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Local startups selected for Happy Valley LaunchBox

Mary Elizabeth McCulloch, CEO and Founder of Project Vive, pitches the judges her voice speech assistance technology during Penn State’s Summer Founders Program last summer. The start-up is one of six to be included in Happy Valley LaunchBox’s inaugural cohort.
Mary Elizabeth McCulloch, CEO and Founder of Project Vive, pitches the judges her voice speech assistance technology during Penn State’s Summer Founders Program last summer. The start-up is one of six to be included in Happy Valley LaunchBox’s inaugural cohort. Photo provided

Six local startups got a leg up through their inclusion in the inaugural Happy Valley LaunchBox class.

The business will be a part of Invent Penn State’s no-cost business pre-accelerator program, which includes 10 weeks of training, legal and marketing consulting and a 24-hour co-working space.

About 40 startups applied for the program in December.

“We believed, based on research, that there was a need for LaunchBox — a dynamic and collaborative university-community entrepreneurial environment,” Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey said. “But we were pleasantly surprised by the high number of applications and the diverse mix of entrepreneurs and start-ups that applied for our first cohort. There are a lot of great ideas to be commercialized. We made tough choices.”

Lockeroom, a platform for managing youth sports teams and leagues, was selected. Project Vive develops a speech assistance technology. ReDi Index offers methods to measure an organization’s recycling efforts with a two-number system. Scenomics developed a software-as-service concept for health care organizations. Somnus developed a medical device that can diagnose sleep apnea at home. Squid Bioadhesives has a protein-based bioadhesive product that is stronger than other natural adhesives and is capable of bonding underwater, as well as self-repairing.

Topped off

The Fraser Centre, a decade in the making, used a crane and beam to top off the building Thursday. A tradition in the building trades, a party was held after the last beam was hoisted onto the top of the structure.

The Centre will house Target, Federal Taphouse, H&M, Hyatt Place and residential condominiums.

Leonard S. Fiore, the general contractor for the project, Vice President Richard Fiore said his company has worked on project from its inception.

“It’s a real sense of pride,” Fiore said. “I work with nine of my brothers, sisters, cousins and uncles and we take a lot of pride in something like this. It’s the tallest building we’ve ever constructed.”

Baby names

John and Mary were the most popular baby names about 100 years ago.

Times have certainly changed.

Geisinger Health System tabulated the most popular names of the 4,000 babies it delivered in its hospitals last year. Adalynn and Jackson topped the list for girls and boys, respectively.

Neither name was even in the top 200 of baby names a century ago, according to the Social Security Administration.

Jack, similar to Jackson, was No. 23 on the list. The closest name to Adalynn was Adeline, No. 169 on the list.

Altoona gets H&M

H&M will make its State College debut in the fall, but the company will open its Logan Valley Mall store in the spring.

The 19,000-square-foot Altoona store will be the state’s 21st H&M, with the Fraser Centre’s store being the 22nd.

The company’s goal is to provide a one-stop shop for families going clothes shopping.

“The breadth and variety of H&M collections make it easier for any consumer to find fashionable products, no matter their personal style,” a release said. “With an emphasis on design, quality and sustainability, H&M offers inspiring, high fashion at an unbeatable value.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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