Erie Chamber Blog
Monday September 28, 2020 

Chamber announces the next round of investment into the Secure Erie Accelerator Program. Secure Erie Accelerator provides high-growth-potential companies access to a seven-week program designed to spark growth and diversify Erie's economy.

The Erie Regional Chamber announced today the Fall 2020 Cohort of the Secure Erie Accelerator Program. Six companies were selected to participate in this year’s cohort, including four local companies. The companies include Arlene, Glass, Leverage4Data, M3 Unmanned SystemsSafeFlightand WerkBerry. 
Accelerator programs are designed to be short-term programs that can spark immense growth for a start-up still in the early stages of business,” said Jordan Fuller, director of the Secure Erie Accelerator at the Erie Regional Chamber. “It provides cash infusion to the business, which can mean the difference between overcoming a hurdle and accelerating revenue potential versus closing up shop. Beyond the seven-week program and the investment, the ERCGP partners with each of the companies to develop the relationship and foster growth through post accelerator work and the SEA Alumni Network”  
Over the next six weeks, participating companies will undergo a rigorous analysis of their business and receive custom training and mentorship designed to connect the business with local resources. Accelerators often attract businesses to new communities and can result in job growth. Previous accelerator participates made extensive connections within Erie’s business network spurring additional investment, development, and partnership opportunities. Each company will also present during Erie Homecoming 2020: Erie’s Economic Evolution  

"Accelerator programs drive innovation in new and existing industries, often exposing niche opportunities for high-growth companies to scale quickly and dramatically increase its potential impact on a community,” said Jake Rouch, vice president of economic development at the Erie Regional Chamber. “Programs like this are integral to the success of Erie Forward and are a fantastic way for our region to attract interest from outside companies as well as create a more dynamic and diversified economy.”  
The Secure Erie Accelerator works with early-stage businesses that have an innovative concept, high potential to scale, and a dedicated team or founder that can execute. Those interested in learning more about the progress of this year’s Secure Erie Accelerator cohort can sign up here. We'll be featuring a company each week throughout the duration of the program and invite you to follow along and learn about exciting work happening here in Erie. 

A New-York-based startup founded by Erie natives that connects people and brands in immersive environments.

An Erie-based innovative startup that is accelerating the pace of IoT implementation with a platform software solution that simplifies the embedded engineering process.

An Erie-based startup that provides small manufacturing companies with web-based applications to ensure that new parts are made successfully and meet customer expectations.

M3 Unmanned Systems
An Erie-based startup that brings together the latest in IoT, machine learning, and cloud computing into an integrated solution that allows the agriculture community to deploy a multitude of sensors across their fields to allow for real-time tracking of critical data.

A Nevada-based startup near Incline Village that brings together software and hardware to provide identification, validation, response, investigation, and reporting for drone misuse, laser illuminations, and other low altitude airspace violations. 

An Erie-based startup that provides an all-in-one, cloud-based, job advertising platform for small and medium employers, which reaches both active and passively seeking candidates. Werkbery is also a Ben Franklin Technology Partners portfolio company. 










Wednesday September 30, 2020 

Submitted by Cathy Szymanski, Szymanski Consulting

Microsoft Word is the go-to word processor for many businesses across all sectors. This popular tool is constantly updated with new features that make it even more useful and valuable for business use. Here are a few features that you should take advantage of to boost your productivity and efficiency at work.

Work on Word Online

Don’t have the Word app on your computer, tablet, or smartphone? Go to, sign in with your Microsoft account, and open Word Online, the web version of Word.

Collaborate on files

You and your colleagues can now edit the same Word document simultaneously in real-time. Simply save the document to your Microsoft OneDrive account, click Share, and send the link to the file to your coworkers. People with the link can access and edit the document using the Word desktop app or Word Online.

Keep editorial control

Use the Track Changes function of Word to monitor all edits made to your document. To turn on Track Changes, click on the Review tab then select Track Changes. When reviewing a colleague’s edits, click Accept or Reject as you see fit.

Do quick research using Smart Lookup

The Smart Lookup feature helps you do online research while you’re working on a document — no need to open another tab and type in a query. Simply highlight and right-click the word or phrase you want to look up, and select Smart Lookup from the menu that appears. Word uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to conduct a search on the selected word or phrase and displays the results in a pane that appears on the right side of your screen.

Format your document

The Styles gallery contains predefined formatting options for text. You can also add your own styles or those you use frequently, to the gallery. By saving your own style preferences, you can apply them anytime without having to manually format everything. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to format as a new style (e.g., a heading or a certain phrase).
  2. Specify the formatting you want on the mini toolbar that appears. For instance, click Bold and Red if you want the text to appear as such.
  3. Click the More arrow in the lower-right corner of the Styles gallery. Select Create a Style. This will open the Create New Style from the Formatting dialog box.
  4. Give the style a name and click OK. Your new style will appear in the Styles gallery, ready for you to use anytime.

Look for and insert images faster

With Word, there’s no need to open your browser to look for images for your document. Just place the cursor in the area where you want to insert the photo, click the Insert tab and select Online pictures (type “clip art” in the search box if that’s what you need), select an image, then click Insert.

Edit a PDF file

Word’s PDF editing function allows you to make quick changes to PDF files without having to download and use a PDF editing app or software. But before you can edit a PDF file in Word, you have to convert it to a file format that Word can display. Follow these steps:

  1. Click FileOpen > Browse.
  2. Choose the PDF file you want to edit, then click Open. Click OK to make a copy of the PDF file and convert its contents into a format that can be opened in Word. (Note: The original PDF will be preserved.)
  3. Make edits to the copy of the PDF file.
  4. When you’re done, click FileSave as > PDF.

Microsoft is constantly rolling out nifty new features for its popular word processor. To stay updated on the latest Word features and functionalities, reach out to our Microsoft experts now.


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