|Grant winners (from left): Alex McConnell, John Brooks, Ronald Ehrhart, Jason Strohm and daughters Maia and Athia, and C. Scott Gilbert. Steve Wilson is absent from the photo.|
The Northwestern Pennsylvania Innovation Support Program awarded six entrepreneurs a total of $75,000, complimentary access to Clarion University’s Innovation Laboratories, and professional consulting support to support their innovative product development.
Among the innovators are Alexander McConnell, Clarion, Clarion County, with a custom strain of yeast; John Brooks for the development of a novel building insulation to satisfy new building codes; Ronald Ehrhart, Summerville, Jefferson County, with the development of high-end 1/5 car tires; Jason Strohm, and his daughters Maia and Athia of Corsica, Jefferson County, for an educational Web application developed; Steve Wilson, Meadville, Crawford County, for the development of a novel, vertical surface comparator gauge; and C. Scott Gilbert, Brookville, Jefferson County, with a confidential suicide and abuse hotline application.
The NWISP is a program supported by Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development. The NWISP panel includes Clarion's Center for Applied Research and Intellectual Property Development, Clarion County Economic Development Corporation, Benjamin Franklin Technology Partnership, and two external reviewing agencies. The NWISP works with Clarion University's Innovation Laboratories and Clarion University Small Business Development Center, to support the individuals and small companies through every stage of their idea, from business development, to market research, to product development.