Syracuse University

SU News

Upstate Venture Connect and Syracuse University announce founding partnership agreement

June 18, 2010

Jemeli Tanui

Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) announced that Syracuse University has signed on as the first founding partner to support the creation of a social network to foster high-growth entrepreneurship in Upstate New York.

UVC is a non-profit organization focused on creating thousands of high-tech, high-growth, private capital backed companies in Upstate New York that will provide entrepreneurial opportunities for a new generation of highly educated and highly skilled talent. UVC was formed in January 2010.
Under the terms of the new partnership deal, UVC and SU will coordinate resources to develop the VConnect platform, expand alumni engagement to grow the pool of mentors, and pursue new opportunities for funding that will contribute to the growth and sustainability of both programs.

As a founding member, SU will help support the new social network by leveraging the University's advanced network (including alumni from throughout the United States) and tapping into the intellectual resources available on campus.

"We are excited about the opportunities for Syracuse University students, faculty and alumni to network with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and incubator startups across New York state," says Bruce Kingma, associate provost for entrepreneurship and innovation at SU. "The size of a network matters. Collaboration between Syracuse University and other Upstate institutions, incubators, venture capital firms and startups will increase the number of opportunities for everyone."

"Syracuse has a rich tradition of training entrepreneurs and over the past two years, the eNitiative program has clearly established a leadership role for accelerating entrepreneurship within higher education institutions across the Syracuse region," added UVC's CEO Nasir Ali. "This agreement will enable us to share SU-pioneered best practices for student startup incubation and talent retention with communities and educational institutions across Upstate New York."

"UVC will forge multi-layered connections to grow and strengthen the community of entrepreneurial experts across Upstate New York," says SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. "Our founding partnership means that SU faculty and students will be deeply embedded in that community, multiplying opportunities for them to contribute to and benefit from launching new ventures and revitalizing the regional economy."

According to UVC Chairman Martin Babinec, "Syracuse University has clearly shown that collaboration with regional education and community partners can deliver strong results quickly and cost effectively. The support for entrepreneurship is visible at the very top and echoed in every school across campus. We are extremely pleased to have them as our first founding partner."

About Upstate Venture Connect

UVC's mantra of "1,000 startups, 2,000 days" reflects its founders' belief that Upstate New York has vast entrepreneurial reserves within its corporate, research and higher education institutions. UVC's VConnect platform will serve as the foundation of an ecosystem linking Upstate New York venture entrepreneurs to sources of talent and support across the region and its vast alumni and expatriate resources. Interested parties can learn more about UVC's goals and get connected to Upstate New York's entrepreneur community by registering online at and following UVC on Twitter (@UVConnect), Facebook (Upstate Venture Connect), and LinkedIn. For more information on UVC, please contact Ali, co-founder and CEO, at

For information on SU's entrepreneurship programs and initiatives, contact Kingma at

Recent News