With the fall semester approaching us, we are welcoming fresh, new faces and entrepreneur hopefuls on the University at Albany campus. This year, Innovate 518 partnered with the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) of UAlbany to take a group of perspective students interested in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation on a tour of the Capital Region to visit our partners. The EOP program is a 5-week program for college bound, undeserved youth preparing them for the college experience. This years group mostly hails from New York City, Long Island, and Mount Vernon.
Over the course of three weeks, Innovate 518 will take the students to Schenectady, Troy and Downtown Albany. Week one we visited Urban Co-Works and SEAT of Schenectady. Students sat and spoke to Jeff Goronkin (pictures below) , owner of Urban Co-Works and Weekly Buzz Solutions Marketing Firm. He shared with students how his past failures and obstacles helped him get to where his is now, the importance of proper branding, and how you can network using co-working spaces like his.
"Everybody was engaged and interested in entrepreneurship... I hope some students [from] here today will move forward, some of them are going to take it to the next level -- whether it's [with] their original ideas or another idea...they're motivated", says Jeff after sitting down with the group. Some of their ideas included redesigned hairbrushes, real estate and a french fry based restaurant.
The next stop was the Social Enterprise and Training Center (SEAT) where the group spoke to owner and community advocate Jennifer Lawrence about commercialization and her role in workforce development for the youth of Schenectady.
The following week Innovate 518 and the students visited the Troy Innovation Garage and the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy, NY. The students sat down with Holly Cargill-Cramer at the Center of Gravity and also got an exclusive tour of the new Prototyping Center that opened this past Spring. They also got the chance to speak to some of the innovators at work on what they were working on.
Special thank you to our Innovate 518 partners for having us and the University at Albany for allowing us to share our opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators!