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Syracuse paper interviews clean-energy entrepreneur Seth Mulligan, now leader at Tech Garden and Cleantech Center

In a Sunday feature on regional leadership, the syracuse.com website of the Post-Standard newspaper included an extensive interview with Seth Mulligan, a former clean-energy entrepreneur who now leads The Tech Garden downtown incubator and NYSERDA-supported Cleantech Center incubator. Both programs form key elements of the state-designated Central New York Innovation Hot Spot consortium.

In the story, Seth speaks about the revival of entrepreneurial culture in Syracuse being sparked by these programs, and outlines the high-technology sectors where progress is being targeted. Seth currently serves on the BIA/NYS board of directors, and we warmly congratulate him on this coverage! 

Recently, syracuse.com also covered the opening the nearby new SALT Makerspace, an advanced prototyping facility in which The Tech Garden made a founding investment. SALT, which references a historically important element of Central New York business history, in this case stands for "Syracuse Arts Learning and Technology." 

 

NYU announces addition of 3 incubator sites to START-UP NY zone; posts search for new director of innovation and entrepreneurship

NYU's Polytechnic School of Engineering, which sponsors two incubators in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan, has announced that all three sites are approved as eligible under the state's START-UP NY zone program. The tax-free program is aimed at attracting somewhat larger companies that will complement the existing roster of startups at all three sites, which will eventually consolidate at 370 Jay Street at the school's main campus in downtown Brooklyn. For more information, see the university news release.

Separately, NYU has posted an announcement for a new director of innovation and entrepreneurship, to which the three incubator sites report. The new director replaces Micah Kotch who leaves the NYU Poly incubator program after five years, to join the state energy agency NYSERDA as director of the $40 milliion NY Prize in community microgrids and also the agency's strategic advisor for innovation. We wish Micah the very best and encourage all qualified applicants to apply for the position. 

Technology Farm hires new executive director

The Technology Farm, an agtech research park situated in Geneva, has hired John Johnson as its new executive director, according to local news coverage in the Finger Lakes Times and Rochester Business Journal. A financial executive and investor, John replaces Susan Noble, who announced her retirement earlier in the year. We warmly welcome John and thank Susan for her leadership. 

The 72-acre Technology Farm is based across the road from Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and is known more formally as the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park. A multitenant incubator building is the park's first building, with others at various points in the planning and financing process.

UPDATE (6/30) — more coverage and appreciation for Susan Noble in the Democrat and Chronicle.

The BNMC Innovation Center and entrepreneurial support systems: blog entry by Pat Whalen

The role of incubators in feeding and sustaining a regional entrepreneurial support system is the focus of a fascinating blog entry by Pat Whalen, the COO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus:

In 2010 we opened [our supporting member] the Thomas R. Beecher, Jr., Innovation Center as a place for start-up companies. At that time, there were two companies in the building. Today, we have over 60 companies in the building, and all but two are still managed by their founders. We also have companies that provide business support to the entrepreneurs such as: attorneys, creative services, technology and finance. While renting or leasing space to start ups is risky business, it is vital to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, providing space is really just the tip of our mission. Our mission is to help the entrepreneurs grow their enterprises and ultimately “graduate”. By doing this well, we create tenants for area real estate developers. . . . I’m so proud of this collaborative environment we have created here, and it’s working! To date, we have three successful “graduate” companies from the suites and are working to launch one more in the coming months. Three of the four companies have gone on to other commercial real estate around the city.

A serial entrepreneur who has started more than 20 companies and sold one to a Fortune 50, Pat is the champion of the Innovation Center and its co-working space d!g. He's joining our board of directors this year. For the full blog entry, go here.