The Erie Innovation District marked its one year anniversary with some big news springing from the success of the inaugural Secure Erie Accelerator program.

EID President and CEO Karl Sanchack made three big announcements as the first 9-tech businesses completing their stay in the accelerator held their “Demo Day,” in the Hirt Auditorium at Blasco Library.

"For starters," Sanchack said, "five of the nine start-ups have decided to put down roots in Erie, opening the door to attract more investors, create jobs, and bring additional spillover benefits to the broader Erie economy."

The companies staying in Erie are:

  • SimpleSense
  • SmartDrivInc
  • Kwema
  • CityGrows
  • WeatherCheck

At a free public forum, representatives of all nine companies gave presentations on their progress during the 10-week accelerator.  Sanchack said. “To have a majority of them elect to stay is practically unheard of.”  

The second big announcement, over the duration of the accelerator Sanchack said the companies garnered additional capital investments and new business revenue from in and outside of Erie adding up to more than $2.4 million. 

Although no formal commitments have been made, Erie Insurance is interested in exploring opportunities with accelerator graduates.

Finally, Quantela, a key partner working to deploy a Secure Smart City pilot in Erie has been so impressed by the the success of the accelerator and the  city's commitment to establishing digital infrastructure, they are prepared to commit $5 to $7 million dollars to keep expanding the project.

Sanchack said the next phase will follow a detailed business plan and due-diligence study for that expansion. "It will initially target downtown opportunity zones, but with room to grow."