that often provide vital sources of supplemental self-employment income for individuals and families.
The lean startup approach is a set of principles, models, and concepts that accelerate new business launches using an iterative feedback learning loop.
Disadvantaged entrepreneurs can leverage this lean approach for microenterprise creation to overcome many of the traditional barriers to starting a business, such as a scarcity of startup capital.
Lackawanna College offers the region’s only concentration in Lean Entrepreneurship. This concentration teaches students the lean principles that drive startup success.
Entrepreneurship for Everyone (MGT 110) Elective – Get a crash course on entrepreneurship designed for non-business majors.
Ideation and Innovation (MGT 265) – Learn how entrepreneurs and industry leaders generate new ideas for products and services.
Iterative Product Design and Development (MGT 270) – Work in the Fabrication Center to build and test prototype products using 3D printers.
Small Business Management (MGT 310) – Learn the ins and outs of managing a small company.
eCommerce: Digital Marketing and Management (BUS 320) – Design and build an eCommerce website or social media page for your startup or a local small business.
Entrepreneurship 1 (MGT 350) – Create a startup business plan while learning entrepreneurial basics and best practices.
Entrepreneurship 2 (MGT 450) – Apply lean startup principles using a business simulation and helping real-world entrepreneurs with their startup challenges.
Business Internship (BUS 400) – Intern with a startup company in the lab to get firsthand exposure to the fast-paced entrepreneurial environment or launch your own.
Microloans (Pilot Program)
The Microloan Program helps disadvantaged entrepreneurs launching microenterprises overcome critical early-stage funding gaps through small ($500 to $2,500) zero-interest loans. Microloan applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Training and support for preparing your application is provided by the Venture Lab.
Prototype Grants (Pilot Program)
Our Prototype Grants help disadvantaged entrepreneurs in early-stage startups create initial versions of their products. We provide up to $500 for the parts, materials, and supplies needed to create prototypes. Additional assistance is provided by our Fabrication Center. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Training and support for preparing your application are provided by the Venture Lab.
Four 3D printers (Creality SR-10s Pro V2) and a PC with 3D design software for creating prototype products and plastic components.
Lackawanna College’s Culinary Program supports Northeast Pennsylvania food entrepreneurs by providing access to unused kitchen facilities. Access to a certified commercial kitchen is often a barrier to early-stage startup restaurants, bakeries, and food manufacturers – particularly those from disadvantaged communities. The Culinary Program will work with the Venture Lab to identify qualified startups for participation in the Ghost Kitchen. The Ghost Kitchen program is intended to provide temporary, short-term access to commercial kitchen facilities to test market opportunities.
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