Mohawk Valley

Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery and Oneida counties.

BIA/NYS convenes 2016 annual meeting in Utica, announces new executive director

Our 2016 annual meeting, held this year at thINCubator in Utica, attracted more than 90 attendees from around the state. At the meeting, we announced a management transition. Marc Alessi, an attorney, entrepreneur, and former state Assemblyman, will take over from David Hochman as the next executive director of the BIA/NYS. A biography of Marc is attached. 

For the second year in a row, we marketed our meetings in partnership with the Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY), which held one of its regional meetings the night before, also in thINCubator. The day before, our sponsor NYSERDA also held a meeting of its clean-energy incubation contractors together with partners at Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (formerly known as NYSTAR). 

Our featured lunch speaker was Dr. Danielle Merfeld, vice president and director for electronic technology systems at GE Global Research. She spoke about opportunities for entrepreneurial startups statewide that may be opened up by GE's $2 billion investment in a power-electronics packaging line in Utica. Her presentation is attached.

Welcome remarks were given by Dr. Randall VanWagoner, president of Mohawk Valley Community College, which sponsors thINCubator, the regional Innovation Hot Spot, and the regional Manufacturing Extension Partnership node. We thank President VanWagoner for joining us for so much of the morning session. We were also greeted by a staff member for Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, who represents thINCubator's district. 

The meeting featured a programmatic update from thINCubator, represented by Frank DuRoss, head of institutional advancement and the college foundation at MVCC, and at Griffiss Institute (a NYS Certified Business Incubator) represented by Bill Wolf. Presentations are attached.

Following these presentations, outgoing executive director David Hochman moderated a panel discussion with Martin Babinec, founder of Upstate Venture Connect, and Alicia Dicks, the CEO of the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. The topic was ways in which private wealth can be mobilized in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors to support innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship, as exemplified by certain initiatives under way in the Mohawk Valley. (No presentation available.)

Next Bill Wolf moderated a panel featuring Brian Abbe, the head of the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL RI) at Griffiss Business and Technology Park and Evan DeGennaro of NYSTEC, a non-profit IT consultancy that assists in bringing applications of AFRL intellectual property to bear in the public sector. NYSTEC also sponsors our member IgniteU NY in Troy. 

We heard updates from our state partners: Nikita Hardy, representing Matt Watson of Empire State Develpment/STI; and Steven A. Taylor, representing Senator Martin Golden of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship. 

At the business meeting, the membership of BIA/NYS confirmed the following additional members:

  • Queens College Tech Center Incubator
  • CUNY Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • The Knotel
  • KiiLN
  • STEAM Garden
  • Hofstra Center for Entrepreneurship
  • IgniteU NY
  • i518 Innovation Hot Spot
  • Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)
  • LaunchPad Long Island

The membership also confirmed to full terms three directors who had been serving short terms to fill vacancies:

  • Mike Riedlinger (representing High Tech Rochester's incubator programs)
  • Tom Schryver (representing Rev: Ithaca and the Southern Tier Startup Alliance)
  • Esther Vargas (represeting RPI's Emerging Ventures Ecosystem and Tech Park). Esther has also just won election to the board of the International Business Innovation Association (iNBIA), formerly the National Business Incubation Association. We warmly congratulate her! 

We thank our sponsors NYSERDA; the Research Foundation for SUNY; Marshall & Sterling Insurance; the New York State Economic Development Council; Bond, Schoeneck & King; thINCubator; Griffiss Institute; and UVANY! 

Two startups win $50k at AFRL Commercialization Academy demo day

Two startups commercializing technology from the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) won $25,000 apiece at the latest demo day of the Commercialization Academy held by the Griffiss Institute and Wasabi Ventures:

  • Xompass FaaS, a service platform providing intelligence to the energy industry, won the judges' vote; and
  • OneTouchTrust, which combats identity theft, won the audience vote. 

Principals of AFRL/RI, Griffiss Institute, and Wasabi Ventures, which collaborate on the Commercialization Academy are all on the agenda at our annual meeting, scheduled to speak broadly about ways incubator-based startups across the state can leverage the AFRL/RI in Rome and the defense-industry supply chain.

For more background on the winners, please see the Griffiss Institute news release

BIA/NYS sets Friday, June 10th, for annual meeting in Utica #bianys2016

The Business Incubator Association of New York State, Inc., announces that our 2016 annual meeting will be held on Friday, June 10th, in Utica. This is the first time our annual meeting has been held in the Mohawk Valley economic region.

Our meeting is the singular statewide event where practitioners of innovation & entrepreneurship meet to talk about incubation and related activities, along with critical partners from the government, university, and private sectors.

We are co-hosted this year by our two incubator programs in the Mohawk Valley: thINCubator in Utica, sponsored by Mohawk Valley Community College, and the Griffiss Institute incubator program at the Griffiss Business & Technology Park in Rome, site of the reinvented Air Force base.

Come join us to learn about

  • What's happening in incubation across the Mohawk Valley — certified incubators, the regional Innovation Hot Spot, and START-UP NY zones;
  • Models being deployed by the community foundation and successful entrepreneurs to support entrepreneurial development and startup formation;
  • How startups statewide can work with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Griffiss to develop strategic customers in the Air Force and its prime-contractor supply chain;
  • The latest updates from our partners at Empire State Development and the state Senate. 

We are pleased to announce that our lunch speaker will be Dr. Danielle Merfeld, a vice president of GE and group director for electronic technology systems at the GE Global Research unit based in Schenectady. Dr. Merfeld is the GE R&D executive working most closely with the new $2 billion power-electronics-packaging line the company is installing in Utica at the Marcy Nanocenter. Dr. Merfeld will speak about opportunities for startup entrepeneurs statewide to serve the innovation needs of GE in this segment, including by hardware or software innovation that opens up new end-use markets for GE. 

About half the day is open to the public, with a short business meeting for members only in the afternoon, followed by tours for all of our member incubators. Draft agenda attached below.

We would like to thank our meeting sponsors NYSERDA, the Research Foundation for SUNY, the New York State Economic Develpment Council, Marshall and Sterling Insurance, and Bond, Schoeneck & King, our local members, and UVANY. 

The eventbrite form shows the basic fee for attendance, including continental breakfast and a light lunch. Significant discounts are available to BIA/NYS members (ask for the code) and attendees of day-before UVANY event and to NYSERDA contractors.

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