Students participate in Technology Business Accelerator


The Erie Technology incubator helps small local businesses.

This week for the second session of the Technology Business Accelerator, 12 local businesses and business concepts are expected. At the end, a $10,000 grant will be awarded to a local entrepreneur.

The first round winner, Jack Barton, walked away with the $10,000 prize. Barton currently owns Roast Assured @ Out of the Grey Coffee House Cafe in Fairview, Pa. He created the idea for an online software to create personalized coffee and tea blends.

Because the Technology Business Accelerator is part of Gannon University’s Integrated Transformation Program, students who were selected for the accelerator will meet with professionals from Gannon’s Erie Technology Incubator, Engineering and Small Business Development Center, and experts from this region. The selected students will experience eight weeks of intensive training, skill building and guidance about key business concepts including marketing, sales, accounting, budgeting, raising capital, competitive planning, business strategy, competitive planning and key legal issues.

Gannon sophomore Logan Holmes, a mechanical engineering and mathematics major, was chosen for the first session of the Technology Business Accelerator.

“I have been given new insight into how I need to think, what I need to consider and how the relationship between the two will allow me to grow a prosperous company,” Holmes said.

Toward the end of the program, the participating businesses will show its concept to five judges. The winner receives six months of residency at the incubator, coaching and strategic mentoring.

The accelerator was designed with the purpose of giving entrepreneurs a chance to test new ideas with the support of The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Discovered in PA, Developed in PA program.

The entrepreneurs participating in the program represent the digital health/telemedicine, e-commerce, education, tourism and manufacturing parts of the Erie economy. Some are planning ideas while others are already making revenue.

“Every one of these businesses has a strong technology orientation and all plan to leverage technology to accelerate the growth of their business,” said Jeff Parnell, ETI executive director.

“Many of these companies will also work closely on developing their business plans through Gannon’s SBDC.”


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