SUNY program aims to boost entrepreneurship in region

May 9, 2013

The SUNY Research Foundation will give funds to several of its institutions to help foster entrepreneurship, including the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and Upstate Medical University.

SUNY vice chancellor for research Tim Killeen says the Entrepreneurship-In-Residence program will place experienced private-sector entrepreneurs on SUNY campuses to develop businesses based on research being undertaken there.

“Often researchers in university settings don’t have the skill sets to know what to do to build a small company, and get the start-up, and write the business plan, but people who have done that before can provide a lot of mentoring and experience that can really help shape those activities and make easier to build and build-up these start-up companies,” said Killeen.

The University at Buffalo (UB) will serve as the implementation hub in Western New York, sending entrepreneurs to the Buffalo State, Geneseo, Fredonia and Brockport campuses.

UB’s project manager Jeff Dunbar says the program aims to build the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

“If you’re in Boston where they already have a vibrant entrepreneurial, venture capital community the pieces come together a lot more easily. Then here, where we're still developing that entrepreneurial ecosystem, where you can have entrepreneurs supporting startup companies, and angels, and seed funds, and venture funds to take it trough the various phases of development,” said Dunbar.

Dunbar said some of the research-based business opportunities they’re working on include a lipid nanoparticle that could essentially slow the process of medication tolerance in patients, and they continue to develop various technologies within solar panels.

Each of the colleges will match the $25,000 in funding from the SUNY Research Foundation.

Other recipients of the award include the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Stony Brook University, University at Albany, Hudson Valley Community College and Cobleskill.

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The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between six upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.

Disclaimer: SUNY Research Foundation is an underwriter of the Innovation Trail reporting project.