Success Story

Koveroo Bedding participates in FastTrack Accelerator program to grow blanket startup

UNIVERSITY PARK – State College community member Aquito Young, like a lot of parents, would tuck his nine-year-old son into bed each night. However, when Aquito would go check up on him hours later, he would notice the covers had fallen off his son’s legs and feet. For Aquito, this was his ‘a-ha’ moment to create a solution. 

“My son is 17 now – it took some time for that idea to finally actualize,” Aquito said. “My background is in social working, where I was always trouble shooting and solving different issues, and it made sense that I always wanted to start my own business.”  

Aquito is now the CEO and founder of Koveroo Bedding, selling patent-pending blankets with an integrated pouch that covers the feet as well as the back side of the legs for full coverage and warmth. 

“The idea is, when individuals are enjoying a soccer or football game out in the cold, you will usually see a person with a blanket wrapped around them, but their feet are exposed,” Aquito said. “Our product solves that issue.” 

In fall of 2022, Koveroo participated in the Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank FastTrack Accelerator program. 

The 10-week program is designed to help participants collect real customer feedback and build an actionable plan to launch their business. 

“Our participation in LaunchBox programming has helped us tremendously in getting a better understanding of running a business,” Aquito said. “The FastTrack Accelerator helped us to understand business operations in greater detail as well as how to execute a marketing strategy. The conversations I got to have with the network of advisers were tremendous and all designed to help me succeed.” 

During the FastTrack Accelerator’s final pitch competition, Aquito connected with Limitless NIL, Green Bay Packers quarterback and former Penn State football player Sean Clifford’s athlete marketing agency. 

Utilizing funding from the FastTrack Accelerator Market Test Fund, Aquito worked with a local photographer, a web designer, and the Limitless NIL team to complete a professional photoshoot with Penn State Nittany Lions Defensive Back and 2023 Rose Bowl Champion Keaton Ellis representing Koveroo’s flagship product.  

“From day one, Aquito arrived at FastTrack brimming with a hunger for knowledge, seizing every opportunity to learn and grow,” said Jack White Family Director of Happy Valley LaunchBox Elizabeth Hay. “His proactive approach to mastering the unknown underscores the very essence of entrepreneurship, and it’s this relentless pursuit of learning that is paving the way for Koveroo’s success.” 

Aquito also worked with the Penn State Law Intellectual Property Clinic (IPC) to submit a trademark registration. 

“The advice I would share is to gain as much knowledge as possible in the space you want to go into,” Aquito said. “Don’t be scared or hesitant and do your due diligence. When you participate in these entrepreneurial programs, you get to be around like-minded individuals who will help propel your business.” 

Aquito said the next step for Koveroo is to have a centralized Koveroo Bedding warehouse for individuals to cut, sew, and package the product. Koveroo is also finalizing a waterproof version of the product. 

About Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank 

Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank 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 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 powered by PNC Bank is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative and one of 21 innovation spaces located in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania. 

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