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Architecture Student Entrepreneurs Get a Boost for Their Projects Thanks to New Leaf Initiative and Lion Launchpad

Two Penn State architecture students were part of winning teams selected for a New Leaf-Lion Launchpad (NL3) co-working membership for fall 2014, which gives them access to office space and the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs at the State College office of New Leaf Initiative. New Leaf is a community hub and co-working office for entrepreneurs from all sectors, intended to facilitate collaboration, creativity and co-creation. Lion Launchpad is a Penn State-sponsored business accelerator program created to help student entrepreneurs turn innovative project and service concepts into viable startup companies.

Aaron Wertman, architecture graduate student, and Josh Kesler were selected for Apparatus X, an adaptable tool trailer and mobile design and micro-living unit intended to facilitate design-build efforts while inspiring social engagement and action. The team hopes to take the trailer to New Orleans to aid in the continuing recovery efforts nine years after Hurricane Katrina. Apparatus X is Wertman’s master’s thesis project. For more information, visit

Architecture undergrad Mike Zaengle was selected for GreenTowers, which specializes in urban agricultural design through the creation of self-contained ecosystems that allow people to grow food virtually anywhere. GreenTowers strives to cultivate urban farming around the world with easy-to-use products and holistic growing systems. Products include “living furniture,” such as tables containing aquaponic gardens that can be used to grow edibles or ornamentals. Zaengle is the vice president of design for GreenTowers, which also includes Penn State students with degrees in engineering and biology. For more information, visit

Artistic photo of cherry wood furniture with integrated flower pot