Archive for November, 2010

Small business is BIG business

November 29, 2010

Many people forget that big companies like the notorious Nike, Inc. and the mighty Microsoft, Inc. were once small businesses that employed a handful of people and a mind full of dreams, just like all of the Accelerator’s clients today.

According to Wikipedia, it was more than 40 years ago that Nike founder Phil Night was selling his sneakers out of a Plymouth Valiant at track meets in the Pacific Northwest under the name Blue Ribbon Sports. Just ten years later, the Nike name was chosen and the publicly-traded empire was born. And we know the rest of that story.

In 1975, Bill Gates and childhood friend Paul Allen started Microsoft with the basic idea of generating an interpreter for a microcomputer that had been featured in a 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. They succeeded in doing so, and within two years, opened its first international office in Japan. Three years later, DOS (Disk Operating System) was born, and was utilized as the operating system for IBM’s personal computer. That solidified Microsoft’s strength in the market, and its future in electronics and programming.

Entrepreneurs like Knight, Gates and Allen thrived in times when the economy was at a standstill with time. When the economy was tightening its straps, the young innovators of the day were busting loose.

In the last ten years, Fortune 500 firms have shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, facilitating a spontaneous growth of small business innovators that have been handed the ball in a time of great stress in the private business sector.

We have great clients at the Accelerator who have stepped up to the plate to accept this challenge. From cancer research equipment to cell phone applications, aquaculture to silicon chip production, clients at the Accelerator are filling the voids left by large corporations, and are committed to the long haul.

Since opening its doors 56 weeks ago, the Accelerator, a bold $1.5 million investment by the Orange County IDA, has attracted twelve early-stage innovators that currently employ 35 people, with the possibility that number could increase to between 350 and 500- creating real jobs, real close to home, right here in Orange County.

The Accelerator has become a magnet for driven visionaries, a place where entrepreneurs come to realize their dreams. Wayne Gretzky once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” The same can be said about our current clients. They’ve come to the intersection of Capital, Talent…and Innovation to help their small business become big business.

Upcoming seminars provide great insight for aspiring entrepreneurs

November 23, 2010

Good morning, everyone! Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory here to talk more business development at the Accelerator.

We have two great seminars coming up next week that focus greatly on good practice and concepts on planning a business, from idea generation to incorporation. Too often, entrepreneurs rush through the planning process and make common mistakes and the Accelerator wants to get them out in the open. Those looking to build a business should definitely join us for our upcoming, exciting seminars.

Come check out the Pop-up Knowledge Series feature “Stop Selling: Consult as a Trusted Partner” on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 a.m. D.P. Sales Pro owner Debra Pearlman has over 25 years of direct sales one-on-one coaching experience, and has held several sales management and training positions since joining the New York City commuter crowd as a young, aspiring saleswoman. Debra will provide great insight to her career development and how her story can hopefully point you in the right direction.

For more info on Debra and her company, D.P. Sales Pro, please visit http://www.dpsalespro.com

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, join us at the Accelerator for an Entrepreneur Knowledge Series seminar entitled “What You Don’t Know When Setting Up a Business Can Hurt You” from noon to 1 p.m. Bring all of your questions on starting a new business for guest speakers Mark A. Krohn, Sanford R. Altman and Gary M. Schuster, of Jacobowitz & Gubitz, as they outline the do’s and don’ts of early-stage business development.

For more info on the guest speakers and Jacobowitz & Gubitz, please visit http://www.jacobowitz.com

 So far this year, over 1,000 business men and women, public officials, entrepreneurs and others have passed through our doors eager to seize the opportunity and knowledge providing during our educational seminars. Now it’s your turn, if you haven’t taken the time already, to take advantage of what the Acclerator has to offer!

As always, all seminars are held at our offices at 4 London Ave., New Windsor, N.Y. Please don’t hesitate to call our office at (845) 220-2208 to pre-register for these exciting business development events. Our Client Services Specialist Kelly Reilly will be glad to help!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope to see you here soon, at the Intersection of Capital, Talent…and Innovation!

Orange County Business Accelerator Hosts Seminar on Avoiding Common Business Mistakes

November 16, 2010

Steve Caccavo of Constructive Business Solutions, pictured second from the right, takes time out from his seminar on "Three Biggest Mistakes That Business Owners Make" on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at the Accelerator.

Caccavo addresses attendees at the Accelerator's Pop-up Knowledge Series event on Tuesday, Nov 11.

Roundtable brings together clients to encourage collaboration

November 16, 2010

Very often, our clients will pass by each other in the hallways at the Accelerator – on the way to the kitchen for a snack, a meeting in the Millionaire Room (our inside nickname for the multi-media room), or possibly to see Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory or myself. All too often, their days are so packed with day-to-day operations that there is little time to network and materialize symbiotic relations.

Last week, we brought together all of our current and newest early-stage innovators to help facilitate networking within the group, one of the Accelerator’s marketing techniques.

 

Orange County Executive Ed Diana, pictured above addressing the Accelerator, expressed his profound pleasure with the direction of the program and how we’ve managed to bring 12 clients, both resident and associate, through our doors in less than one year. He provided us with great encouragement, and vowed he would continue to be a great cheerleader for our cause.

Our latest client, Frugaldoo, a software technology firm, introduced its latest endeavor – software that will allow cell phone users to have access to a variety of services from restaurants to retail stores in Orange County with the simple use of a text.

 

Frugaldoo CEO Bill Zurilla, pictured standing above, was one of many who joined us for our Pizza Roundtable discussion on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Helping our entrepreneurs help each other is one of the Accelerator’s key goals for client success. The symbiotic relationship that exists among them facilitates growth within the Accelerator walls, while it also boosts morale at the same time.

As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If the management team at the Accelerator continues to encourage business relationships among its clients, then everyone will benefit.

Thanks to all who have worked to bring the Accelerator to where it is today. And, finally, let’s keep up the good work!

Innovation Rising – Two Major Innovation Conferences Focus on new Partnering Business Models

November 11, 2010

Good morning, everyone! Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory here to share with you new progress Innovation Economy.

I attended two major Innovation Conferences over the period of three days last week that were conveniently just about in OCBA’s back yard.

The first, EPIC, short for Entrepreneurial Partnering Innovation Conference, was the inaugural presentation in New York City of an international conference with presenters from major corporations including Bombardier, Proctor and Gamble, Nike, Kodak, and many more. Attendees also represented a broad range of innovation economy leaders.  I want to share with you a unique, impromptu moment I was afforded by one of the conference moderators to present to all attendees the merits of our very own Orange County Business Accelerator – which I enjoyed describing as the natural expansion area for the tri-state area – positioned at the crossroads of the US Northeast, and home to budding CEO’s.

From L to R: George Abe, UCLA Director of Applied Management Research; Carrington Smith, PhD, Licensing Director, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; Stephen Meller, Chief Innovation Catalyst, P&G; Mike Summers, Partner, Cody Gate Ventures; and Frederick Zussa, Director Worldwide Strategy and Innovation Pfizer, Inc. reveal new business models being used to move convert patents to viable market entries at EPIC in New York City.

Fundamentally, as good news to the smaller early-stage companies, large companies are not only seeking new patented technologies from innovative startups, they also are moving their own technology to websites to make it more accessible for small companies to work with. We conference attendees were given a “head’s up” to keep eyes and ears to TheGreenExchange as Nike and several other cornerstone partners are presenting new models of sustainability – so watch, too, as that initiative develops.

The Northeast Technology Exchange Conference (NETEC) in Hartford Connecticut, brought panels of university research centers (including Yale, Brown, RPI, and Penn State), Grant Originators such as National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute of Health, and the powerhouse technology company UTC ( with divisions such as Sikorsky Helicopter, Pratt and Whitney (jet engines), Carrier, Otis Elevator, and others) together in an intense day of presentations that exhibited ways for the small company to work with these companies and institutions.

Many local, state, and national officials were present to describe the state of innovation in the US Northeast. Here, Ginger Lew, Senior Counselor to the White House National Economics Council and to the SBA Administrator, speaks about federal initiatives to promote business innovation.

 

Clearly, both conferences stressed that innovation exists in new business models for the evolving economy, as well as innovation of technology and applications. The source of many innovative solutions rests in the energetic and agile small company.

As a final note on the Innovation Economy and how to participate, a highly suggested read for anyone interested in a better picture of how the new innovation ecosystem works would be Clay Christensen’s ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business”, which has become the “bible” on what is now commonly referred to as “disruptive technology.”

For any follow-up questions, we encourage you to contact the accelerator by phone at 845-220-2208, and see our website at ocaccelerator.com.

Follow the accelerator events tab on the OCBA website for many upcoming educational opportunities through the end of the year, especially the December 1 2010 event at noon, presented by Jacobowitz and Gubits on the ever-evolving topic of Company Legal Formation – Partnerships, LLC’s, and Corporations.

Orange County Business Accelerator Hosts Entrepreneur Knowledge Series on Business Strategy

November 9, 2010

Cynthia Marsh-Croll of Croll Productive Synergy was the guest speaker at the October Entrepreneur Knowledge Series event on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the Accelerator.

From L to R: OCBA Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory, Steve Caccavo of Constructive Business Solutions, Cynthia Marsh-Croll of Croll Productive Strategies, Ross Topliff of Tops Engineering, and Joseph Zaro of Z Credit Expert.

Orange County Business Accelerator Hosts Pop-up Knowledge Series on Influencing with Integrity

November 9, 2010

Skip Weisman shows Accelerator guests how to "Influence with Integrity" at recent Pop-up Knowledge Series event on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the Accelerator in New Windsor, N.Y.

From L to R: OCBA Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory, Assistant to the OC Executive Orysia Dmytrenko, Skip Weisman, Advanced Management, Inc. Pres. Jack Paluszek and Rockland Economic Development Corp. PTAC Program Manager Liz Kallen.

Seminar on organizational communication gets strong response from business community

November 8, 2010

Good morning, everyone! Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory here to talk more business development at the Accelerator.

The latest edition of our new Pop-up Knowledge Series featured a discussion on organizational leadership and communication from expert motivational speaker Skip Weisman, a business coach who has made a name for himself in professional baseball team management for 20 years.

Motivational business coach Skip Weisman speaks to an attentative audience on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the Accelerator.

 

Weisman’s discussion, “Influencing with Integrity,” focused on how organizations can more effectively position their employees for success, ultimately doing the same for the company. Employee morale is one of the most integral parts of an organization’s communication strategy. Making sure your employees understand their day-to-day duties, as well as their overall role in the company’s future, has proven to increase productivity from employees.

Give your employees clear direction and goals, and the sky’s the limit! This is a lesson all businesses could learn from. Nearly two dozen businesses from around Orange County and the Hudson Valley did so last week.

 If you missed it, you can catch up with Skip by visiting his website at www.weismansuccessresources.com

Within the past month, we have launched two new speaker series: Pop-up Knowledge Series and Service Provider Series. Both series will offer businesses a taste of business development trends that are currently hot and a slew of services that are available throughout Orange County and the Hudson Valley. Check out the events page on our website, www.ocaccelerator.com, for more info.

Be sure to join us for our next seminar at the Accelerator on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 7:30a.m., when Stephen Caccavo of Constructive Business Solutions presents “Three Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them.”

We hope to see you here soon, at the Intersection of Capital, Talent…and Innovation!

Orange County Business Accelerator Hosts First Service Provider Series Event

November 3, 2010

From L to R: OCBA Managing Director Michael DiTullo, Enterprise Development Director Peter Gregory,Jim Sandler from The Alternative Board, and Will Rodman and John O'Neill from 4e Productions, one of OCBA's newest clients.

Attendees at Orange County Business Accelerator's first Service Provider Series event enjoy a presentation by The Alternative Board at the Accelerator's offices on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Accelerator marks 1st year anniversary with new events series, innovative clients

November 1, 2010

Well, it’s been one year now since Orange County Business Accelerator opened its doors to early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs with great ambition and big dreams. Since that day, Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Accelerator has seen more than a dozen clients seek its impeccable start-up expertise and knowledge.

Currently, the Accelerator assists thirteen resident and associate clients with their day-to-day operations and long-term business plans, with negotiations in the works to sign one or two more before the end of the year.

Before the nine-month mark, the Accelerator had nearly filled its entire 10,000 square feet of office and innovation suites. When we reached that mark, we leased extra space across the street at 33 Airport Center Drive, bringing our total space to 12,600 square feet.

When that space filled up, the Accelerator launched its Associate Client program, which offered all the benefits of being a resident client without the need to lease space. Within a couple of months, our co-working suite was buzzing with numerous associate clients.

And now, one year later, we’ve introduced two new speaker series, following the trend of the popular Entrepreneur Knowledge Series, which has drawn more than 600 smart, motivated business owners, chief executive officers and public officials since it was started in January. The new Pop-Up Series, modeled after EKS, will made its debut last week when Ed Baloga, a senior growth strategist with broad big-firm and startup experience, offered exit strategies to help businesses more clearly define their business goals. Our Service Provider Series made its debut last week with The Alternative Board showing off its products and services to nearly two dozen attendees.

 

Last week, this month’s EKS guest speaker Cynthia Marsh-Croll showed more than 20 business professionals tip and tricks on customer contact management and how to grow their business “right out of the gate.”

The Accelerator is sure flowing with entrepreneurial energy these days, and has been from the start! For one strong year now, we have been fulfilling an unmet demand in Orange County and providing a budding service for entrepreneurs from around the Hudson Valley and the Northeast.

We’d like to thank all of our clients for choosing the Accelerator in their journey to take their businesses to the next level, as well as the Orange County Industrial Development Agency and Orange County Government for dreaming up the Accelerator model and allowing us to spread our wings and fly!

The Intersection of Capital, Talent… and Innovation is one year old and growing more every day. May our engines always been ready for take-off, as the runway is now clearer than ever.