The Erie Regional Chamber provides three avenues for entrepreneurship to thrive in Erie: the FIRE Accelerator, ICE Angel Education program, and the ICE Angel Fund. Each component strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem by attracting businesses, educating potential angel investors, and providing a mechanism to deploy investments to local entrepreneurs.

Fire Accelerator

The FIRE Accelerator is the flagship entrepreneurship program for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership (ERCGP). The program came under the umbrella of the chamber in 2020 to be the catalyst for the organization's growing role in developing the regional ecosystem to drive innovation within legacy industries and attract leading startups and creative companies to establish or grow their roots on the shores of Lake Erie.

FIRE Accelerator is integral to business retention and expansion -- a primary economic development driver. By operating within the chamber, cohort participants have access to over 700 business and community leaders and mentors as well as over 40 economic development agencies operating at the state and local levels.

"The Fire Accelerator has provided us with the funding that is allowing us to hit our development goals for the year. Besides the funding, they have been really helpful in making business connections and mentoring so that we can grow and be successful."

Edwin Williams


ICE education Program

In partnership with the Angel Capital Association, the Erie Regional Chamber launched and completed the first cohort of the ICE Angel Education program less than a year after receiving a federal grant to continue building Erie’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Twenty-six program participants received seven weeks training on the basics of angel investing. Courses were taught by world class instructors with decades of experience leading some of the highest performing angel funds in the United States.

ICE Angel fund

In partnership with the Appalachian Investors Alliance, the Erie Regional Chamber is leading a group of community and business leaders through the process of starting Erie’s first angel fund – ICE Angel Fund. The goal of the fund is to support and attract entrepreneurs to the Erie region as a bookend to its accelerator program and other regional investment opportunities.


A thriving regional economy creates direct and indirect economic impact across the board. The Erie Regional Chamber’s entrepreneurship programs bring new technology and talent to Erie while supporting new business growth. Additionally, programs like ICE Education impacts how business owners think about strategic investments professionally and personally. It drives innovation in established industries by spurring new verticals. ICE Angel Fund will be an avenue for individuals to make strategic investments to build personal wealth with social and economic impact. The fund will provide capital to local entrepreneurs and businesses.

“ICE is creating a culture of investment within the Erie entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing world class, unbiased and timely information to help increase the number of smart investors and surface real opportunities to make a positive economic impact.”

Brian Slawin

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

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