A combination of students, Binghamton University officials and business leaders attended a presentation Thursday which showed the benefits of a strong relationship between Binghamton’s business sector, the University and the SUNY system as a whole.
More than 25 people attended the presentation, which was hosted by SUNY BEST (Business and Education Cooperation of the Southern Tier).
The guest speaker, Tom Moebus, deputy director of the SUNY Levin Institute in New York City, explained how this relationship promotes entrepreneurship and local community growth.
“The linking of the regional activities is really what I think will lead to a successful innovation economy,” Moebus said. “Organizations like SUNY BEST are really walking the walk, and I am very optimistic for the future.”
He focused on initiating a dialogue between SUNY and surrounding businesses through networking and collaboration.
“There are things you can do to move the dial,” Moebus said. “All the regions have to be engaged, we need to liberate the brilliant young and old minds, have a culture of collaboration, maximize human capital development and leverage assets to build an innovation economy. I am big on getting New York City involved on what is going on upstate because there is potential we are not hitting on.”
But problems with funding and bureaucratic lags can stall the process, according to Moebus.
“SUNY is a big institution,” Moebus said. “It’s a bureaucracy. There are bureaucratic challenges with motivating the kind of thing we want to see happen. We talk about doing big, bold things and growing the innovation economy, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money that is not there right now. For an innovation economy to take shape, private investment have to happen and that is going to take time to happen.”
Alfredo Hung, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, said he will use Moebus’ insights to steer his own business plans.
“I think it was really great,” Hung said. “This was my first time, and I learned a lot. I am personally starting a business, so I wanted to find out how my fashion business will be affected by these changes.”
Ashley Corey, a senior majoring in English, said the event laid a framework to facilitate dialogue between the University and regions throughout Broome County.
“I think that SUNY BEST and programs such as these are not only making the University the best, but making the community the best as well,” Corey said. “Its role is a collaboration of the students, faculty and the outside community, which is critical to overall economic development.”