Syracuse University

SU News

Whitman School study connects social media with urban entrepreneurial ecosystems

March 24, 2010

Amy Schmitz
(315) 443-3834

A new study conducted by Craig Watters, assistant professor of entrepreneurial practice in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, in conjunction with Wireless Grids Corp. (WGC), has identified promising social media applications of wireless grids for urban entrepreneurial ecosystems. The study concludes that social media applications of WGC’s products can be used as part of a broader strategy for community engagement and job creation in urban neighborhoods with otherwise limited economic opportunity for residents. 

The study was supported in part by the Metropolitan Development Association of Central New York and its “Grants for Growth” program, long championed by state Sen. John De Francisco (R-Syracuse).

WGC’s product enables a social community of people to dynamically interact with various forms of content on their mobile (and other) devices, seamlessly leveraging its patent pending “edgeware” applications. For example, social media applications can support sub-communities of new immigrants in inner cities. The possibility of providing content in native languages, supported by culturally targeted audio and visual tools for specific users, can enhance understanding, reach and interaction, and the effectiveness of communicated information to a population that often goes ignored or missed. Inner city residents then become social innovators and entrepreneurs, initially to solve their own community’s needs, strengthening their own entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“We are delighted our top-ranked entrepreneurship faculty and enterprising and industrious Whitman students have been able to assist WGC learn how neighborhoods can apply Wireless Grids’ new applications in creating their own new opportunities,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School.

“The Whitman School is always interested in exploring new innovations and how they may be applied for business and community benefit,” says Watters. “Whitman students also learn a tremendous amount from the experience of assisting real businesses rethink their product strategies to align with community needs.”

“We are very excited to further explore the ways social communities–we call them social grids–can assist us in product testing and soon creating their own products and innovations leveraging our software platform,” says WGC CEO John Andrews.

About Wireless Grids Corp.
Wireless Grids Corp. (WGC), which was spun out of Syracuse University and its labs, is developing software-based solution, which is a next generation platform that transforms computer networking and wireless infrastructures’ (all devices) ability to interact seamlessly with little configuration. WGC has been widely recognized, including as “One of the 9 Wireless Companies to Watch” by Network World 2008. WGC is an Intel Certified Partner, an Academic Research Partner with Syracuse University and an Academic Research Support Partner with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

For more information, contact Amber Cassidy at Varsity Media Group, at (512) 527-2500 or

Recent News