Tom Cullen, director of St. Bonaventure College’s Innovation Heart, plans to kick-start 5 Cattaraugus County companies with $35,000 in funding for individuals within the Laine Enterprise Accelerator.
A 3-month program designed to draw and rapidly develop native companies, the Laine Enterprise Accelerator program is called after the late Olean entrepreneur who based Alcas Cutlery and Cutco, Erick Laine.
Enterprise homeowners can study extra and apply for this system via July 30 at www.laine enterprise accelerator.com.
The 5 companies chosen will obtain funding, mentorship from prime entrepreneurs, teaching and workshops particularly designed to spice up their companies. The 5 winners will probably be introduced in mid-August.
“It’s not a brand new idea, but it surely hasn’t been performed right here earlier than,” Cullen stated in an interview Sunday.
“That is a tremendous alternative for our neighborhood. We’re going to place every part into rising and supporting these companies,” Cullen stated.
This system will run from September via December 2021 and have mentorship conferences as soon as per week together with entrepreneurs sharing their tricks to construct a profitable enterprise.
Jamestown Neighborhood School, Olean Enterprise Growth Corp. and the Cattaraugus Area Neighborhood Basis are collaborating with The Innovation Heart to current the enterprise mentor program.
Cullen began the Innovation Heart at St. Bonaventure two years in the past. In addition to scholar instruction, the middle’s aim is to assist the native enterprise neighborhood “construct on the financial ecosystem that’s already right here,” Cullen stated. “It’s for individuals who have an concept. We present them a path to getting it performed.”
“SUNY JCC is worked up to work with St. Bonaventure and our different neighborhood companions in Cattaraugus County on this new enterprise made attainable by the request from the Laine household,” stated Daniel DeMarte, JCC president. “This initiative and its growth offers us the chance to collaborate in new and thrilling methods.”
Every winner will obtain $1,000 on being accepted and this system will end with a Neighborhood Showcase Day on Dec. 7, when one workforce will probably be awarded $10,000; the remaining 4 will every obtain $5,000.
Greater than a dozen companies, organizations and academic establishments have already dedicated to partnering with this system to assist advance Cattaraugus County’s financial system, Cullen stated.
“The accelerator program offers native entrepreneurs an amazing alternative to spice up their companies,” stated Jim Stitt Sr., govt chairman of Olean’s CUTCO Corp.
This system is funded by the Erick Laine Entrepreneurship Fund at Olean Enterprise Growth.
As president, CEO and chairman of Alcas (which turned CUTCO in 2009), Laine oversaw the transformation of the “little knife manufacturing unit” into the most important cutlery firm in North America, increasing gross sales, work pressure, and the corporate’s world presence. He died final yr.
A person of outstanding generosity, Laine was a transformative determine within the area for 40 years, serving on the boards at Olean Common Hospital, St. Bonaventure College, Alfred College and the Cattaraugus Financial Growth Zone. Erick and his spouse, Marianne, chaired the fundraising for the downtown JCC campus.
“He was an important entrepreneur,” Cullen stated of Laine. “A program like this has been on our radar for a few years. We determined a couple of months in the past that now could be the time to current this chance.”
Cullen stated about 15 companies have utilized thus far and he expects about 50 to use earlier than the July 20 deadline. He expects all candidates to take one thing away from this system — not simply the highest 5.
A Cattaraugus native, Cullen ran the same entrepreneurial program for 18 years with the College of Chicago and Northwestern College earlier than returning to Cattaraugus County. “I’ve seen it work efficiently. This is a chance to advance our space. The neighborhood assist has been unbelievable.”
This system can be getting assist from the Seneca Nation.
In any case, “We’re a start-up ourselves,” Cullen stated of The Innovation Heart. Stitt and DeMarte have been driving forces for this system, he added.
Mentors for this system are each native and from throughout the nation, Cullen stated. “The mentor will depend upon the enterprise and what they want.”
He inspired enterprise homeowners to use in the event that they need to take part. “Our aim is to assist them,” Cullen stated. “The native influence is the potential so as to add jobs. “We’re on the lookout for one thing that might change the realm. One query that will probably be requested is ‘is that this a enterprise we see that may develop and get larger in 5 years?’”
Individuals must be in Olean about as soon as per week to fulfill with their mentor. “If they will present they’ll have an effect on this space, we would like them to use,” Cullen stated.
“We have now superb (enterprise) individuals right here if we will pull them out and share their information,” he stated.
Spherical two subsequent yr “will probably be a lot larger,” Cullen promised. “That is simply the tip of the iceberg.”