LionLaunch expands business programming to northern Schuylkill County

Three people stand in front of a glass storefront with a "LionLaunch Penn State Schuylkill" logo on the glass behind them.

Penn State Schuylkill Chancellor Patrick Jones, center, with, from left to right, Downtown Shenandoah Inc.'s Mary Luscavage, executive director, and Karen Kenderdine, president.

Credit: Samantha L. Bower

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — Penn State Schuylkill is partnering with Downtown Shenandoah Inc. to bring its LionLaunch entrepreneurship and business development programming to northern Schuylkill County. The first offerings will be four editions of “Let’s Do Lunch With the Experts.” 

“This effort builds upon an already fruitful partnership between our two organizations,” Penn State Schuylkill Chancellor Patrick Jones said. “Our goal in bringing LionLaunch to Shenandoah is to support economic development in the northern region of the county by encouraging the innovation ecosystem.”

The “Let’s Do Lunch with the Experts” speaker series helps busy professionals advance their entrepreneurial know-how and gain critical business skills. All sessions will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Francesco’s Restaurant, located at 10 N. Main St. in Shenandoah.

Ready, Set, Go Business Smart Workshop — Aug. 29
Shannon DiGiglio of the Small Business Administration will share tips for finding funding and creating a successful venture. Attendees will learn why the “Five Cs of Credit” are important, why a credit score matters and the importance of a business plan.

Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business Network — Sept. 18
Attendees will learn how to use LinkedIn for networking, career growth and business development. This session will be led by Patty Shoener of Penn State Schuylkill.

Low-Budget Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses & Nonprofits — Oct. 17
Lisa Robinson, business instructor at Penn State Schuylkill/World Campus, will show attendees how to make a big impact with a small marketing budget using proven, low-cost strategies that help small businesses succeed.

Avatar Workshop: Using Data to Identify and Understand Your Ideal Customer — Nov. 22
Aimee Eckley, interactive media director at the Republican Herald and Shamrock Digital Group, will explain how to use data to generate more leads, increase conversions and improve the customer experience.

Lunch will be provided at all sessions. Pricing varies, and registration is required. Full details are available online, or learn more by contacting Susan Williams, LionLaunch program coordinator, at [email protected] or 570-385-6065.

“We know that small businesses account for 80% of Pennsylvania’s industry,” said Karen Kenderdine, president of Downtown Shenandoah Inc. “As such, programs like LionLaunch can have a profound effect on the economic development of the areas it serves — including northern Schuylkill County.”

About LionLaunch

Part of Penn State’s university-wide Invent Penn State initiative, LionLaunch is a community-facing program that provides support, education and seed funding to assist business owners and encourage entrepreneurs in the development of new businesses. Nearly 300 people have participated in LionLaunch programs since 2016, and $63,000 has been awarded through the LionLaunch Business Plan Competition to help launch 18 new businesses in Schuylkill County.