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South Side Innovation Center named finalist for NBIA's Incubator of the Year award

March 14, 2011

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-3784

The South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), the area’s leading small business incubator and training center, has been named one of two finalists for the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) Incubator of the Year award in the general and special focus category. The winner of this prestigious, international award will be announced on April 12 at NBIA’s 25th annual International Conference on Business Incubation in San Jose, Calif.

Incubator of the Year winners receive increased recognition for their achievement through cash awards made in past president and NBIA CEO Dinah Adkins’s honor. NBIA is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship, representing more than 1,900 members in more than 60 nations. Each year, the NBIA Incubation Awards honor the business incubation programs, graduates and client companies that exemplify the best of the industry. The SSIC is the only incubator in New York state to be nominated in any category in this year’s competition.

“This recognition is an incredible honor to the hard work of our staff and the achievements of our clients and tenants,” says Bob Herz, SSIC director. “The work that we do at the SSIC, and the way that we do it, is unique and delivered with unparalleled quality by a staff whose commitment is an inspiration. This nomination is a tribute to them.”

The SSIC was launched by Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management in April 2006. With 27 resident tenants, 300 clients and 1,000 people engaged in its classes and training, the center is a major force in the redevelopment of the area’s economy. The center creates jobs and wealth on the south side of Syracuse by helping entrepreneurs establish profitable and sustainable businesses, and provides targeted services to those with low incomes or disabilities, as well as to women- and minority-owned businesses.

Business incubation programs like the SSIC catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. NBIA estimates that North American incubators assist more than 27,000 startup companies that provide full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generate annual revenue of more than $17 billion. Approximately 7,000 business incubators operate worldwide.

“To be nominated for this award, from a pool of 1,900 potential applicants, is a tremendous honor and further validation of Chancellor Cantor’s vision of Scholarship in Action, using University, academic and community resources to bring jobs and wealth to the south side of Syracuse and the community,” says Tom Kruczek, executive director of the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Whitman. “The SSIC is one of the few incubators in the country run by a business school, and with the support of Whitman, is among the 10 percent or so that focuses on women and minorities and those with disabilities and low incomes, in addition to its broad mission. We are delighted by this nomination and remain deeply committed to the SSIC’s mission.”

The SSIC’s portfolio of programs includes the WISE Women’s Business Center (a U.S. Small Business Administration-funded women’s business center); Start-Up New York, a program for disabled entrepreneurs; PRIME, a program that focuses on low-income entrepreneurs; the Entrepreneurial Assistance Program, which focuses on developing business plans and opening markets; the SSIC Academy, which provides more than 180 hours of training in entrepreneurial subjects; and the Community Test Kitchen (COMTEK), which helps food entrepreneurs bring their food products to commercial markets.

The other finalist for the award is the Arts Incubator of Kansas City, Mo.

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