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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Mohawk Valley Community College


Utica, NY

Project Name

Mohawk Valley Upstate Innovation Accelerator



Award Amount


Mohawk Valley Community College’s Upstate Innovation Accelerator project builds on and interweaves existing entrepreneurial and technology resources in the Mohawk Valley region of upstate New York. The region is currently experiencing an economic renaissance facilitated by new technologies in unmanned aerial systems, cyber, and other fields. The Mohawk Valley — which is host to an Air Force Research Lab with an annual $1 billion budget in Research & Development — is strategically located at the epicenter of major Northeast markets, within driving distance of a quarter-million college students to provide talent and energy. However, despite these incredible regional assets, no program currently exists to fully capitalize on these resources and bring technologies to market at a broad scale.

The college’s RIS-funded Upstate Innovation Accelerator project is an historic redesign of entrepreneurial supports to connect the region’s resources in research and engineering, entrepreneurial talent, and startup services in a comprehensive effort to transform innovations into products for high-growth businesses. The project makes a groundbreaking connection between the region’s year cyber & technology powerhouse the Air Force Research Lab, and its largest regional high tech business incubator targeting young entrepreneurs: Mohawk Valley Community College’s thINCubator. Around these twin nuclei, MVCC has secured partnership commitments to align the region’s full-spectrum start-up support services to provide seed funding, entrepreneur mentoring & training, prototype development & testing, networking, legal services, and more.

This project forges new relationships among regional stakeholders to bring all entrepreneurial services to a single hub, enabling rapid transfer and integration of innovative research in local business, economic development and government communities. Staff will sort regional R&D innovations by technology readiness level and will match them to existing entrepreneurs and a commercialization network to transform the economic vitality of the region through the development of high-growth companies.