Mohawk Valley SBDC Move To thINCubator In Utica Is Part Of MVCC Pledge

By Eric Reinhardt

Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) President Randall VanWagoner in August 2018 signed a pledge to increase MVCC’s focus on en-trepreneurship.

Fast forward six months, on Feb. 15, VanWagoner was among the officials who helped cut the ribbon as the Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) moved its operations to the thINCubator at 326 Broad St. in Utica. The thINCubator, a business-development incubator, is an MVCC program.

The Mohawk Valley SBDC previously operated at the Marcy campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). It contends its new location will bring it “even closer to community members being served by the organization.”

‘This move is another step toward fulfillment of the entrepreneurship pledge made by MVCC in August 2018 to increase the college’s focus on entrepreneurship. We are thrilled to have the Mohawk Valley SBDC join with us in our entrepreneur-ship initiatives to foster economic growth in our community,” VanWagoner said a news release.

The Mohawk Valley SBDC is one of 22 regional centers throughout New York State that make up the NY SBDC network. The State University of New York administers the SBDC, while the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State of New York, and host campuses fund the centers, per the New York SBDC website.

‘We are excited to work collaboratively with the New York State SBDC and MVCC to enable the Mohawk Valley SBDC to more efficiently achieve its important mission and provide community members with even greater access to its business services,” Grace Wang, interim president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, said in the release. ‘We are thrilled to continue our strong partnership with MVCC as we find the best ways to serve the needs of the Mohawk Valley, and we look forward to the Mohawk Valley SBDC’s continued success.”

About the pledge

VanWagoner had signed the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) “Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge” during SUNY Chancellor Krishna Johnson’s visit to MVCC’s Utica campus and the thINCubator.

The “Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge” stemmed from former President Barack Obama’s Startup America “call-to-action to stimulate economic growth state-by-state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses,” MVCC said in an Aug. 8, 2018 news release.

NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America partnership, an alliance of the country’s entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.

Community college presidents who take the pledge commit to developing “transparency” of community college and community assets; creating internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneur-ship; increasing entrepreneurs’ “engagement” in community colleges; a focus on industry-cluster development; and creating “broad exposure to their college’s commitment” to entrepreneurship, per the release.

About the Mohawk Valley SBDC

The Mohawk Valley SBDC was established in 1986 to provide small-business owners and entrepreneurs in Oneida, Madison, Herkimer, and Lewis Counties with confidential business counseling, training, and business research “at no cost.”

As one of 22 regional centers around the state, the Mohawk Valley SBDC says it has worked directly with 13,549 businesses, helping them to invest more than $255 million in the area’s economy. It contends it has helped create or save 7,620 jobs to-date

The Mohawk Valley SBDC has three business advisors and a government-contracting coordinator.

“I have seen first-hand MVCC’s and SUNY Poly’s dedication to entrepreneur-ship, and when I was approached earlier this year with this plan, it soon became evident that this would be a win-win for the community and SBDC,” Brian Goldstein, SBDC state director, said in the release.

This article provided by NewsEdge.