CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — It has been eight months since the second round of grant recipients of Lehigh Valley LaunchBox became part of this University and community-sponsored business accelerator program for early stage entrepreneurs. We wanted to check in with each recipient to ask how their business or product development is coming along, hear the advice they have for other entrepreneurs, and see how they have benefited from the micro grants, support and mentorship from Lehigh Valley LaunchBox.
Tai-Yin Huang is the founder of Andromeda LED Lighting. Huang received a micro grant for her business during Lehigh Valley LaunchBox’s second award cycle in 2016.
Andromeda LED Lighting provides energy efficient lighting options for households, galleries, warehouses and more.
What inspired you to start your business?
“I want to change the habits of American consumers. I want to encourage the use of energy efficient products, such as lightbulbs. Now is the best time with the rise of climate change. I have the opportunity to help and make a difference.”
What was your biggest challenge before receiving a Lehigh Valley LaunchBox grant?
“The biggest challenge was finding affordable resources and useful information. As anyone who is starting a business would know, even for a startup company, there are essential things a company must have in order to start or run the business. For example, how to start or incorporate a company, or get an excellent CPA to take care of bookkeeping and taxes, or a professional-looking office to conduct business. LaunchBox has a lot of great resources for entrepreneurs who start their companies with limited funds.”
What Lehigh Valley LaunchBox services have you taken advantage of since receiving your grant?
“LaunchBox has not only helped me with funding, but they have provided me with many resources. Through Penn State services, I was able to make a series of videos to raise awareness that included Penn State Lehigh Valley faculty Drew Anderson and Ann Lalik. I was also able to create our webpage, have space to work, and I have been able to meet other recipients and share ideas. The recipients and I share a sense of community. We all started from the ground up, and it’s nice to network and talk through the challenges and accomplishments.”
What future goals do you have for Andromeda LED Lighting?
“Andromeda is still a startup company, but with the continued support of LaunchBox, the future is bright. My short-term goal is to start selling product on Amazon, which is in the works, and I have a long-term goal of being able to manufacture in the United States.”
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who are requesting a Lehigh Valley LaunchBox grant? Or, more generally, as they start their business?
“If anyone wants to start a business I would highly recommend they become a part of the LaunchBox network. The free resources, the funding and the networking provided by LaunchBox are excellent for any startup. My advice to anyone who is starting a business is that they should aim high, but be realistic and be quick to adapt to the changing market.”
Lehigh Valley LaunchBox is a signature program of the Invent Penn State initiative. To learn more about Lehigh Valley LaunchBox, visit launchbox.lv.psu.edu.