The Erie Innovation District (EID) in Pennsylvania has invested $50,000 in each of the nine companies that will participate in its first accelerator program, ‘The Secure Erie Accelerator,’ that seeks to bring technology-driven companies – and jobs – to the region. The ten-week program also includes mentorship, fand opportunities to partner with local companies and organizations.
“This is generally a way to drive outcomes,” CEO of EID, Karl Sanchack, said. “It’s intended to be a way for them to be successful in our program and provide us with a stake in their success. We are an investor in their company and we believe they bring something to the table.”
One of the start-ups selected is Kwema, a company that connects people in immediate danger to help through an app and safety bracelet.
“We really found that this is a great community and people do look out for each and want to help and want to help each other, especially when were talking about safety,” said Reid Douglas, head of community development of Kwema.
WeatherCheck, another company selected, has also chosen to establish itself in Erie. It monitors structures in severe weather and lets people know when they need to file an insurance claim.
“We had some sort of hard held beliefs around what the insurance sector thought about our product,” said Demetrius Gray, CEO of WeatherCheck. “So, being close to a big corporation like the ones in Erie specifically in the insurance space kind of helped motivate us to here.”
“We would like to get to three sets of 10 every year, so think about 150 attracted companies over five plus years,” said Sancheck.