The Pennsylvania SBDC helps makers of all products, from fabricated metal to furniture to food.

We can help you with:

  • Business planning
  • Market research
  • Identifying potential funding options to start or grow your business
  • Finding new markets locally, internationally, online, or within the government
  • Product development planning & commercialization
  • Understanding environmental regulatory requirements
  • Business continuity planning
  • Succession planning

Maker Success Stories

The following stories are a representation of the small businesses that the Pennsylvania SBDC has helped grow across the state.

Sauereisen: Selling into Latin American Mining Countries

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Luis Granes is currently the Latin American Manager for Sauereisen, a third generation manufacturer of corrosion-resistant materials located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He developed an expertise in technical sales and is the President of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Pittsburgh Chapter. He is also a founding member of the…

Soupie Brothers –The Taste of Tradition

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Nestled in the heart of coal country, innovation and entrepreneurship collided with nostalgia and tradition to bring about a tasty new business, Soupie Brothers. It was the idea of business founders Greg Kanowicz and Keith Good to start a company selling authentic soppressata, fondly referred to regionally as Soupies. Natives…

Solidworx: Woman-owned Kitchen Counter-top Manufacturing Company

Nancy Geller first approached the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in April 2016 for assistance in starting a custom countertop manufacturing company specializing in the use of solid surface and plastic laminate materials. Ms. Geller had, for the past sixteen years, served as the Secretary of the board…

Local business changes ownership: Briar Hill Rustic Furniture

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Duane Hedgecock had been working for Briar Hill Rustic Furniture for 23 years when the current owner, Denny Pierce approached him to inquire if he was interested in purchasing the business. Briar Hill has been manuafcturing unique white cedar log outdoor and indoor furniture in Leeper, Pennsylvania for over 60 years.…

Bison Hill Stonecrafts: Engineer Finds Creative Outlet in Giving New Life to Reclaimed Stone

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Andrew Church is the founder and owner of Bison Hill Stonecrafts, a business dedicated to creating new housewares products from reclaimed slate and marble. A 2013 Penn State graduate with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Church is an employee at Erie’s GE Transportation plant. A longing for additional creative…

Therm-Omega-Tech: A Company on the Move

Therm-Omega-Tech, is a world leader in the design and manufacture of products using proprietary self-actuating temperature control valves.  Founded in 1983 the first product was a valve that uses thermal actuator technology to provide reliable and cost effective freeze protection to the railroad industry. The company returned to its beginnings…

Pennsylvania SBDC Network Planning Statewide Events for Small Business Owners and Aspiring Entrepreneurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week

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The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have announced a statewide series of events for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), November 14-18, 2016. Events will take place across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to celebrate the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas…

Pennsylvania SBDC Celebrates Manufacturing Week with Statewide Series of Events

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The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are hosting four events during Pennsylvania Manufacturing Week, October 1-7, 2016.  The events are part of a nationwide effort to change perceptions of manufacturing today, draw attention to career opportunities available in a variety of sectors, and educate the public on the significant…

Levity Brewing Company

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Background More than 15 years ago, Luke McKelvy started teaching himself to brew beer in his apartment while attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His passion for brewing inspired other friends to start brewing beer at home, including Erich Walls and Jered Herman. Each of them had full time careers, Luke in…

Penn State Grad Is Printing Possibilities as a CEO: X Material Processing

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Matt Woods founded X Material Processing in 2015 while still a mechanical engineering student at Penn State. His interest in business began when he met Joe Sinclair, his earliest business partner. They began working together as interns at the CIMP-3D Lab. Joe’s company, Solid Dynamics, LLC, had experience using 3D printing…

Quality Mould, Inc. Expands Operations

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DJ Danko and Jamie Danko, owners of Quality Mould, Inc. approached the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center for assistance in developing a business plan for financing to purchase a larger manufacturing facility to accommodate the increased demand resulting from diversification of industry services QMI now provides to their…

Holloway Seating Expands into New Facility

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Background – The Challenge Holloway Seating, LLC has been in the spectator seating industry since 1991. They provide quality seating such as Indoor Arenas, Outdoor Grandstands, Stadium Seating, Grandstands and Press Boxes. They have a reputation for providing customers with complete turnkey projects on time and within budget. The company assists…

AC Power Tech

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Jeremy Wallace is an entrepreneur who after working for Fortune 500 companies, decided to apply his business expertise to his family business, a manufacturer of high electric power systems for underground mines. He figured the company is an expert in its field. There are only 4 companies of its kind left…

Erie Ale Works

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Erie Ale Works, LLC is a privately owned microbrewery that is operated and managed by Jeff McCullor, president, and Steve Anthony, vice president and general manager.  Jeff oversees and implements the actions plans and daily operations; while Steve works closely with him in all aspects as his right hand man. Erie…

Bucknell University SBDC Honors Small Businesses during Annual Award Ceremony

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On Friday, July 15, at the Elaine Langone Center of  Bucknell University, seven small businesses participated in an exhibition of their products and told their stories of success as aided by the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), including Gilson Boards, Novipod, RunLites, Heritage Springs Memory Care, Upper Desk, Threading…