Happy Valley LaunchBox is a no-cost business accelerator program with co-working space for local entrepreneurial teams with a scalable business concept. It’s the flagship seed center among the Invent Penn State initiative that spans the Penn State Commonwealth campuses.
When we first began working with LaunchBox, we developed a logo that captured the out-of-the-box thinking and creating that takes place there. And this March, we expanded our work and created a new website.
Happy Valley LaunchBox is one of Penn State’s Innovation Hubs. As one of the first, it laid the groundwork for other innovation centers located on Penn State Commonwealth Campuses. Because we had worked with LaunchBox in early branding stages, it was exciting to expand the brand to a website that expressed their full-of-possibility energy. The organization has grown and expanded its reach both through the Penn State community and to local entrepreneurs and small businesses. And with that, they needed a stronger web presence.
The old website no longer effectively addressed audiences and the program’s breadth of services. In addition, the site did not have an easy-to-use content management system, making it difficult for staff to update with new information. Functionality was critical. With three different application cycles a year, the site needed to function smoothly and offer clear communication about timelines. They also needed an energetic look and feel that would compel new users and partners.
To address the CMS issue, we built the site in WordPress to allow for easy updates to keep the site current. But we also created a custom WordPress template, which meant that unique site functionality or calls to action could be easily introduced in an elegant, clear way. The site also tapped into the dynamic energy in the coworking space with brand-aligned oranges and blues. Site architecture further ensured that every audience member was addressed in order of importance. We also created a dynamic blog that fed upcoming events and thought pieces into featured spots on other high traffic pages.
Lee Erickson, director of Happy Valley LaunchBox, said, “The site that Rowland Creative designed and built for LaunchBox is flexible, easy to update, and beautifully designed. We can now more quickly add and update content, share photos and videos, and control our message.”
In the month following launch they have updated content regularly and used the site to help recruit for the next accelerator cohort. For any organization, the ability to control their online presence is paramount. A website is the front door to an organization and establishes both the first impression and necessary information that keeps the organization up and running. Happy Valley Launchbox now has that opportunity and is using it.