Incubator looks to ‘ignite’ local startups

By Nathan Stone

National Grid’s Katie Newcombe addresses IgniteU NY’s participants at their Startup Showcase 2017

According to Forbes magazine, 9 out of 10 startups will fail within their first few years.  The number one and two reasons?  No market for their product or service, and a cash flow problem. Number one lesson learned?  They all wish they’d had mentorship.

At National Grid, we know that helping to foster economic growth is vital to the neighborhoods where we work and live. Part of our commitment to the future of the businesses and communities of upstate New York, our tech incubator program provides funding to support entrepreneurial ventures by connecting new companies to key resources, addressing their critical problems, and helping them to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

That is why we partnered with NYSTEC, a not-for-profit technology consulting company, as their IgniteU NY summer accelerator program for 2017 conducted its immersive, eight-week small business incubator workshop.  The event, held in Troy, NY, identifies “startups who have proof-of-concept and a validated business model that describes their customer segment and value proposition” and gives them a platform from which to grow their ideas.

Our grant award of $44,000 provided additional funding toward IgniteU’s startup workshops as well as the eight-week summer accelerator program.  “Funding support from National Grid helps provide critical new resources required to identify, nurture, and attract startups,” said Laurie Poltynski, National Grid regional executive.  “National Grid’s own incubator program helps create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is vital for economic growth, and we are proud to partner with NYSTEC to help them realize this vision and further expand assistance to startups in the Capital Region.”

Since 2003, we have invested more than $93 million through our economic development grant programs – helping to create or retain nearly 50,000 jobs and leverage more than $9 billion in other private and public investment across upstate New York.

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