Success Story

Happy Valley LaunchBox offers no-cost accelerator program to help startups de-risk and test their market

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Ready to start building your business? Applications for the Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank Fall 2023 FastTrack Accelerator program are open with a deadline set for midnight, September 4, 2023.

FastTrack Accelerator is a 10-week program that helps early-stage startups better refine their target audience, test the market, and build an actionable plan to acquire customers or expand their business.

As part of the program, participants gain access to:

Zoelie Rivera-Ocasio, founder of Zoils & Pigments and Spring 2023 FastTrack Accelerator participant, is thankful she went through the program.

“What I really enjoyed is that it wasn’t a solo mentorship, you have a group,” Rivera-Ocasio said. “You have all the advisers who provide guidance, but then you also have the cohort. It feels like a community — we are helping each other; we each have our own unique dreams for a startup. The advisers simplified the process of building a business in a way that I could understand it, but not so simple that it wasn’t useful. It was really eye-opening.”

Elizabeth Hay, Jack White Family Director of Happy Valley LaunchBox, runs the accelerator program.

“My favorite thing about FastTrack Accelerator is witnessing the teams’ rapid learning and growth, as they embrace new challenges and evolve into entrepreneurs,” says Hay.  “It is also incredibly rewarding to engage with each team on a personal level and welcome them as members of the Happy Valley LaunchBox startup community.”

FastTrack Accelerator is set to run from mid-September to early November; the program ending with a final pitch event on November 15, during Penn State Global Entrepreneurship Week.

This no-cost program contains no prerequisites and is open to all who are ready to get their startup off the ground.

In addition to Zoils & Pigments, recent FastTrack Accelerator participants include Koveroo Bedding and MyMoon Storytelling.

About Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank

Happy Valley LaunchBox provides early-stage startups with support and resources they need to build a sustainable and scalable business and a viable plan for growth. No-cost programs and services can include coworking space, accelerator programs, legal and intellectual property resources, and expert mentorships from Penn State’s extensive network. LaunchBox 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 spaces located in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania. Learn more.

This project was financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development.