Entrepreneurship in NWPA ... Get Involved!
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"... the independent voice of innovators, facilitating, measuring, and communicating progress for northwest PA's entrepreneurial ecosystem ..."

In this Newsletter: 

  1. Local Entrepreneurs Talk Risk Taking and Entrepreneurship in Erie
  2. Ecosystem News
  3. Upcoming Events

Entrepreneur Feature: Risk Taking and Entrepreneurship in Erie

(The 'Entrepreneur Feature' articulates how Erie based entrepreneurs see the city's emerging start-up narrative)
Roman and Kristen Glass, the founders of No Dress Code Studios, are two entrepreneurs who find Erie an accessible place to grow their business. Roman and Kristen's journey as entrepreneurs began after they moved back to Erie from Wilmington, NC. Roman's experience as a screen-printer and their collective design experience, combined with a serendipitous opportunity to reclaim unused screen-printing equipment, allowed them to rapidly start up operations. 

Like many Erie entrepreneurs, Roman and Kristen identify Erie as an optimal place to take risks. The low start-up cost and low cost of living help, but the size of Erie makes opportunity more accessible. There is a lot of networking activity and the Erie community is engaged with innovative, local products, said Kristen Glass. 

Roman and Kristen tie their entrepreneurship to revitalization and cultural impact. Like many area entrepreneurs, Roman and Kristen see entrepreneurship as a way to explore Erie's cultural voice and at the same time move away from standardized production. They see these values of production tied to Erie's qualities. They make an excellent point about Erie's revitalization: it is important to maintain Erie's culture of accessibility. 

Roman and Kristen are helping to build Erie's start-up narrative as accessible, sustainable, and local. To read more about No Dress Code Studios, please visit their Facebook page

The Latest News from Erie's Emerging Entrepreneurial Ecosystem ... 

ETI's Accelerator Announces Second Winner

Gannon University announced the winner of their second Accelerator class: Munio self defense. You can read more about the program here and of course support the local winner by visiting their website. 

The MUNIO Self Defense Keychain is a brilliant evolution of martial arts tools used successfully throughout history, and empowers you to fight off an attacker and escape safely!

Collegiate Innovation Showcase April 27th 

Finalists are in the process of being chosen for the Northwest PA Collegiate Innovation Showcase. The Innovation Showcase is a student entrepreneurship competition held at Erie Insurance. Read more about last year's competition here. 

Applications Open for Innovation Erie 

InnovationErie Design Competition is an opportunity to take your bright idea and turn it into a reality. The competition seeks ideas that can be manufactured or created in the Erie region. Artists, inventors and thinkers are invited to submit their product design ideas for a chance to win cash and professional services.

Click here for more information. 

ECGRA Leads 1.5 million support of Erie's ecosystem

ECGRA has committed $750,000 toward local entrepreneurship and innovation through the Ignite Erie program. Penn State Behrend and Mercyhurst Universities will match that funding over the course of three years, injecting 1.5 million dollars into Erie's entrepreneurial ecosystem. This a tremendous win for Erie's ecosystem and will catalyze already innovative entrepreneurial based services happening at the Universities. 


Destination Erie Unveils Strategic Plan

On March 26th, Destination Erie announced the completion of the strategic plan to a packed house at the Library's Hirt Auditorium. Accompanying the announcement was the unveiling of Emerge2040 - a focused partnership for Erie Region's Future. Facilitating entrepreneurship and technology infrastructure play a key role in Destination Erie's strategic plan. 

"... Emerge 2040 will extend the collaboration that was built through Destination Erie and will work to inspire and catalyze action throughout the Erie Region toward the shared vision for our future that Destination Erie describes. And Emerge 2040 will keep Erie County’s communities talking with one another to identify opportunities where we can become more efficient and more effective at achieving our shared goals."

Upcoming Events

Entrepreneur Meetup

Date: 4/21/2015
Time: 5:00-7:00 
Hosted by: Radius CoWork
Location: 1001 State St., Suite 907, Erie (Renaissance Center)

Please RSVP either by emailing
or by visiting the group's page on


BlueTree Allied Angels Pitch Night

Date: 4/22/2015
Time: 4:30-7:30
For more information, please email Beth Zimmer:


Innovation Collaborative Open Meetup

Date: 4/24/2015
Time: 3:00-5:00
Location: Admiral Room, Blasco Library
Guest Speaker: TBA

Please RSVP by emailing


Erie Urban Entrepreneur Forum: Building Business Success in the Heart of Erie

Date: 5/27/2015
Time: 5:00-7:00pm
Location: Bagnoni Council Chamber, Erie City Hall
626 State St. #104 Erie, PA 16501

For more information or to RSVP, please email Bridgeway's Marketing and Communications Director, Adam Kenney: 

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