Several free programs for those who own or are interested in starting a business will be offered this week at The Corner in New Kensington, including the introduction of a four-week “boot camp” open to business owners and entrepreneurs in New Kensington or Arnold.
The events, beginning Tuesday night and running through Thursday, are being held as part of Penn State’s “Startup Week,” a universitywide event that is held every spring.
The Corner, Penn State New Kensington’s innovation hub, is at 701 Fifth Ave.
The Corner has fully reopened following a shutdown during the pandemic, and masking is optional, said Alyssa Pistininzi, community operations manager. Most events at The Corner are open to business owners from anywhere across the region.
“We’re really excited about being able to reconnect and engage with the community and let them know we’re here for them,” Pistininzi said. “If you’re an existing business or thinking about a business or just starting out, we’re here for you and we’re here to help.”
The first program, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, will cover digital marketing for small businesses.
Rich Breymeier, CEO and founder of Flashpoint Digital Marketing, will discuss social media marketing, paid digital advertising, using LinkedIn to generate leads, business marketing systems, content creation, search engine marketing and how to delegate marketing.
Three programs will be held Wednesday.
Luke Kephart, the entrepreneurship and business coach for The Corner, will be available from 9:30 a.m. to noon to discuss business ideas and needs, how to grow a business and make business plans for new or existing businesses. Kephart is available at The Corner every Wednesday and by appointment, Pistininzi said.
The Corner will be open for walk-in tours from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Pistininzi said those needing a place for remote work or who are interested in learning about the facility and its services are welcome to stop in.
An open house to introduce a new program offered by The Corner in collaboration with Bridgeway Capital will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The “Small Business Reboot” is intended for businesses based in New Kensington or Arnold, Pistininzi said. It will run from 7 to 9 p.m. over four Wednesdays beginning April 20 with a session on business plan development. Future sessions will cover marketing and branding on April 27, loan readiness on May 4, and accounting and taxes on May 11.
Expert mentors will come in to discuss the topics during each session, Pistininzi said.
Registrations for the program will be accepted at Wednesday’s open house.
“We’re really excited about this collaboration with Bridgeway Capital,” she said. “It’s going to augment what we currently do here and reach a wider audience and provide more services and support to entrepreneurs.”
The last event for the week begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and will focus on business models. Steve Leonard, programs manager for the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, will discuss how business models differ and how to design one.