Lehigh Ventures Lab, Lehigh University’s business incubator, is partnering with People First Federal Credit Union to commit $600,000 per year for startup loans to founders who satisfactorily complete all the predetermined business growth criteria.
Established in April 2022 through a collaboration between Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation and the College of Business, Lehigh Ventures Lab’s mission is to support pre-seed and seed-stage ventures founded by Lehigh students, recent alumni and faculty.
“In less than a year, we have already graduated three founders’ and have six new ventures in our summer program all in the pursuit of commercialization,” said Chris Kauzmann, the interim director of Lehigh Ventures Lab. “This new partnership is a key component in the frameworks we are establishing to support our entrepreneurs.”
Founders will work with Lehigh’s Small Business Development Center to refine financially sound business plans. In addition to earmarking the funds, People First is waiving any participation fees.
“We recognize the difficulty many startups face in securing funding,” said Howard Meller, President and CEO of People First. “We are focused in supporting small business start-ups and believe in the value that
entrepreneurs bring to their neighborhoods.”
Headquartered in the new Business Innovation Building on Lehigh’s campus, the Lehigh Ventures Lab is a milestone-based, in-person, startup incubator. Powered by Lehigh Business’ and Bakers’ combined network of experts, faculty and skilled mentors, Lehigh Ventures Lab is dedicated to supporting founders who are working fulltime to take their ventures to market.