Ignite Erie: A Day of Innovation


Entrepreneurs and the policy makers who support them can greatly improve Erie’s economy today and for generations to come. That’s the premise behind Ignite Erie™: A Day of Innovation for Entrepreneurs, Tuesday, November 19, 11:45-4:30.

INNOvent #1
Co-hosted by the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority and Adreamz Institute, a virtual venture incubator, Ignite Erie consists of two very special events. Policy makers, leaders in economic development and education, and entrepreneurs are invited to a lunch presentation featuring Richard Bendis and Ray Leach, two nationally recognized innovation economy experts. The first of two events, this lunch is held 11:45-1:30 at the Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State Street in Erie.

Keynote speaker Bendis is a distinguished and successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, investment banker, innovation- and technology-based economic development leader, international speaker, and consultant in innovation and economy building. He will address how to foster an entrepreneurial climate and advance innovation-based economic development.

Leach is the founding CEO of JumpStart, Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit accelerating the success of entrepreneurs, their high-growth companies, and the ecosystems supporting them. He will discuss his innovative model used to transform the regional economy in northeast Ohio and the critical importance of building public, private, and philanthropic partnerships to grow entrepreneurial ecosystems.


INNOvent #2

Entrepreneurs and organizations serving small business leaders are invited to attend an entrepreneur expo held 2:00-4:30 p.m. at the Booker T. Washington Center, 1701 Holland Street in Erie. This event consists of an expert panel discussion that includes Bendis, Leach, William Generett of Urban Innovation 21 created to boost Pittsburgh’s economy through 21st century innovation-driven entrepreneurship, and Dr. Balaji Rajagopalan, director of the Sam and Irene Black School of Business of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Also, local professionals are hosting educational sessions on 3D technology, manufacturing innovation, business and idea funding, corporate formation, intellectual property, wealth management for the self-employed, and more.

A detailed schedule of events can be found at; event updates are on Facebook/Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.