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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.

Empire State Development makes formal awards to Hot Spots/Incubators

Commissioner Kenneth AdamsMatt WatsonMike Ridley

Thirteen of our member incubators were formally awarded status as Innovation Hot Spot leaders or NYS Certified Incubators, in a ceremony conducted in Albany by New York State Commissioner of Economic Development Kenneth Adams, ESDC/NYSTAR Division Director Matt Watson, and NYSTAR Director of Business Development Mike Ridley.

Here is a full gallery of photos from the awards ceremony. We will update this post when a formal news release is available. For more background on these programs, see our prior coverage. To determine if a member incubator leads or participates in an Innovation Hot Spot or holds Certified Incubator status, you can search our member database

Congratulations to our members, and good luck to those who will be competing in the downstate round of competition for Innovation Hot Spots coming up this spring. 

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