Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)




What is the EIR Program?


The EIR program provides students with opportunities to expand their network and get immediate feedback on their ventures or entrepreneurial career goals and aspirations.

A different highly accomplished entrepreneur comes to campus once a month during the academic year. The visiting entrepreneurs come from diverse fields and are chosen based on their success starting and managing successful enterprises.

Advance on-line registration is required. Registration opens two weeks before the EIR arrives on campus. A student must sign up in advance via this site for a 20-minute appointment with the EIR.

Students are expected to prepare and submit questions in advance to Donna Bon, Executive Director of the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at djb36@psu.edu, based on their ideas, opinions, and strategies for potential or actual business ventures. Students are encouraged to choose to meet with entrepreneurs who are active in fields that capture the student’s interest.

 Click here to view a list of previous Entrepreneurs in Residence

Spring 2020 EIRs:

Click on a name below to view more information and schedule an appointment.

Bill Kech, Owner, Shields Trophy
Thursday, January 16, 2020, from 9:00 a.m.–1:05 p.m.

Jennifer Soisson, Owner, Brush Mountain Running and Outdoors, Inc.
Monday, January 27, 2020, from 9:00 a.m.–1:05 p.m.

Anthony Bambocci, Founder, Stone Man Productions
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, from 10:00 a.m.–2:05 p.m.

Greg Jones, Managing Partner, Joshco Partners
Tuesday, February 18, 2020, from 10:00 a.m.–2:05 p.m.

Jim Foreman, CEO of ProCare and Founding Partner of Apple Fitness Equipment
Thursday, March 19 from 8:00 a.m.–12:05 p.m.

Carmen Bilek, Human Resource Consultant, First Energy/Penelec
Friday, March 27, 2020, from 9:00 a.m.–1:05 p.m.
Appointments will be held online. Instructions will be provided to those who register.

Jim Kilmartin
Owner, Pinnacle 7 Professional Services; Lead Pastor, Center City Church; Founder and Director, Joshua House
Thursday, April 2 from 8:00 a.m.–12:05 p.m.

Andrea Devorris Cohen, President, Blair Companies Real Estate
Tuesday, April 14, 2020, from 9:00 a.m.–1:05 p.m.

How to Participate: 

To schedule an appointment with an EIR, a student must be enrolled in either the Entrepreneurship Concentration or the Entrepreneurship minor at Penn State Altoona. Students are invited to review the list of scheduled entrepreneurs and register on this site.

In order for this program to succeed, participating students are expected to:

  • Make appointments in advance
  • Honor the commitment and appear on time for the appointment
  • Come prepared and conduct the conversation professionally

A student may schedule appointments with as many EIRs as he or she wishes. However, a student must register in advance for each appointment. Failure to appear for an appointment, provide adequate advance notice (24 hours) of a cancellation, or come prepared and conduct the conversation professionally may preclude the student from participating in the program in the future.

A waitlist is available for signup in case all the appointments are taken. Students on the waitlist will be contacted to fill slots in the order that they sign on to the waitlist.

An entrepreneur who is interested in participating in the Entrepreneur in Residence Program should contact Donna Bon, Executive Director of the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at djb36@psu.edu

Benefits for the Entrepreneur

  • Interaction with Penn State Altoona student entrepreneurs while sharing lessons learned in the trenches

  • The opportunity to help shape a student’s future

  • The potential for a relationship to grow out of a student meeting, if it is mutually beneficial

  • The opportunity to meet with faculty at Penn State Altoona, as desired

  • Potential speaking engagement with student organizations and/or classes

Benefits for the Student

  • A one-on-one meeting with an experienced, innovative and highly successful entrepreneur

  • Ideas and feedback on the student’s business concept, strategy, or venture

  • The chance to learn best practices for starting a business

  • Insight into specific industries or markets

  • The opportunity to broaden the student professional network

  • Potential opportunity for a relationship to grow out of this meeting

Get In Contact

Donna J. Bon, Executive Director of the Sheetz Center

202D Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence

1309 11th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601

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