Utica, NY program combines economic development, entrepreneurship

Thanks to our donors, The Community Foundation recently was able to invest $84,000 in thINCubator – a new business incubator and student accelerator designed to promote entrepreneurship driven by Mohawk Valley Community College. thINCubator is housed at 106 Genesee St., in the Bagg’s Square West district.

Modeled after other successful accelerators, thINCubator has secured support from dozens of community mentors. Mentors will work with five student teams during a 14-week program, helping students refine and pitch their business ideas. A second cohort of teams will start this summer.

“ThINCubator is the kind of program that we foresee having significant affect on our future,” said Peggy O’Shea, CEO and President of The Community Foundation. “This partnership has the potential to have great impact on our community – specifically in the areas of economic development and education where our Indicators Study shows the most need.” The Community Foundation’s grant will support thINCubator’s startup year of operation.

Among the inaugural teams are a cyber-services firm led by two MVCC students, a husband-and-wife team of SUNY IT alumni with a device that promotes medication adherence, and an MVCC student-led team with a mobile app for local buyer loyalty. These entrepreneurs will work closely with thINCubator mentors led by John Liddy, entrepreneur in residence at MVCC. . Liddy is a nationally recognized expert in using higher education as a catalyst for local economic development.

The investment is a natural fit with The Foundation’s priority areas of investment – economic development, education, health, arts and culture.