Speak at THInC Entrepreneurship & Innovation Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week logoClick the image to access the speaker application!We want YOU to present at our area's first-ever community-wide THInC Entrepreneurship & Innovation Week! This week-long hybrid conference is aimed at developing thought leaders, innovators, and business owners right here in Greater Hazleton.

Presentations should be 30-45 minutes in length and will take place in a variety of formats. Because we’re hoping to create a campus-like conference atmosphere, there will be multiple location points for participants to attend sessions, workshops, and networking events as well as multiple options to livestream presentations from across the Commonwealth via Penn State’s Global Entrepreneurship Week thanks to our partnership with Penn State Hazleton and the Hazleton LaunchBox.

We are inviting proposals for presentations related to the topics below, but are open to new session topic ideas as well!

  1. Entrepreneurship & Innovation

    1. Tech

    2. Food Entrepreneurship

    3. Traditional/Mainstreet Businesses

  2. Personal & Leadership Development

  3. Diversity & Inclusion

  4. Nonprofit & volunteerism

Click the image above to access the speaker application form. Complete the RFP form before the close of business on October 1st, 2021.

For any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CAN DO works with partners to help food industry entrepreneurs start a business through new Hazleton Kitchen Incubator

For entrepreneurs who dream of starting a business in the food industry, one of the biggest barriers to entry is having the resources and access to professional kitchen equipment. That's why the latest addition to Downtown Hazleton's entrepreneurial ecosystem is working to make it easier for people to start their own culinary business.

The Hazleton Kitchen Incubator, located inside the Hayden Family Center for the Arts at 31 West Broad Street, is the latest project from The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative (THInC) designed to help entrepreneurs and startup companies. The kitchen incubator program gives regional food and beverage businesses a low-risk opportunity to start small, test and develop a business idea and plan, and scale their operations without the cost of equipping and maintaining their own commercially-licensed culinary facility.

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Keystone Ballet Academy continues to grow with the CAN BE Innovation Center’s expansion options

For Keystone Ballet Academy owner Emily Finer, the ability to expand her dance studio in stages but remain in the same location at the CAN BE Innovation Center has been an integral part of its success since opening in 2017.

Finer said that CAN BE has been an ideal location to start her studio because it has offered her the ability to expand when it fit the needs of her growing studio without having to move to a bigger location each time.

“Knowing I could expand where I am already located is ideal. My customer base is familiar with my existing location and the expansion will allow us to grow within a reasonable budget. As we acquire more students and have an increase in our classes, we will be able to move to a space that will really suit us and our students,” Finer said. “We are so fortunate to have access to additional space within the CAN BE Innovation Center, allowing our school to grow. From the beginning, I envisioned our growth here.”

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Sweets Melendez becomes first business to use new downtown Hazleton shared kitchen incubator

Dominican desserts company Sweets Melendez recently became the first business to launch using the new downtown Hazleton shared kitchen incubator inside the Hayden Family Center for the Arts.

Owner Maribel Chavez began thinking about creating a food-based business in November of 2019 when she started making Dominican sweet beans before transitioning to desserts.

“All of our desserts are handcrafted and made with love. They are made with fruits, a hint of cinnamon and vanilla and contain no preservatives, artificial color or high fructose corn syrup,” Chavez said.

The shared kitchen incubator was created through a partnership between the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, the Hazleton Art League, The Hazleton Launchbox, CAN BE and other members of The Hazleton Innovation Collaborative (THInC). The organizations worked together with local and regional food, entrepreneurship and culinary arts education providers to develop a program designed to support aspiring and existing food entrepreneurs. 

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