Dozens of business owners, executives and professionals gathered with business students and faculty at SUNY New Paltz for the inaugural Hudson Valley Venture Hub Leaders’ Forum, marking the debut of a new strategic initiative aimed at increasing the odds of success for start-ups and creating professional and educational opportunities throughout the region.
The Hudson Valley Venture Hub, housed in the School of Business and overseen by entrepreneur in residence Tony DiMarco, will serve to connect entrepreneurs with prospective investors and talented potential employees (including New Paltz students and alumni), and generally work to strengthen the start-up ecosystem in the Hudson Valley, one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial environments in the Northeast.
“This is first and foremost about connecting with each other and discovering that we all share common beliefs and passions,” said DiMarco, who is also the founding manager of the Hudson Valley Startup Fund. “The second objective is for us to help each other succeed. Our long-term goal is to increase the number of entrepreneurs here, as well as the number of successful entrepreneurs here, and drive the economic vitality of the Hudson Valley region.”
The creation of the Venture Hub stems in part from a listening tour of regional businesses conducted by School of Business Dean Kristin Backhaus, who found that the entrepreneurial community in the Hudson Valley was fractured, with no cohesive force helping like-minded individuals and organizations grow together.
“The message I heard was that there is a lack of a cohesive community of entrepreneurs,” Backhaus said. “Further, I knew that our students needed a connection to the community, to encourage innovation and practical business knowledge. As a public university, part of our mission is to engage with the community to promote both education and economic development, and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to host and engage with you, and also to have our students interact with you as they develop into entrepreneurs and leaders themselves.”
The Hudson Valley Venture Hub will be served by an advisory board made up of a number of organizational leaders, and supported by sponsors including the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Network, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Schwartz Heslin Group, Inc., and Judelson, Giordano & Siegel, CPA, PC.
More information about the Hudson Valley Venture Hub is available online.