Alumni-Led Companies Receive Funding from York College’s Weinstock Venture Investment Fund
Two companies led by recent York College of Pennsylvania graduates secured funding from the College’s Weinstock Venture Investment Fund (WVIF). This is the fourth round of funding provided by the WVIF, which is specifically designed to help York College students and recent alumni take their business from idea to implementation.
Lehr Labs, led by 2020 Mechanical Engineering grads Evan Lehr and Marcos Rivera, is a 3D printing company that combines innovative technology, extensive manufacturing experience, and a passion for 3D printing. Owning My Blackness (OMB) is an organization that works to educate, advocate, and elevate black students. Started by 2022 Criminal Justice grad Briaunna Embrey-Banks, OMB runs diversity and empathy training, helps schools create more inclusive policies, and holds educational speaking events at both the college and high school level.
This year, the WVIF has evolved to also include funding direct coaching and mentorship from the J.D. Brown Center's new Executive-in-Residence Brian Biddulph-Krentar, a 1997 graduate of the College. Biddulph-Krentar currently serves as chief executive officer of SchoolSims, which helps current and aspiring school leaders manufacture experiences in a safe space through engaging and collaborative simulations.
“The pitches and professionalism displayed by the entrepreneurs from both Lehr Labs and Owning My Blackness made it an easy decision to support the next phase of growth for these exciting startups,” Biddulph-Krentar said. “I look forward to supporting the work of the WVIF by working closely with both companies to create an exciting future for Evan, Marcos, and Briaunna."
The WVIF board was extremely receptive and supportive in providing connections and resources, according to the team at Lehr Labs. “The contacts we made from the WVIF board were invaluable and it was definitely worth participating in the pitch. The funding and mentorship mean a lot to us given that it will help us accelerate our innovation and drive our business development."
"I am honored to be a recipient of the Weinstock Venture Investment Fund," said Embrey-Banks. "The funding is giving me the opportunity to be successful."