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New business incubator formed in Allentown

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 16 2013 04:05:56 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 16 2013 05:35:12 PM CST

As construction moves along in center city Allentown, we're learning about a new project that will help small, start-up businesses.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Small, start-up businesses have a new place to turn to for help getting off the ground.

City Center Lehigh Valley announced the launch of a new program that will be housed in a renovated building on Hamilton Street in downtown Allentown.

Velocity IA is a business incubator and accelerator. The idea is to help the companies get established in Allentown with hopes of them staying in the area to grow.

J.B. Reilly, the president of City Center Lehigh Valley, made the announcement Monday afternoon. A group gathered at the building on Hamilton Street where the offices will be built.

"This facility is going to house innovative, small companies that are looking to start and grow their businesses in downtown Allentown," said Reilly.

Velocity IA will offer a number of services to early-stage companies like affordable office space, furnished work and common areas, networking opportunities and advisory services.

"The kind of space and the collaborative work environment is designed to really truly foster innovation," said Reilly.

Two companies are already part of Velocity: Allentown-based The Social Station and Sarbari Inc., which is moving from Boston to Allentown. Sebastian Serra is the founder and CEO of Sarbari.

"I love the idea of being able to be surrounded by a lot of people that can help me, especially with the stage of the growth cycle we're in right now," said Serra.  "They make it very affordable for a start-up to get going and providing us with all the resources we need and it's very exciting."

Velocity will launch in the spring. Companies can apply to be part of the program at velocityia.com. Applicants must have fewer than 10 employees and be dedicated to being an active part of the downtown Allentown community.