Happy Valley LaunchBox graduates six startups from accelerator program

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Happy Valley LaunchBox graduated six startups from its business startup accelerator program on April 26 at its space in downtown State College. The graduates join 25 other companies that have gone through the accelerator since Happy Valley LaunchBox opened in February 2016.

“LaunchBox had an incredible impact on my life, it provided me the fundamental tools that I needed to drive my vision,” said Neil Vohra of KinderMinder, one of the graduates.

The six startups that completed the 10-week program are:

Class Gotcha — an online scheduling and communications platform designed for college students that integrates their academic and personal schedules, streamlines communications with pears and builds a customized study plan based on assignments and personal study preferences.

DigitalFSBO (For Sale By Owner) — provides homeowners with automated tools, best practices, and marketing tools to sell their homes without the service of a realtor.

KinderMinder — a mobile application that utilizes a customizable avatar and a reward system, in the form of gamification, to help children with asthma and their parents keep up with pediatric asthma medication regimens.

OGOVO PairSense — a system of networked sensors that collects and analyzes foot traffic in urban communities and hosts third-party location-based software to more cost effectively manage services such as keeping streets clean, repairing sidewalks, collecting waste, and optimizing routes for first responders.

TrophyTracks — a software application that leverages predictive analytics to help hunters hunt smarter by increasing their chances of having a successful hunt.

Unoia Beauty — a line of cosmetics where women engineers research, make and sell long-lasting color-saturated products.

“LaunchBox was just what I needed,” said Dan Hansel of TrophyTracks. “I’ve had the idea in my head for a few years now, but I needed that push and direction to turn that idea into something real. The 10-week boot camp was exhilarating and challenging at the same time. My goal is to hire some app developers this summer and have the app rolled out by the start of hunting season in early fall.”

Qiyuan Li of Class Gotcha mentioned how important the networking opportunities are that LaunchBox provided.

“It is great making connections such as with SBDC and the legal clinic. We will always keep in mind what we learned from LaunchBox — learn faster than competitors,” he said.

The event was also special because it highlighted two post-accelerator projects that are gaining traction, including Green Design Guru, which provides green home strategies for people planning to build or renovate their home, and Mod Zero, a product-based company that revolutionizes the way sighting systems are used with firearms.

“Our startup had already been through an accelerator program previously, so the staff at LaunchBox took the time to tailor their services for us — we were offered advanced business skills training, dedicated office space, and access to financing and professional networks. The key thing LaunchBox has helped us understand is the importance for startups to 'Sell Before You Build,' and we are currently doing that by developing brand awareness on social media and running ads to build our early adopter contact lists,” said Shiva Punathambekar, Founder and CEO of Green Design Guru.

Happy Valley LaunchBox was created to provide no-cost services to Happy Valley entrepreneurs. For more information visit LaunchBox.psu.edu. It is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative, a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. For more information, visit www.invent.psu.edu.

Last Updated June 06, 2017