Innovate518 Coworking day!

UAlbany-led innovation initiative sponsors free access to spaces on August 9


ALBANY, N.Y. (August 8, 2017) – For entrepreneurs, finding an affordable space to bring your business to life isn’t always as simple as setting up in the garage. As social media has ushered in a new level of connectivity, like-minded individuals have joined in by setting up “coworking spaces” – collaborative work environments that provide spaces for people to share equipment, knowledge and ideas.


On Wednesday, August 9, individuals and businesses are coming together to celebrate these spaces that provide a new generation of professionals with the tools to succeed on their own terms.


Here in New York, Innovate 518 is helping to showcase coworking spaces that can be found throughout the Capital Region. The collaboration is led by the University at Albany, with support from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Center for Economic Growth.


Spaces in Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga will be opening their doors for free on Wednesday, providing an opportunity for professionals to see the benefits of setting up shop in a coworking environment.


“Innovate 518 Coworking Day is a chance for entrepreneurs to share best practices, network and learn in spaces that are designed to foster collaboration,” said Matt Grattan, Director of Community and Economic Development at UAlbany.


Innovate 518 members will be available for interviews from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday at Saratoga CoWorks, 153 Regent St., Saratoga Springs N.Y. Contact Matt Grattan, at (518) 603-1417 for more information.


"Innovate 518 has done a wonderful job bringing together a community of academic and for-profit organizations that have a common goal of supporting our local entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Jeff Goronkin, CEO of the Electric City Innovation Center. “Flexible office space is a critical necessity in many early stage start-ups as well as access to mentorship, talent and financing.  Connecting with Innovate 518 is one of the best actions an entrepreneur can make."


“Entrepreneurs and business professionals are working differently in the Capital Region and we want more people to come experience it. Troy Innovation Garage is a coworking space where people can collaborate, challenge each other, and be inspired to work better than they ever have before,” said Michelle Schroll, Community Manager of Troy Innovation Garage. “We're a creative community dedicated to each other’s success.”


“The BizLab is happy to be a part of Innovate518 Coworking Day. There’s a reason incubators, accelerators and coworkings spaces are popping up throughout the Tech Valley region: People do their best work in a thriving, energetic environment. Entrepreneurs want to be around other budding business leaders to bounce ideas off of or collaborate,” said said Rick D’Errico, managing director of the New York BizLab in Schenectady. “The simple fact is we need each other to grow as individuals and companies.”


The coworking spaces include:



418 Broadway, Albany N.Y.

Free coworking from10 a.m - 4 p.m. Contact:

Saratoga CoWorks

153 Regent Street, Saratoga Springs NY



Electric City Innovation Center

433 State Street, 4th Floor, Schenectady NY
The ECIC will be holding a networking event in the morning with an introduction to coworking, and free coworking all day for those who register.  Contact


New York BizLab

251 State Street, Schenectady NY

The NYBizLab will make its Magna5 conference room available for free from 9 - 5 p.m. on August 9.



Troy Innovation Garage

24 4th Street, Troy NY

Open house from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Troy Innovation Garage, no registration required.




The Tech Valley Center of Gravity

30 3rd Street, Troy NY

Free coworking from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday. This includes access to open work space, free WIFI and the use of the TVCG's community kitchen. Make your reservations. Contact


IgniteU NY

333 Broadway, Suite 350, Troy NY

For those registered with the TVCG, come check out IgniteU's space and experience the Quackenbush Building as one big coworking environment. Contact


Innovate 518: Collaborating to help startups thrive in the Capital Region


Starting a business is never easy, but access to the right tools can make a world of difference. Innovate 518 is a collaborative effort of incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurial service providers from New York's Capital Region including Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties, working together to turn the region into a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. Partners share best practices, networking, mentoring, educational, and financial resources to better assist startup companies.


Innovate 518 is designated as the Capital Region Innovation Hot Spot, a NYSTAR program enabling program funding and a unique set of tax incentives for companies in their earliest stages. Innovate 518 is a partnership between the University at AlbanyRPI and the Center for Economic Growth.


Elevator Pitch Workshop Highlights 2017

Innovate 518 recently held an Elevator Pitch 101 workshop here at the University at Albany. Our Entrepenuer in house - Robert Manasier presented some great material for the companies  and businesses in attendance! 

Pictured above: Treebu 

Pictured above: Treebu 


The opening exercise was how to describe your business in 25 words or less!


Questions to ask yourself: What need does your business satisfy and in what market?

Q: How does your business satisfy the need? Think about your mission statement/ vision - what objectives are described?

Q: Who is your competition? What makes your company different? Go over your business model! This can help you outline its position.



Pictured above: U-Topia one of the Four Core startups working within IgniteU 

Pictured above: U-Topia one of the Four Core startups working within IgniteU 

The seminar ended with each group pitching their startup ideas to the room. This exercise helped the groups develop their pitch in a quick and efficient way. The key is to have a target market and a pure purpose as to how and why someone should invest in your company. 

The seminar ended with each group pitching their startup ideas to the room. This exercise helped the groups develop their pitch in a quick and efficient way. The key is to have a target market and a pure purpose as to how and why someone should invest in your company. 

Supporting Student Entrepreneurs

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 24, 2017) -- UAlbany’s Blackstone Launchpad entrepreneurship program hosted its second annual business plan competition on Friday, April 21.

Dozens of undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of angel investors, venture capitalists and representatives from local incubators including Innovate 518 and IgniteU NY.

$16,000 in total was up for grabs, including a $1,000 bonus award from Erie Insurance Group. Six teams advanced to the final round. The top three winners included:

  • The MASH Card - Tiran Koren, Ben Rafael and team ($5,000)
  • CRD Energy Drink - Omar Bailey and Joshua Perdumo ($2,500)
  • Family Operating Base - Raquel Moriarty Derrick ($1,000)

“This was a fantastic opportunity,” said Omar Bailey, UAlbany senior and founder of CRD Energy Drink. “Coming into the competition, most of us did not have much experience with pitching to real investors. I am thankful that the University and Blackstone is invested in us and our ideas.”

In late March, the University also hosted the New York State Cybersecurity Innovation competition. It was open to both students and professionals in the state. UAlbany student Ryan Foster won the grand prize of $3,000 for his digital forensics/e-discovery firm, Illuminate ESI - N.Y. Foster was also a runner-up in Blackstone's competition.

Blackstone Launchpad at UAlbany:

In October 2015, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced the expansion of its Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship program to five New York State universities, including UAlbany.

Through the program, UAlbany students are given access to individualized coaching as well as seminars and training sessions related to building their own business. Interested students can write business plans, complete financial analyses, and design marketing campaigns, while also being teamed up with external mentors and business incubators.

To learn more about the program, visit its official website. You can also contact executive director, Jan Woodcock, directly by email, or visit its location in the University’s Campus Center (adjacent to the Student Association offices).

Linking startup companies with outside funding sources

Entrepreneurs are full of great ideas and powerful ways to implement them, but for many startups looking for possible funding sources can seem impossible and is hard to sort through the many options available to determine which are most effective and timely.

Innovate 518 is holding a Startup Funding Panel Discussion on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 at the University at Albany. It will give startups the opportunity to network with venture capitalists, angel investors, commercial lenders, and serial entrepreneurs and will provide a very interactive discussion about all things funding. 

Visit the events page on how to register and for more information on the event!