Some 75 members and guests were in attendance at the daylong 2012 Annual Meeting of the BIA/NYS, held at the University at Buffalo’s NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. The COE is situated at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, near two of our member incubators. This year, our annual meeting was programmed to follow immediately the highly successful 2012 Venture Forum, a collaboration of SmartStart Venture Forum, UNYTECH, and Bright Buffalo Niagara.
Welcome remarks were offered by Dr. Marnie LaVigne, associate vice president for economic development at UB, and a lead organizer of the 2012 Venture Forum, along with our member the Center for Economic Growth in Albany. Featured speakers included:
- Leecia Eve, Esq., Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Economic Development;
- Steve Cohen, Deputy Commissioner for Small Business at Empire State Development Corp., who was accompanied by several winners of ESDC’s Innovate NY Seed Fund competition:
- Kelly M. Lester, Phillips Lytle, on the implications of the crowdfunding provisions of the federal JOBS Act; and
- Christopher Dunstan, John R. Oishei Foundation, on the foundation’s program-related and mission-related investments in support of R&D commercialization in Western New York.
The meeting also featured programmatic updates from our four member incubator programs in WNY:
- Pat Whalen, the BNMC Innovation Center;
- Woody Maggard, the UB Incubator Programs, including the UB Technology Incubator, the collocated NYSERDA-sponsored Directed Energy clean-energy incubator, and the about-to-open downtown incubator in the new UB/Kaleida Clinical Translational building;
- Bob Fritzinger, SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator (we were also honored to be joined by university President Dennis Hefner);
- Tom Mancuso, Mancuso Business Development Group, including Harrison Place in Lockport.
Meeting sponsors included the Research Foundation for the State University of New York; GrowthWheel, and all four of our WNY members (above).
At the conclusion of the meeting, the members elected three persons to rotating vacancies on the board of directors:
- Bob Fritzinger (SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator);
- Louis Walcer (Cornell/McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences)
- Seth Bornstein (Queens Economic Development Corporation/The Entrepreneur Space)
The members also recognized with thanks those directors who are leaving the board this year:
- Ann-Marie Scheidt, director of economic development at Stony Brook University;
- Ira Rubenstein, chairman of the Center for Economic and Environmental Partnership.
Minutes of the meeting will be distributed to the members. Presentations and related materials are attached.
UPDATE: Coverage of our meeting on the blog of the Orange County Business Accelerator, written by managing director Peter Gregory.