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Erie Innovation District logo


SEA Accelerator partner logos


At Singularity University we see a global network of connected cities leading the next wave of innovation. SEA, the Secure Erie Accelerator in Erie, Pennsylvania, is where it all begins.

We Invite Innovative Startups to Apply

We’re looking for bold new thinking to devise great solutions that can bring us the cities of tomorrow, today. Are you in?

Erie, Pennsylvania is a hub for manufacturing and defense companies looking to take their businesses to the next level. This ecosystem means additional capital investment, pilot programs, and partnerships.

This year, the Secure Erie Accelerator (SEA), acting in partnership with Singularity University and Ben Franklin Technology Partners, is offering a matching investment of up to $150,000 a year. We are seeking the best companies and startups working in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and security space.

Learn more and apply

We Seek Pioneering Corporations to Join Us

Your organization also can participate in the Secure Erie Accelerator as a partner or a sponsor.



We’re also looking for forward-thinking corporations to participate in the Secure Erie Accelerator. This is a great opportunity to lend expertise to talented entrepreneurs while developing deeper innovation capabilities in your organization. Companies can send internal teams through the accelerator to innovate on their own internal projects alongside the startups, and/or lend their expertise as mentors to startup teams in this first-of-its-kind startup accelerator designed to build the cities of tomorrow.

Learn more and start a conversation



Sponsors can participate in the program in a variety of ways, such as by serving as mentors to the founders and lending their expertise to the startup teams. We can work with you to create other types of involvement, depending on your interests.

Join us in building the cities of tomorrow, and in the process benefit from an exceptional opportunity to deepen your company’s innovation capabilities.

This unique collaboration is the first of its kind, uniting the city of Erie with:

  • Mercyhurst University
  • Corporate partners Erie Insurance, McManis and Monsalve Associates, and Velocity Network Inc.
  • Other startups and corporations

This unified effort will catalyze exciting new innovations in the smart city space. Please join us!

Learn more and start a conversation

Areas of Focus for the Secure Erie Accelerator:

  • Data management
  • Data analysis
  • Data security
  • Insurtech
  • Blockchain
  • Machine learning
  • Telematics
  • Cybersecurity, as it relates to the development and operation of a smart city

About Erie and the Erie Innovation District

Erie has been known as a test market for years, largely because of the quality of corporate companies and representative demographics of the population. Erie has been known to produce great talent in the security space every year. Moreover, the cost of living in Erie is exponentially lower than that of other major cities but is still close to many of the startup hubs in the Midwest.

We have a unique public-private partnership underlying our approach to operations that enables entities to work with exposure to the local business and local government environments. We’re creating an ecosystem with the Secure Erie Accelerator that will lead to operational testing and evaluation of products within this test market.

The Erie Innovation District (EID) is an organization seeking to reshape the city and promote economic growth. The EID is pursuing three main initiatives: startup incubation and investment, technology partnerships, and competition.

Startup incubation and investment

This initiative strives to encourage new cyber-business creation and accelerate business growth with partnerships from major companies that have interests ranging from IT to Insurtech. After its completion, the accelerator can connect the startups in the cybersecurity, data science, and intelligence solutions community.

Technology partnerships

By building partnerships and collaborations with local universities and companies, the EID will emerge as a center for regional and global cybersecurity that establishes a next-gen Secure Smart City designation for Erie. Such a designation will signify Erie’s intention to be a destination that efficiently manages resources and invests in infrastructure and human and social capital to fuel sustainable economic development in a safe and secure connected environment. The new partnership networks built by the EID will fuel the design and development of the future analytics of secure connected devices, sensors, and systems.


As a catalyst for its capabilities and value proposition to startups and investors, the EID is launching a connected cities global impact challenge. This open innovation event will engage people locally, nationally, and internationally, challenging them to respond to significant areas of need and connecting the EID with centers of innovation around the world, such as those in Israel. In turn, this effort will catalyze others to create outposts and jobs for cost-effective US growth based in the EID.

The Midwest is on the Map

2016 alone saw at least $14 Billion of private investment activity in future mobility across more than 200 deals, driven by significant investments from both traditional venture capital funds and automotive corporate venture arms, often in partnership with one another. Matching Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and innovation acumen with Midwest automotive manufacturing and technical expertise is yielding one of the most prolific cross-country regional partnerships in the history of the U.S., with West Coast startups from Peloton to Uber choosing to establish significant operations in logistically-advantaged locations in Midwestern cities. Several new vertically-focused accelerators and venture funds have already taken root in the Midwest to capitalize on this nascent—but currently unsatisfied—opportunity set.