Success Story

Biodegradable Seed Solution, Peer Mentorship Program Among Startup Ideas Pursued in FastTrack Accelerator

Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank accepted eight new early-stage startup businesses into its FastTrack Accelerator program this fall. The business ideas range from a biodegradable seed solution for preventing weeds, to a job search management platform, to a rehabilitation consultation service.

The FastTrack call for applications drew 32 teams to the no-cost business accelerator program, which is open to the community, as well as Penn State students, faculty and staff.

“The program is designed to help teams quickly test their identified market and build solutions to challenges based on real customer feedback, and advance them until they win their first customer,” says Lee Erickson, Chief Amplifier of Happy Valley LaunchBox.

The fall 2020 FastTrack Accelerator teams are:

  • Cinestock, an online stock footage marketplace specializing in “bullet time” visuals popularized by the Matrix movies.
  • Digilatics, a Marketing Lead Audit Platform that simplifies the process of determining which marketing tactics are resulting in sales.
  • Lingo Consulting, an analytic platform to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying potential recidivism of parolees by analyzing behavior patterns through GPS tracking devices.
  • ParaPer4mance, a health tech startup that focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals with mobility impairments.
  • Professor Owl, which works with high school students, especially in economically disadvantaged areas, to identify and apply to colleges and universities.
  • Project Cyclone, an automated recommendation platform to help maintenance technicians prolong the lives of their machines, reducing downtime and maintenance costs through artificial intelligence-based predictive insights.
  • Shared Roots, which manufactures a biodegradable “seed” square used to grow a variety of vegetables, flowers, and grasses while also acting as a barrier for weeds.
  • Vandra JMS, a job search management platform that helps job seekers aggregate and organize their job search information to land a job.

The accelerator runs from November through April and consists of 15 weekly virtual group sessions, plus weekly 1-on-1 virtual sessions with Dr. Erickson. The teams also gain access to business, legal and intellectual property advice, as well as a suite of free digital tools.

Past Happy Valley LaunchBox program graduates include startups such as Phospholutions, Project Vive, Moichor and Reflexion Interactive.

About Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank

Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank is a no-cost startup accelerator and co-working space designed to provide early-stage startups with support and resources they need to build a sustainable and scalable business and a viable plan for growth. Programs and services include the Idea TestLab, FastTrack Accelerator, free legal and intellectual property advice, and expert mentorship from Penn State’s extensive network. It is open to everyone — community members and those affiliated with Penn State. Happy Valley LaunchBox is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative, and one of 21 innovation hubs located in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania. Learn more at

To view more Penn State-affiliated startups, visit Entrepreneurs seeking resources can visit