A public-private partnership between Lackawanna County and Marywood University, designed to support students and start-up small business enterprises with work space, mentoring and resources, will be unveiled on Friday afternoon, April 4, at 4 PM at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Scranton Electric Building, 507 Linden Street, downtown Scranton.
The “Entrepreneurial Launch Pad,” located on the main floor of the Electric Building, will be officially opened at 4 PM by Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O’Malley and officials from Marywood University.
“The Entrepreneurial Launch Pad is not only a great example of our commitment to business growth, expansion and job creation, but it shows the value of a true public-private partnership,” explained Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien. “Engaging the vast resources of Marywood University will be a tremendous boost to the businesses and enterprises using The Launch Pad, as we all strive toward the goal of growing our economy, creating jobs and introducing new cutting-edge innovations. This certainly puts us in a favorable light to companies looking for satellite locations.”
“Small businesses have been and always will be the backbone of Lackawanna County. They have been the driving force of our economy, creating family sustaining jobs for our residents,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz. “The Entrepreneurial Launch Pad is the perfect complement because it is helping nurture and support a new wave of innovative companies. It is vital to have a thriving and expanding small business community in our quest to attract new large-scale operations.”
“The Launch Pad is a perfect example of our commitment to business growth. It shows to companies considering Lackawanna County our overwhelming commitment to small businesses,” noted Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley. “It leaves an impression that we have a genuine concern for business development.”
The Launch Pad is designed to bring students and budding businesses into a nurturing environment fostered by industry contacts, academia, and economic development groups. Their development is further supported by roundtables and specialized learning sessions. The intent of this business sandbox is to enable companies to grow within a community of similarly-minded entrepreneurs. Those using The Launch Pad will have access to classes, lectures, seminars, and a network of peers.
“We are excited about this new opportunity for young entrepreneurs in the Northeast Pennsylvania region, and we are pleased to partner with Lackawanna County on The Entrepreneurial Launch Pad—a concept that our business faculty and students have been developing for several years. The location of the Entrepreneurial Launch Pad is ideal for developing new connections between the established business community and the students whose bold new ideas will transform our region’s business environment. We salute the Commissioners and their staff for moving this opportunity forward for our region,” commented Sister Anne Munley, President of Marywood University.
Marywood University’s graduate students will run the day-to-day operations of the space at no administrative cost to Lackawanna County. Marywood will also spearhead the programming with assistance from other universities in Lackawanna County. The County’s contribution to the Entrepreneurial Launch Pad is programming elements, providing the space, covering the lease and utilities, handling some daily upkeep and offering creative financing to the start-up businesses to support their future growth.
The Entrepreneurial Launch Pad was outfitted with furniture and equipment donations from Marywood University, Lackawanna County and the University of Scranton. The “Pad” will be available to other Lackawanna County colleges and universities to use for programming and special events.
Marywood plans to open The Entrepreneurial Launch Pad on its campus in September 2015, enabling this operation to continue in a collegiate campus setting.
Entrepreneurs and business owners who are interested in working out of The Launch Pad space should contact Lackawanna County’s Department of Economic Development at 570.963.6830 for information.