It was energizing to read yesterday’s NYT piece on the New York startup scene, & it got me motivated to revisit our startup community here in Silicon Pasture – Harrisburg-Lancaster-York, PA. This is the first in a week of posts about entrepreneurial activity in our area.
First, let’s look at some of the resources available to Silicon Pasture entrepreneurs:
Murata Business Center – a business incubator located in Carlisle, Murata offers startups subsidized office space, mentoring and networking opportunities. It’s an offshoot of the Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC). Led by the energetic Karen Gunnison, Murata is a very important energizer for the local tech startup community. Resident companies include WorkXpress, Cruzstar, DMT Studio, TexVisions and WebpageFX.
If you’re interesting in exploring Murata further, read this description of their process.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners - a venture investment and support organization that operates statewide. Ben Franklin offers, in addition to funding, the Transformations Business Services Network. This is a group of seasoned business people who can help Ben Franklin funded companies with everything from office procedures to strategic thinking, at no cost.
Ben Franklin also offers the Venture Investment Forum, which runs relevant seminars, business plan contests and also acts as a conduit to local investment organizations.
Ben Franklin in Harrisburg is associated with the ITN (Innovation Transfer Network) which works with thirteen of the universities in and around the area to identify ongoing research and to connect university research with potential commercialization opportunities.
Harrisburg University of Science & Technology – less than ten years since it was conceived, HU has become an innovation hub in the midstate. The university hosts the local instance of the BarCamp unconference and the Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum (LEEF), and runs frequent seminars on topics ranging from management practices to how to launch a video game company.
The Hershey Center for Applied Research (HCAR) – supports the life sciences industry and high technology companies through access to business and research resources, including wet and dry lab facilities and office space. HCAR also provides access to business services and research resources available through Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. HCAR tenants include Apogee Biotechnology Corporation, Apeliotus Vision Science and Better Bowls.
Disclosure: HCAR and Harrisburg University have hosted the New Tech Meetup of Central PA, which I help organize, and I’ve met the management of the Murata Center and Ben Franklin.