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Seven entrepreneurs featured at Tech Incubator's open house
Monday, April 15, 2013

The SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator hosted its first annual open house on Tuesday, April 9. Seven of its current entrepreneurs gathered in the facility’s main conference room to present and discuss their businesses, including accomplishments and future plans, with attendees.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kevin Kearns spoke briefly before handing off to Incubator Director Robert Fritzinger, who discussed the incubator’s dedication to economic development in the area and the tremendous amount of opportunity for students and entrepreneurs.

Many of the tenants discussed early success such as the Center for Sports Skills Measurement and Improvement, which currently has 23 testing centers across the country, with nine more on the way, in addition to the 25 summer tournaments it will have a present at which will expose the center to over 25,000 athletes.

The certified small, woman-owned firm iKoss Consulting has hired eight employees to date, with plans to hire 15 more over the next several months. The company specializes in human resource-related projects for Fortune 1000 companies within the food service, hospitality and retail sectors.

The incubator’s first graduate, Textivia, was represented by co-owner Dave Christopher, who shared his company’s future plans to steadily grow and hire within the area. Textivia graduated and moved into Dunkirk office space in October of 2012 and has since hired five employees to serve its more than 100 clients.

Other incubator businesses that showed off their accomplishments last week included AVtick, Silicon Wolves Computing Society, STASH Sporting Goods and V3 Studios.

In addition to community members, Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce and several members from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, including Director Bill Daly, were in attendance. From the campus side, attendees included President Virginia Horvath, faculty from the School of Business, Department of Mathematical Sciences, and Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and staff representing the offices of Admissions and Career Development as well as the divisions of Academic Affairs and University Advancement. Students representing various academic disciplines also attended, in addition to current interns.

“This project exists for one specific reason,” said Fritzinger. “…If a community does not invest in…new technology-oriented businesses in the community, it runs the risk of losing its youth. We’re affiliated with a great college…and it creates an opportunity for us to make an investment here, build those types of businesses, and then capture our kids and keep them here and turn the tide and start to rebuild the area. That’s what we’re dedicated to; that’s what we’re going to keep working on.”

The incubator regularly welcomes prospective tenants as well as input from the community. If you missed the open house and would like to learn more about the facility, feel free to call (716) 680-6009 to make an appointment.

The incubator offers its client entrepreneurs access to a unique facility, business resources, technology expertise as well as a range of highly qualified faculty, technology experts, business professionals and mentors. Research shows businesses graduating from an incubator significantly increase their probability of long-term success. Companies typically spend two to three years in an incubator and then graduate when they meet milestones that allow them to operate independently and expand.

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State University of New York at Fredonia