Capital Region

Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties.

Our board member Esther Vargas of RPI also elected to InBIA board

Esther Vargas, director of RPI's Emerging Ventures Ecosystem and a new member of our own association board of directors, has also just been elected to the board of directors of the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA, formerly the National Business Incubation Association). For more, please read the InBIA news release.

This is the first time ever we have had a director in common between the national and state associations, and the first NYS-based director of InBIA in many years. Our warmest congratulations to Esther! 

Innovate 518, Innovation Hot Spot for the Capital Region, joins BIA/NYS

Innovate 518, the state-designated Innovation Hot Spot for the Capital Region, has joined BIA/NYS as our newest member. Headquartered at SUNY's University at Albany, Innovate 518 is also a partnership with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Center for Economic Growth (CEG). 

The Innovation Hot Spot in each of the state's 10 economic regions receives an operating grant to coordinate incubation activities across multiple facilities. The Innovation Hot Spot may nominate startups at any of its partner incubators for five years of tax credits. We are in the process of preparing a table mapping the state's designated programs to our membership. Our website will be updated when it is available.

Innovate 518 is run by Maria Pidgeon, associate director for the Hot Spot at UAlbany's new economic-development office in the Division of Research. Matt Grattan, recently hired as the office's director, coordinates UAlbany's participation in the state's START-UP NY tax-free zone. Esther Vargas of RPI's Emerging Ventures Ecosystem, a BIA/NYS director, also sits on the steering committee for Innovate 518. We warmly welcome Innovate 518 to membership! 

IgniteU NY, a student accelerator sponsored by NYSTEC, joins BIA/NYS

IgniteU NY, an accelerator program serving college students in the Capital Region, is about to move into new, year-round space on Broadway in downtown Troy and has joined BIA/NYS as our newest member.

The accelerator is an internally financed economic-development project of NYSTEC, a nonprofit IT consultancy serving government agencies and institutions statewide. NYSTEC is headquartered in Rome but maintains offices in Albany and New York City. The accelerator is part of its program to "give back" to the communities where it operates.

The target of IgniteU NY is mainly students and recent graduates across upstate whose colleges are not large enough to have formal incubator facilities or accelerator programs. It puts student teams through a curriculum overseen by an entrepreneur in residence and multiple mentors. At present it neither charges nor takes equity. Of last year's cohort, one food startup was graduated to the FoodX venture accelerator in New York City. 

The program is directed by Evan DeGennaro and Rick Neff of NYSTEC. We warmly welcome IgniteU NY to membership! 



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