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Going Online to Boost Lift-Off

Innovation 518's mission summary.

Albany, N.Y. (April 20, 2017) — Innovate 518, the Capital Region’s “Innovation Hot Spot,” is now online at www.innovate518.com.

Innovate 518 aims to help small technology-based Capital Region businesses with solid growth potential get off the ground. The program does so by providing access to incubators and other entrepreneurial service providers that offer mentorship, business services and strategies for obtaining new capital.

It is a collaborative effort managed through the University in partnership with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) and RPI. Funding is provided by Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).

Innovate 518’s website will provide a virtual platform for Capital Region entrepreneurs and others across New York State to easily access all of the program’s resources. This includes information on facilities, funding, experts in the industry and possible tax incentives.

“This website is our first big step to garner the attention of entrepreneurs in New York through a digital platform,” said Matt Grattan, UAlbany’s director of community and economic development. “By creating an easier way to access our resources, we will be able to nurture New York’s startup ecosystem, help support our affiliated partners, and attract external funding.”

“CEG has a long history of partnering with our regions entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Michael Lobsinger, center director for Business Growth Solutions at CEG. “Our goal is to work with the Innovate 518 partners to ensure start-ups get on the right track as quickly as possible.

Also on the Innovate 518’s website is an online tutorial called “Corporation in a Box” for early-stage technology start-ups. Developed by Albany Law School, the tutorial provides an interactive experience to ensure that businesses are leveraging the law school’s legal education services. The availability of the online tool was made possible through Albany Law’s affiliation with UAlbany.

In addition to the website, Innovate 518 plans to add a social media presence through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. This will be an additional way for the program to communicate with businesses and provide resources/expertise.

“Now that most people are connected to the digital world, it is imperative for us to take the steps necessary to maximize our audience and foster free-flowing communication,” Grattan said. “By leveraging the web, we are taking another step closer to reaching out mission of helping the Capital Region ecosystem.”

Innovate 518 will be promoting a variety of upcoming networking events and workshops for the region’s entrepreneurs and startups. This list of events will be available through Innovate 518’s website. Included, on Thursday, May 4, is a panel discussion at UAlbany that will bring representatives from different organizations to highlight some of the funding available to local businesses. This is a great opportunity for startups to connect with each other and influential business people in the region.

“The Capital Region is rich in spaces, programs, and resources for entrepreneurs,” said Esther Vargas, director of Emerging Ventures Ecosystem at RPI. “These can often be confusing to navigate by newcomers and entrepreneurs in the region. We are delighted that the Innovate 518 website will be the official go-to site to learn about the resources available within the Capital Region’s innovation ecosystem.”

Innovate 518 is always looking for mentors, affiliated partners and new businesses to join the program. To see how you can get involved, contact innovate518@gmail.com or (518) 956-8216.

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