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Lackawanna County Launches Entrepreneurial Launch Pad

Lackawanna County officials are trying something new in order to bring start-up businesses into the region.
Lackawanna County is trying something new when it comes to bringing new businesses into the region.

The county has just opened a facility where people that want to start their own company can go and it doesn't cost them a dime.

Over the past several months, a number of businesses have announced plans to leave downtown Scranton.

County leaders want to change that.

Officials launched the new space with the hopes that students and budding business owners will be able to come together and even learn from one another.

The new entrepreneurial launch pad is located in prime real estate in downtown Scranton.

What was once the county controller's office on the first floor of the Scranton Electric Building is now the entrepreneurial launch pad.

"This space is designed for co-working, which is a trend where people can come together and run their own business or do their own projects all under a shared roof and have a ton of collaberation and maybe even some networking opportunities between them," Lackawanna County business relations manager Christopher Minora said.

In trying to get more people to create companies, county leaders realized that many of them needed space.

The launch pad is a first for northeastern Pennsylvania.

"In Allentown there's a center where they have a co-op space, a co-habitation space in terms of working. I've seen sandboxes in New York City, Bronx, New York," George Kelly said.

Bruno Galvao does freelance web programming work at night after his normal job at the University of Scranton.

Galvao says he usually uses a local coffeehouse but he says that is not the most ideal place to get the work done.

"Sometimes it's a little bit difficult because it's not the best atmosphere for freelance work and also working in my apartment, I don't have the best discipline," Galvao said.

Lackawanna County is working with Marywood University to help get this project off the ground.

Officials hope the space is one where entrepreneurs can talk to one another and learn from one another.

"The idea of coming downtown and being right here in the heart of Scranton, right across from the courthouse, what a beautiful space!" Marywood Assistant Professor of Business Murray Pyle said.

The new center is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM but night-time work can be made available if needed.

For more information, contact the Lackawanna County Department of Economic Development at (570) 963-6830.
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