In its outreach efforts, the center plays an important role in working with entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania and beyond. For example, the center works with "angel" investment groups such as the WIN group in Altoona, PA, undertaking due diligence for opportunities being considered for investment. The WIN group works closely with the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation , a not-for-profit economic development agency. Students, under the center's guidance, make presentations to the WIN partner board.
Students also provide similar services to:
- The Ben Franklin Partnership which has an office within Innovation Park.
- Penn State's office of Research and Technology Transfer which is responsible for creating commercial opportunities from Penn State's research programs which are funded to over $450mm annually.
Over the past year, Center researchers, together with MBA and undergraduate students, have assisted a number of companies. Among them are:
- FrontaLobe, Inc.-Thinking Antenna Technology is an initiative launched out of Penn State's College of Engineering, which could revolutionize wireless communication. More >>
- Biopore Inc., is a State College-based Penn State spin-out which specializes in livestock and human diagnostics and therapeutics.
- Schoolwires Inc. , is a company focusing on Web applications for school communities, and is housed in the Penn State incubator. It was started by Smeal alumni.
- Intuitive Controls, Inc. , located in State College, develops and markets unique remote controls for various major equipment. It is an investment of the WIN group.
- Upfront Incentives, a new company being formed by undergraduates from the Smeal and Engineering colleges, offers a novel business supply chain model for energy saving products to consumers.
- RentAuction L.L.C. is a start-up being formed by a current MBA student, who developed a new concept for restructuring the U.S. rental property market as a course case study.
- In another project, a unique initiative between Penn State and the State College Development Corporation is looking at ways to stimulate the community as a center with broader appeal to residents and visitors. Smeal Schreyer Honors undergraduates studied the concept of creating a multi-screen Cineplex. The Farrell Center supported other faculty members and the development corporation in mentoring classes and bringing in specialists from Warner Brothers and Loews.