Bringing Entrepreneurs and Innovators to Happy Valley

Penn State Startup Week brings some of the leading minds in entrepreneurship and innovation to the University Park campus. From March 26-30, 2018, this year’s event will feature entrepreneurial workshops; networking events; student pitch competitions; and talks from startup founders, including many Penn State alumni.

By connecting students with innovative alumni and pioneers who are achieving success in a variety of disciplines— through startup initiatives of their own or with new ventures in already established organizations—Penn State Startup Week inspires students to go beyond what is expected of them and expand their minds to think more broadly in whatever career path they choose.


Entering it's seventh year, Startup Week is a weeklong celebration of ingenuity and inspiration.

Startup Week was founded in 2012 by the College of Information Sciences and Technology as "IST Startup Week." The event was created to celebrate a $400,000 gift from David Rusenko ('07 IST) that advanced IST's commitment to supporting student entrepreneurs. The gift — the largest from a graduate in the college's history — created the "David Rusenko Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship" and the "David Rusenko Entrepreneur-in-Residence Scholarship," both of which continue to help IST students launch their own companies while they are still in school.

The growth of the event to Penn State Startup Week in 2017 built on this effort to engage nearly every corner of the university. Past events have drawn speakers from around the country, including the founders of high-profile companies like Weebly, Dropbox, Reddit, Lands' End, Scribd, and Twitch.


Penn State Startup Week features events organized into the six tracks listed below. Five of the tracks represent thematic priorities in Penn State’s Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020. The sixth—Impacting the World—explores innovation as it relates to the university’s growing global engagement and influence.

Advancing the Arts and Humanities

 

Driving Digital Innovation

 

Enhancing Health

 

Impacting the World

 

Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources

 

Transforming Education

 

Invent Penn State Initiative

Through this annual event and other initiatives, such as entrepreneur-in-residence scholarships and the addition of an entrepreneurship minor, Penn State looks to strengthen its commitment to actively supporting the university’s Invent Penn State initiative.

This campaign aims to drive economic development, a culture of entrepreneurship, and student career success by building a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem across campus and training students at the cutting edge, placing them in emerging fields and job opportunities.

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