The 2021 fully virtual Invent Penn State Venture and IP (VIP) Conference, being held April 15-16, is accepting applications for entrepreneurs to participate in Venture Connection, an online event where capital-seeking startups can have face-to-face meetings with venture capital investors.

The heartbeat of the conference, Venture Connection is a matchmaking event between startups and venture capital investors. Over two days, 1,000+ meetings will take place between entrepreneurs and investors who have been pre-matched based on industry, capital needs, and other key criteria.

Startups are not required to have a Penn State affiliation to apply.

The VIP Conference is one of the largest tech startup conferences in the Mid-Atlantic and draws more than 600 attendees, including 70-plus startup ventures and 40-plus investment firms from across the country. The conference highlights innovations from high growth and emerging markets such as Information Technology, FinTech, EdTech, Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Healthcare, Business to Business, and Business to Consumer, among others.

In addition to Venture Connection, attendees can look forward to several Penn State innovator competitions and showcases. The Student Startup Showcase kicks off each conference. Hosted by University President Eric Barron, the event features one-minute pitches from Penn State’s top student entrepreneurs.

Another big draw is Penn State’s Tech Tournament, which is a competition among faculty-based startups competing to win up to $75,000. The Tech Tournament is an exciting showcase of disruptive technologies and early stage companies born of Penn State’s research enterprise. In 2019, Penn State Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Chris Giebink won first place in the Tech Tournament and $75,000 for his nanoporous antireflection coating technology.

The conference is known for its interdisciplinary panels and programs that converge academia, industry and economic development or policy experts on relevant innovation topics. A few examples of this year’s programs include: “The State of Venture and Growth Capital in the COVID-19 Era”; “Investing in Rural & Heartland America”; “Life Science Ventures Addressing COVID-19″; and more.

Registration to attend the virtual VIP Conference is open to the public.

For a peek into Penn State-affiliated startups and intellectual property available for licensing, visit and