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SSIC wins Incubator of the Year Award

May 10, 2012

Edward L. Byrnes
(315) 443-3834

The South Side Innovation Center (SSIC) received the prestigious Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year, General and Special Interest award from the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA). The NBIA is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship, with more than 1,900 members in more than 60 nations. The SSIC is a program of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

ssicThe award, honoring the business incubators that exemplify the best in the industry, was presented during the NBIA's annual meeting on May 8 in Atlanta. It is the highest award given by the association to a general business incubator.

“It is a tribute to the creative work being done at SSIC in helping all entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and interests develop and launch companies, and in the process reinvigorate our local economy,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School.

Each year, the SSIC provides hands-on counseling, training and mentoring to about 1,500 existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, incubates 27 businesses, helps approximately 10 percent of its clientele to create a business entity (of which at least 30-50 begin operating within the first year), assists another 75-120 existing companies and creates a minimum of 50 new jobs. SSIC programs have also aided 300 disabled or low-income individuals and helped them register 70 businesses, of which 51 are in operation.

“We take great pride in what we do at SSIC,” says Bob Herz, director of SSIC. “Every day, we see people become empowered and take control of their economic futures. It is wonderful to be recognized for this work by NBIA.”

Upon accepting the award, Herz said incubators "create value, though we call it by different names, such as 'jobs,' or 'wealth,' or 'entrepreneurship,' or 'skill set,' but at bottom, what we promulgate is the creation of value—value in products for the consumer, value in companies for the entrepreneur, and before all else, value in the individual. People who understand and appreciate their value can do anything."

The SSIC provides a full array of integrated services to those interested in entrepreneurship, from the initial assessment of individual and professional skills and talents through development of a business plan, counseling and classroom training designed to ameliorate weaknesses and sharpen strengths, entity creation, loans and market access, as well as office space and a full range of amenities at the incubator.

Resident programs and centers at the SSIC include the Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Women’s Business Center; the Entrepreneurial Assistance Center; the Syracuse Community Test Kitchen; Start-Up NY, for entrepreneurs with a disability, in collaboration with the Burton Blatt Institute; SBA Program for Investment in Micro-entrepreneurs (PRIME) for low- and very-low income entrepreneurs; Women of Faith in Business; SSIC Academy; NYSERDA training for low-income individuals and those who are unemployed or underemployed; and the Verizon Domestic Survivors Program.

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