May 2023

J.D. Brown Center News & Updates

Programming Update

Evan Lehr '21 and Marcos Rivera '20 of Lehr Labs

Four Winners Chosen from McNees Accelerator

The J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship recently concluded its third annual McNees Accelerator at YCP. This 8-week program offers new and existing businesses guidance, mentorship and funding to launch or grow a successful business. Dr. Gerry Patnode of YCP served as the program moderator, while session were led by YCP professors and local organizations, including Ben Franklin Technology Partners, White Rose Ventures, and McNees, Wallace, and Nurick.

This year, four businesses were chosen to receive funding:

  • Lehr Labs ($3000) - Lehr Labs offers quality 3D printed prototypes, fixtures, molds, tooling, and short run production parts at competitive prices. Lehr Labs uses its expertise and project experience to help customers choose their materials and fabricate their parts.

  • Owning My Blackness ($1000) - Owning My Blackness (OMB) is an organization that works to educate, advocate, and elevate for Black students. OMB has expanded to add for profit business called Owning My Blackness Consulting that works with educators to reduce systematic racism.

  • Bindr ($1000) - Bindr is the first completely free, nondiscriminatory dating application. Aimed towards the bisexual community, but accepting of everyone, Bindr is made specifically to make people feel able to meet likeminded individuals in a safe and judgement free environment.

  • Changing the Narrative ($1000) - Changing the Narrative is an initiative by Tavon Parker to spread positive motivation and messaging to youth in an effort to lead them to success.

Incubator News

Alumni Led Business Joins the J.D. Brown Center

BeeCentral is a company owned and operated by York College alumni that is integrating the power of the smart home into senior living communities. CEO and founder Alex Louderback earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2021; COO John Gallo earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2020 and an MBA in 2021; and CFO Taylor Bull earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2021 and a Master in Accounting in 2022.

Learn more about BeeCentral and their journey here!

J.D. Brown Center Recruits Alumni Serial Entrepreneur to Serve as Executive-in-Residence

Brian Biddulph-Krentar '97 has recently joined the J.D. Brown Center as the Executive-In-Residence. Krentar has started and exited a number of successful companies, and now wishes to share his time leading startups towards success.

As the Executive-in-Residence, Krentar will work with and mentor small businesses that are housed in the J.D. Brown Center or have completed J.D. Brown Center programs to evaluate their needs and develop goals and plans of action.

Krentar has already begun working with two companies that received funding from the Weinstock Venture Investment Fund, and has become a great resource to the J.D. Brown Center.

Knowledge Park News

The Knowledge Park Now Houses Its First Tenant: MRG Labs' Research and Manufacturing Arm

MRG Labs, which is located in the J.D. Brown Center, has expanded, opening its new "Tribology Research Center" in the Millhouse portion of Knowledge Park.

This research center will house a research project funded by the PA Manufacturing Innovation program, as well as the manufacturing operations of MRG labs.

Rich Wurzbach, President and CEO of MRG Labs, expressed excitement about the new agreement. "We are thrilled to be housing our new Tribology Research Center at Knowledge Park. The location, facilities, and ability to engage YCP students and faculty are ideal for our business needs, and we believe it will help us to grow and thrive in the coming years."

Learn more about MRG's growth and new research center here!

About the image: from left standing, Oscar Winters, Associate Director of Entrepreneur Programs and Engagement; Ken Martin, Assistant to the President for Capital Projects and Facility Utilization; Jeff Vermeulen, Assistant Vice President for External Relations and Executive Director of the Knowledge Park; Rich Wurzbach, President and CEO of MRG Labs; seated, York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith.

Learn more about the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship here
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