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Central NY

Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Tompkins, and Oswego counties.

Kathi Durdon named director of operations at CNY Biotech Accelerator

Kathi Durdon, a former manager of clinical operations for Welch Allyn, a major NYS-based medical device company, is now director of operations for our member the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNY BAC) at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. The overall director of CNY BAC is pathology professor Dr. Robert Corona, also the campus's vice president for innovation and business development. For more info, see coverage in

Preparing 'foodpreneurs': two stories from the test kitchen/kitchen incubator world

So-called "foodpreneurs" learn to perfect their recipe, their business plan, and their "pitch" to bankers at the test kitchen operated by our member the South Side Innovation Center, according to this excellent profile at the website. Incubator director El-Java Williams Abdul-Qadir, quoted in the story, serves on our association board of directors.

At about the same time, the website highlighted both the cost-efficiency and business mentorship available through The Entrepreneur Space, a full-scale kitchen incubator sponsored by the Queens Economic Development Corporation. Incubator manager Kathrine Gregory is quoted in the story. 

We consistently receive the highest degree of media attention for our member incubators assisting foodpreneurs. 

Brookings highlights the importance of the Tech Garden's incubation program to overall innovation & economic-development strategy of CNY region

The Tech Garden, one of our founding member incubators, was the focus of a profile published by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program under the title "With Tech Garden, Syracuse Seeds Regional Growth." 

The profile by the Washington-based nonpartisan think tank correctly identifies the most important aspect of The Tech Garden's incubation program as its tight alignment with the overall economic-development strategy for the Central New York region, and the incubator's integration with initiatives in capital formation, business retention and attraction, and entrepreneurial development. 

The Tech Garden serves its region far beyond its positive impact on the companies being incubated within its walls by providing a focal point for the region's new stress on innovation and entrepreneurship as a development strategy. This is precisely the recommended focus of a regional plan developed with Brookings by the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO), the incubator's sponsor. 

. . . reflecting its mission, Tech Garden is responsive to the region's unique challenges after decades of factory closings. As its focus on entrepreneurship has gained momentum . . . other initiatives are also underway to bolster the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Additional positive mention of The Tech Garden is made by the most recent report from the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation, which follows Syracsue among 22 other metropolitan areas, in a report entitled "Expanding Growth and Opportunity" (summary here).

The profile generously quotes Seth Mulligan, vice president for innovation services at CenterState CEO and manager of The Tech Garden's associated state-designated Innovation Hot Spot for Central New York. We congratulate Seth and all our friends at The Tech Garden and CenterState CEO for this important national recognition! 

Tech Garden 10th anniversary: recap of media coverage

Our founding member The Tech Garden, which turned an abandoned parking garage in downtown Syracuse into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship for the entire Central New York Region, recently marked its 10th anniversary with a daylong celebration.

Events included a pitch contest managed by LaunchNY; a food-truck rodeo on streets surrounding The Tech Garden; a tour of the emerging "innovation district" (tech corridor) anchored by the incubator and its recent expansion into the AXA Towers; and a gala dinner. Here is a recap of media coverage:

  • the official news release from CenterState CEO, recognizing a range of partners and sponsors;
  • a highly praising editorial appearing on the Post Standard's website recognizing that "[b]eyond creating companies and jobs, The Tech Garden has created an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports startups and accelerates growth";
  • additional event coverage at public radio stations WAER (Syracuse), WSYR, and WRVO (Oswego);
  • a Tech Garden news release on the pitch contest, and special coverage by the Southern Tier Startup Alliance of the first prize awarded to Maidbot of Ithaca. 

As we have previously noted, the presence of The Tech Garden has helped aggregate for Central New York a series of entrepreneurial resources including a state-designated Innovation Hot Spot; a NYSERDA-sponsored clean-energy incubator (the Cleantech Center); a university technology commercialization fund financed by the NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund; a pre-seed investment competition (the Germinator); an a state-funded business accelerator (GENIUS NY) focusing on data analytics. 


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