Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of Business | Lux&umbra set to launch

A six-year hobby has turned into a business opportunity for one local photographer.

Shannon Brace said it has been a hobby to take what may be typical picture opportunities and make them unique. The name for her new business, lux&umbra, means light and dark in Latin.

“I always try to take an elegant approach that you might not see every day,” Brace said. “It almost has a supernatural vibe.”

A ribbon-cutting event will take place at The New Leaf Initiative Facility at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday with Mayor Elizabeth Goreham to celebrate the business’ launch. Pictures from Brace’s Project Happy Valley, in which she has compiled photos of her favorite places and events around State College, will be on display.

Brace said some of her clientele come to her for her unique results, but that she will go outside of her comfort zone.

“A lot of people come to me for that vibe, but I will research and do anything they want,” Brace said.

Brace’s photos can be found on Facebook page lux&umbra. She can be reached at

TechCelerator offers boost

Local entrepreneurs with a big idea are invited to apply for TechCelerator’s 10-week Boot Camp for business startups.

TechCelerator, a partnership of local business groups, has launched 28 companies in the past five years as a result of the boot camp.

Don McCandless, director of business development for Ben Franklin Transformation Business Services, said TechCelerator looks for applicants with technological or manufacturing ideas. He said that the boot camp is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to get their idea off the ground.

“It’s a class to introduce people that might be really smart in their field, but they might not have the business skills to know what funding they need, how to present their ideas, how to generate business around their idea and test their idea’s viability,” McCandless said.

TechCelerator will pick six applicants for free classes that will run every Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. from Sept. 30 to Dec. 9.

Applicants should email McCandless at for more information. The deadline for applications is Friday.

Scoreboards complete

The new scoreboards at Beaver Stadium read Penn State 21 to Akron 7 at the end of this season’s home opener.

Alexander Building Construction, part of the Butz Family of Companies, completed the scoreboards in late August, just in time for the game. It took nine months to do the project.

The new scoreboard has LED features for replay and closed captioning, as well as a new sound system.

Margaret McConnell, the enterprise marketing manager for the Butz Family of Companies, said there are locals and Penn State alumni who work for Alexander.

“A lot of the people that worked on the project were thrilled to be a part of that experience to work on something so prominent in the community,” McConnell said.