Whether it’s the beautiful country side, the abundance of community activities, or the low crime rate, Happy Valley has become a mecca for people who have earned their right to a quiet retirement, but who choose, instead, to embark on a second career.

Wendy Oakes is one such resident. After a lengthy career helping to create medical device start-up companies, the past 13 years of which were spent in Silicon Valley, she decided to begin a new chapter in State College.

Within the TechCelerator@StateCollege program for local entrepreneurs, startups aren’t just given a boost to their business – they also compete for a pretty substantial prize.

Six teams undergo a rigorous training schedule each season. Weekly classes are held and the teams receive one-on-one mentoring sessions, so they’re better prepared to launch their tech-based startups in the next year. It all culminates in a final presentation and award ceremony, where each team presents their startup – from target market to the solution provided – to their peers and a panel of judges.

The world of 3D printing has grown in popularity over recent years. While once just an interesting innovation reserved for those who could afford it, it’s now transformed into something much more affordable and accessible, whether you’re a startup looking to make prototypes, children in an elementary school class or just an individual with an enthusiasm for these types of technological advances. However, these types of 3D printers are creating, more often than not, items that aren’t of the highest quality or durability, which, for some, is fine.

There’s one area of 3D printing, however, that does provide the high quality that some manufacturers want, though it usually comes at a high cost – until now. New company, Ben Franklin Technology Partners beneficiary and Innovation Park tenant Xact Metal is supporting the next generation of manufacturing solutions through metal 3D printing.

Happy Valley LaunchBox wrapped up the fourth successful installment of its Accelerator program on Wednesday, April 26 with a graduation ceremony for its six newest startups: Glass Gotcha, DigitalFSBO, KinderMinder, OGOVO, TrophyTracks, and Unoia Beauty.

Join us at the Park on Saturday, May 20 for an afternoon of food and fun at the first ever “A Taste of Innovation” presented by WPSU Penn State. The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on the grounds surrounding the Outreach Building.

This family-friendly, festival-style gathering will offer tastings of a wide variety of local foods, wines and craft beverages as well as live entertainment, all benefiting WPSU-FM.