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Entrepreneurship in Western and Central New York

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Update (Q1 2013):


IdeaCrossing® is a free online resource that connects entrepreneurs with the resources necessary to turn innovative ideas into thriving companies, and established businesses into growing ones. IdeaCrossing is available to anyone committed to supporting and promoting entrepreneurship by creating connections that build businesses.
 
Whether an entrepreneur's goal is to start or grow their business, the resources available to them are critical to their success. By connecting entrepreneurs with these vital resources, as well as providing private online collaborative environments for their engagement, IdeaCrossing can help facilitate connections between entrepreneurs, investors, business mentors, and service providers. 
 
IdeaCrossing benefits each user type in different ways:
• Entrepreneurs can collaborate online with business advisors, and gain access to capital, mentors, and resources to help their business grow
• Investors can find deal flow specific to their interests and privately and securely browse opportunities
• Business Mentors can volunteer to advise privately matched entrepreneurs and publish their work to showcase their expertise
• Service Providers can promote their business through a listing in a public, searchable directory and track their listing's performance

Update (Fall 2011):

The Upstate New York Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan outlines the rationale and structure for providing regional entrepreneurs with expert assistance and investment capital, accelerating the growth of high potential startup businesses and existing companies. Over the last year, with the assistance of Upstate New York stakeholders, JumpStart performed primary and secondary research, and prepared this REAP.

JumpStart New York REAP

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Supporting Business Development and Job Growth Across the Region

Western and Central New York's Region Entrepreneurship Action Plan (REAP) is a research and planning initiative to significantly bolster innovation, small business development and regional collaboration. REAP is the result of a partnership between the ECIDA and JumpStart, Inc., a highly-successful, Cleveland-based public/private venture group, for the development of a business plan, or Action Plans, to guide the region in increasing and bolstering venture and seed funding for entrepreneurship. The overall goal is to assist in the commercialization of new business ideas in the 19-county Upstate New York area by developing a long-term funded business strategy.

REAP is modeled after Cleveland-based JumpStart, Inc., which was established in 2004 and has provided 84,000 hours of free technical advice to high-tech start-ups and raised $17 million to invest in 40 of those firms. JumpStart clients have gone on to raise $300 million in capital and create more than 800 jobs.

The project is being funded through a $445,000 U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant, being matched by over $225,000 by the Oishei Foundation, National Grid, ECIDA, Greater Rochester Enterprise, High Tech Rochester, and Excell Partners.
The counties participating in the REAP project are Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Allegany, Monroe, Livingstone, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Cayuga, Oswego, Onondaga, Courtland, and Madison.

The Process

The process will begin with detailed research into the existing entrepreneurial support systems, clusters, businesses, and general economy currently in the region. Based on the successful experience with JumpStart, Action Plans will be developed tailored to the assets, existing strengths, and needs of the region. Once the Action Plans are approved, staffing and performance metrics required to monitor the successful implementation will be established.

Based on JumpStart's successful development of new investment and funding sources, REAP will attempt to increase the available pool of seed and early stage funding available for commercializing new business ideas across Western and Central New York.

Timeframe

The development of the Action Plans, infrastructure, and initial work on increasing funding sources is expected to take 18-24 months. Support for individual businesses is anticipated beginning in 2012.

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95 Perry Street, Suite 403, Buffalo, NY 14203 | Phone: 716-856-6525 | Fax: 716-856-6754