Abington LaunchBox marks entrepreneurship week with video series on innovation

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2022

Penn State Abington student Derek Magers, left, and Peter Hornberger, director of the Abington LaunchBox, are debuting a "tech-umentary" series on YouTube. It will examine vintage technology to illustrate the importance of using innovation as a critical first step to solve problems and challenges.

Credit: Penn State

ABINGTON, Pa. — The Penn State Abington LaunchBox will mark Global Entrepreneurship Week with the YouTube premiere of its “tech-umentary” series at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15. The 30-minute episodes will utilize artifacts from vintage technology to track and explore how innovation shaped and changed many everyday devices. 

Peter Hornberger, the LaunchBox director, wants to illustrate innovation in action. 

“Adding portability, accessibility, durability, capacity or speed to a new product rarely occurs all at once. The artifacts and vintage technology on display in the series illustrate that the innovative process often moves in a series of steps focused on one area of development at a time,” he said. 

“Innovation is at the heart of much of the programming at the Abington LaunchBox, and the episodes aim to inform and inspire entrepreneurs to tackle challenges and problems using innovation as a critical first step,” Hornberger continued. 

Storage media is the topic of the premiere, and subsequent episodes will examine visual media, audio media and video games. 

Producer and host Derek Magers, a senior majoring in business with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation, inspired the series by sharing his fascination with vintage electronics with Hornberger. 

“Derek and I noticed that vintage technology sparked explorations of concepts such as Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Customer Discovery, Blue Ocean Strategy, and Jobs To Be Done. From there, the series emerged as a pathway to present the concept of innovation to entrepreneurs in a casual, fun and informative format,” Hornberger said. 

Innovation is at the heart of much of the programming at the Abington LaunchBox.

—Peter Hornberger , Abington LaunchBox director

Hornberger regularly discusses opportunities and resources available through the University and the community to help startup and early-stage entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia region develop their projects.  

Magers, for example, is designing and building a prototype microphone that will allow classroom discussions to be processed through closed captioning software, thus enhancing accessibility. He is working with Abington engineering faculty and the LaunchBox to develop it as part of an undergraduate research (ACURA) project. 

He has gained invaluable experience through his involvement with Hornberger and the Abington LaunchBox. 

“I've learned that it's best to simply act and make things happen. It can be tempting to try and get everything right before starting a project. However, if you just start creating, you'll be way ahead in both output and experience,” Magers said. 

Since transferring to Abington, Magers has started a club, helped design an entrepreneurship curriculum, and initiated designing a product.  

“Working with Peter has made me realize that I can accomplish a lot more than I thought I could. He's made many opportunities possible for me, from case competitions to an embedded program in Germany. When a student worker position in the Abington LaunchBox opened up, I knew it would be a great chance to apply my course work to a professional environment,” Magers said. 

“I plan to incorporate the lessons that made these achievements possible into my life and any future entrepreneurial endeavors,” he added. 

About the Abington LaunchBox  

As part of the Invent Penn State initiative, the Abington LaunchBox at Penn State Abington offers support to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia region. No affiliation with Penn State is required to utilize its expertise. Many of the services available to startups and early-stage entrepreneurs are available at no cost. 

About Penn State Abington 

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With more than 3,000 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 24 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer Honors College, NCAA Division III athletics and more.