The State College area has been making headlines for being a greenhouse for economic growth. It has fused education, research and business to create an environment that’s conducive for starting and growing businesses.

Cofounders Matt Chverchko and Ethan Wendle are celebrating their college-project-turned-award-winning-business, Phillipsburg-based DiamondBack Truck Covers. Wendle credits part of the company’s success to the organizations in Centre County that helped get things started.  

In a study by the National Business Incubation Association, four out of five new businesses that start in an incubator program succeed within five years. Without an incubation program, three out of five new business start-ups fail within the same amount of time. Since 1992, the Technology Center Incubator at Innovation Park has been the epicenter of the region’s most formalized small business incubation program… a “garage” to dozens of start-up companies.

The thrill of making an innovative product and then exporting it for the first time to Mexico while experiencing worldwide growth is what makes business tick for the CEO of Xact Metal.

Penn State’s Center for Supply Chain Research (CSCR) and the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, both within the Smeal College of Business, recently sponsored its annual Supply Chain Pitch Contest for 2019.  The contest is open to all Penn State undergraduate students on all Commonwealth campuses. Students form teams to pitch an idea aimed at solving a supply chain problem or improving a supply chain product or process. The idea pitched also has to allow the possibility of developing a startup business to pursue the idea. The teams, which are limited to four members, submit an application accompanied by a two-minute video. Out of the applicants, four teams are chosen to make live presentations at the contest. Thanks to donations from the 2019 contest sponsors, the final teams competed for $10,500 in awards.