Entrepreneurial Alchemy (EA) is an initiative bringing together the region’s best people, ideas and money to catalyze economic and business growth in the Greater Johnstown region/Cambria County. It also is also closely linked to the region’s larger Bridge to Pittsburgh effort.

The initiative is under the direction of Donald Bonk, owner of Good Future Innovation, LLC, and is a program of Cambria County Government. It is funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. Here are the key highlights:

ENTREPRENEUR COMPETITIONS

EA helped developed and now supports the annual PiTTchfest competition for entrepreneurs at the Showcase for Commerce (www.showcaseforcommerce.com) with Pitt Johnstown, and sponsored by the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce and JARI. Start-ups in both professional and college student categories compete for cash prizes and services.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH BRAINSTORM MEETINGS

EA holds a first Monday of month Entrepreneurial Alchemy brainstorm meeting at 4 PM at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with business, government, academic and community leaders. Each month the group imagines actionable Goals to create the best ways to grow the region and drive opportunities for the Bridge to Pittsburgh and Bridges to other cities, regions and the world.

EA holds a monthly Entrepreneurial Alchemy Entrepreneurship Meet-up at 6 PM on the first Monday of each month in the Idea Lab of Biddle Hall at the University of Pittsburgh of Johnstown. All entrepreneurs are welcome to a group brainstorm to gather actionable intelligence.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE NEWS

EA partners with the Johnstown Tribune Democrat and reporter Ron Fisher to run Entrepreneurial Endeavors, a monthly newspaper series that features successful entrepreneurs — looking at their past, present and planned future. The focus is on their motivation, turning points and legacy plans. It features a narrative story, Q & A, as well as on-line video interviews.

PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION

EA partners with Pitt Johnstown, the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber and JARI to put on an annual Industry Tour program. It brings students directly to local factories, offices and businesses to see first hand what they do and to meet and learn from the people who founded and/or run those businesses. They also have the option to pursue internships with companies on the tour who offer them. www.upj.pitt.edu/IndustryTours

EA partners with the Strandquest Simmons Scholarship Program at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies to help develop the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs from local High Schools. Each student gets an individualized plan to explore their entrepreneurship interests, gets local business contacts and develops a career game plan for college and life in business after graduation. They also attend the monthly Entrepreneurial Alchemy meetings with community leaders.

Learn more at www.eajohnstown.com