As the Capital Region’s “Tech Valley” continues to grow, the number of startup businesses spinning off of the area’s technological, scientific and educational bases is expected to accelerate, as well, according to the Center for Economic Growth in Albany.
To help steer those emerging and startup entrepreneurs toward success, the non-profit, business-backed center has launched a support system for them. The formation of Accelerate518 was announced Wednesday.
Accelerate518 will provide funding, operating locations and business guidance to young companies in the 518 area code, said Peter Pritchard, manager of technology matching for the center.
“We are growing the tech base by a significant amount. Coupled with excellent schools and research facilities, there will be a certain percentage of people who will fall out and want to try their own thing,” Pritchard said.
Mel Chudzik, dean emeritus at Union Graduate College and a teacher in the college’s MBA program, said Accelerate518 will “help enhance incubators operating in the area and put entrepreneurs in an environment where they can develop. That is the whole idea of an incubator: train them, support them and fund them.”
Accelerate518 brings together existing business incubator programs, which offer low-cost operating space for startups; business experts who can provide guidance to emerging businesses; and financial resources through two venture capital funds.
Participating in Accelerate518 are:
• Emerging Ventures Ecosystem at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
• Incubator for New Ventures in Emerging Sciences and Technologies at Russell Sage College
• Innogen Business Accelerator, which is affiliated with Union Graduate College
• Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
• Linc — The Lighting Cultivator
• Rensselaer Technology Park
• Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
• School of Management at Union Graduate College
• Small Enterprise Economic Development Program at the University at Albany’s School of Business and School of Social Welfare.
• Small Business Development Center at UAlbany’s School of Business
• Watervliet Innovation Center at the Center for Economic Growth.
The two venture funds are Eastern New York Angels and IdeaSpec Venture Fund.
Accelerate518 will play host to a workshop for entrepreneurs Oct. 13.
The workshop includes sessions on the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer funds. The federally funded programs help startup companies with marketable technologies invest in research and development.
The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at Citizens Bank, 833 Broadway, Albany. Cost is $15, which includes a continental breakfast. Students are admitted free. Visit the center’s website at www.ceg.org/events/ to register.
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