Building a Startup Zone in the Southern Alleghenies

Startup Alleghenies Coaches Tips for Success 

Startup Alleghenies Entrepreneur Coaches got together during National Entrepreneurship Week to share advice for entrepreneurs starting or expanding a business.

They serve as the critical entry-point and ongoing mentors for our entrepreneurs, connecting them to all the Right Here. Right Now. network has to offer.

In Cambria County, our Coach José Luis Otero says, “as a community, we have built an economic ecosystem with private and government entities that help early stage startups get launched. Connect with your Coach to find out what resources are available to you.”

Blair County Coach, Rich Lasek recommends “turning your passion into your business,” realizing that “success comes from a mix of traditional hard work, finding the right talent and marketing.”

Joe Fetzer, our Somerset County Coach, says the key to successful social media is “to have an online presence, keep growing, and connect with people who share your passion.”

Our Huntingdon/Fulton County Coach, Debra Clark added, “when communicating in social media, be sure to keep your comments tailored to your business, and do not engage in political or personal agendas that could deter customers.”

Andrew Trexler, our Bedford County Coach, says one key to success is to be sure you are ”talking to and engaging with your audience and potential customers. Never talk at them.”

While they often collaborate, our Coaches were recruited to focus primarily on their area. This way, entrepreneurs not only benefit from their innovative business ideas and experience, they also benefit from their unique network and knowledge of their county.

Our Coaches have already helped a growing number of aspiring entrepreneurs in six counties through the Startup Alleghenies movement. Enroll online here or call your Coach today and schedule a meeting. You could be our next success story.

#StartRHRN #NatlEshipWeek @startupallegh


Startup Alleghenies is on a mission to bring greater economic vitality to the region by creating an ecosystem for success that recruits and supports entrepreneurs. Launched in June 2017 by the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC), Startup Alleghenies entrepreneurs are mentored by coaches who provide 360 support to help them navigate a vast network of partners at economic development groups, private organizations, investors and universities–all working together to bring talent, new businesses, and jobs to the region.


Whether you’re starting a business or just thinking about it, a member of the media, an investor, or someone who cares about our region, learn more about what’s going on to revitalize our region’s reputation as a startupzone. Sign up to receive the latest insider information.

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Our Entrepreneurs

Click on an entrepreneur to learn more:

Vinzeal | ETAL Transfer Authority
Jeremy & Jennifer | Press Bistro
Mark | Mark Albert Boots
Dave | Wrivo, LLC
Mike | InnoH20 Solutions
John | EMG Brands


Startup Alleghenies is celebrating its first year. Here are the highlights about our 211 enrolled and active Startup Alleghenies entrepreneurs in Blair, Cambria, and Somerset Counties.

What kind of business are they creating?

Where are the entrepreneurs coming from?

“I think we’ve probably hit peak Silicon Valley, and we need to figure out ways to have a more diverse, inclusive economy. We want the rust belt to become the startup belt.”

–AOL Founder and Revolution CEO Steve Case, November 2017 on CNBC (see video)