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Hopes expressed as Tech Incubator breaks ground
Monday, October 20, 2008

Groundbreaking for SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator 
From left to right are: State Assemblyman William Parment (NYS 150th District); SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner; State Senator Catharine Young (NYS 57th district); Chautauqua County Executive Gregory Edwards; SUNY Fredonia Student Association President Nicholas Dhimitri; and Dennis Dolph, Vice President of Operations with Perry Construction Group.

FREDONIA, N.Y. — Oct. 20, 2008 — SUNY Fredonia President Dennis L. Hefner was joined today by numerous federal, state and regional officials, who together kicked off the construction phase of the new SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, a significant economic development effort occurring within Northern Chautauqua County.

The incubator, a partnership with the City of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County, will offer a variety of resources to up to 30 start-up companies with a technology focus and a commitment to Western New York. The project is already operating within a temporary facility, but the completion date for this 21,000-square-foot, two-story permanent structure is targeted for the fall of 2009.

“This is such a tremendous opportunity, not just for SUNY Fredonia, but for Chautauqua County and all of Western New York,” President Hefner said. “In a time when we’re surrounded by negative news about the economy, it’s so encouraging to be a part of a project like this that could potentially have such a positive and significant impact on our region.”

Located at 214 Central Ave. in downtown Dunkirk, the incubator will be a true extension of the main SUNY Fredonia campus in Fredonia. It will offer tenants access to a wide range of support, including business planning, infrastructure, marketing, finance, accounting and legal consulting, and other shared services.

Joining President Hefner at the groundbreaking ceremony were Congressman Brian Higgins (U.S. 27th district), State Senator Cathy Young (NYS 57th district), State Assemblymen William Parment and Joseph Giglio (NYS 150th and 149th districts, respectively), Daniel Doktori, Director of Higher Education representing Governor Paterson’s Office, Chautauqua County Executive Gregory Edwards, City of Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey, and various other regional elected and government officials, SUNY Fredonia administration and project affiliates.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for heightened economic development within our region,” President Hefner continued, “and we are absolutely delighted to play such a pivotal role in this influential project.”

A recent study by Inc. magazine showed that only 20 percent of start-up companies survived their first five years in existence. However, when affiliated with a university incubator, that survival rate vaults to 87 percent.

“Whenever you have the ability to literally turn a ratio like that on its head,” President Hefner added, “you have an extremely effective tool that can make a tremendous impact within the community.”

There will also be opportunities for the SUNY Fredonia community to contribute to the incubator’s tenants, ranging from faculty-sponsored research and collaboration to student internships and possibly even full-time employment opportunities. No alumni status is needed for tenant consideration.

“This is a day that we have all been looking forward to for several years,” President Hefner concluded, “and it’s wonderful to see this vision becoming a reality.”

For more information about the technology incubator project, visit

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