Stenger unveils plan for business incubator

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger met with community members and state representatives to unveil a proposal for a new facility that he hopes will revitalize the Southern Tier.

The Southern Tier High Technology Incubator, announced during an Aug. 15 news conference, will provide laboratory facilities, mentors, industry connections and affordable rent to developing high-tech companies.

Stenger said in an interview with Pipe Dream that BU is playing a key role in the development of the proposal.

“Binghamton University is a catalyst for the incubator,” Stenger said. “We are writing many proposals for funding the project.”

If approved, the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator will be located at the intersection of Hawley and Carroll streets. The project will cost an estimated $22 million. A proposal has been submitted for $13 million, with $2 million coming from the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, according to Inside Binghamton.

While not directly related to the University’s Smart Energy Research and Development Facility, which is part of Binghamton’s recently approved NY SUNY 2020 proposal, the incubator will benefit from research from the facility and help the technology developed there to be commercialized.

Stenger said he believes that the facility will be beneficial to both current students and graduates.

“The city of Binghamton is struggling financially, and the incubator will add new life to the city and improve the quality of life for students living there,” Stenger said. “I am hoping and anticipating that we will see Binghamton University graduates create startup companies utilizing the incubator.”

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo focused on the benefits the incubator will have for the community.

“The incubator will provide startup companies with various supports needed to commercialize cutting edge research into products and services and that can either be manufactured or delivered locally,” Lupardo said.

Daniela Jimenez, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, liked the idea, but suggested that more opportunities be given to different types of students.

“I think it’s a good idea, however it only targets one population of students in Binghamton,” Jimenez said. “I honestly think business students get a lot of opportunities already; why not help those majors that are struggling a bit more?”

The Southern Tier High Technology Incubator is a collaboration between BU, Broome County, the IDA, Broome Community College and other stakeholders.

Currently, every region of New York state has an incubator except for the Southern Tier.