INVEST is more than bricks and mortar. It is an overarching concept founded on business incubation for tech and non-tech ventures while at the same time providing a new venue for growth and exploration for Sage faculty and students. The college will provide access to technical and business advice through its relevant scientific and management programs, including entrepreneurial connections on the INVEST Advisory Board (IAB). Although tenant-landlord interactions will be necessary and inevitable, the primary focus of the project is not on a "landlord model" but the potential for vibrant college-wide interactions with the incubator/client relationship across all the pertinent academic disciplines offered at the college.
Mission + Goal
The mission & primary goal of INVEST is to nucleate entrepreneurial vision while growing new businesses. Together with the incubator client/tenant, quality undergraduate and graduate programs of The Sage Colleges will ensure a vibrant interaction that will have a positive impact on the business venture, the college and surrounding community. The incubator client–college partnership will create unique educational experiences through a new entrepreneurial outlet for tech start-ups and other business ventures, Sage faculty, and students.
There are three main goals for INVEST:
- Short term: Revenue generation for the college through rent, fees and services.
- Mid term: Leverage generated through PR that enhance the college's ability to recruit and retain students.
- Long term; Revenue generated through gifting and/or equity.
INVEST will create an entrepreneurial outlet for new ventures, Sage faculty, Staff and Students.
- Faculty, students, and administrators on both campuses of The Sage Colleges will provide either direct or advisory support in key business areas.
- The director will work with incubator client/tenants and other local employers to provide academically appropriate internships
- Representatives from the incubator companies may serve on advisory committees working with faculty to identify and shape new program material needed to prepare students for careers in today’s marketplace
- In addition to fostering growth for new high tech start-ups, the incubator will generate publicity and new credibility for Sage’s already established science and business programs.
Integrating INVEST into the fabric of the academic programs and educational community.
- Incubator clients (tenants) will be encouraged to utilize Sage resources including faculty and students.
- Diverse internships and research projects are envisioned that will generate learning experiences within an entrepreneurial environment
- Employees from the client companies will assist in the development and implementation of new science lab and business modules and will participate in guest lectures and departmental activities related to the goals of this project.
- A speaker series will be explored to focus on the interdisciplinary aspects of science, technology, and business.
- A willingness/desire to fit into the culture of the college through significant interactions with faculty and students. Examples include but are not limited to: guest lectures, seminars, interaction with faculty research, hosting interns/student employees, as well as community outreach programming etc.
- A combined baccalaureate degree in either chemistry or biochemistry with an accelerated MBA focusing on leadership and entrepreneurialism will be explored. As the population of the incubator becomes more diverse other dual pathways may emerge.
The INVEST project creates vital incubator space for Tech and other business start-ups.
- Support from INVEST for companies requiring wet-chemistry laboratory space will be provided along with access to advice and consultation from the relevant scientific, management and entrepreneurial connections within the Sage community. Meanwhile, access to attractive office space will facilitate growth and success for a diversity of business ventures.
- When growth necessitates a start-up’s move to larger quarters, the incubator will become available for new companies. The project anticipates that multiple diverse companies can effectively share this space consisting of modern and attractive modular chemistry laboratories.
- Lease and fees, and/or investment income to Sage from incoming businesses will support the higher operating costs of the incubator space, but are scheduled at an attractive rate to remain competitive and foster company growth.
The INVEST project is unique from other incubators locally and nationally with its potential to germinate a diversity of business ventures and opportunities across the Sage Colleges (TSC), and is the first of its kind nationally at a college for women (RSC). From fully operational wet-chemistry labs that are in high demand but non-existent in the Capital Region, to space for IT, light manufacturing, and general office needs, to opportunities for women in science and technology and various micro-enterprises; the project is an investment, not only in the business venture of innovation and entrepreneurship, but for the college and surrounding community.
- Incubator facilities providing wet-chemistry laboratory space in the Capital Region have not kept pace with an increasing demand. As Tech Valley grows, the pressure from that demand will only increase.
- Benefits for start-up companies include fully functional wet-chemistry labs with abundant natural lighting and attractive office.
- While the primary focus is on the success of a university based tech-business incubator offering shared services for the tenant-client, existing strengths on campus combined with bright and eager students will enhance an exchange and synergy between the entrepreneurial ventures and the academic community.
- Provide Class A "wet-chemistry" labs and office space while fostering the growth and success for a diversity of innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors.
- Create unique educational experiences through a new entrepreneurial outlet for tech start-ups and other business ventures, Sage faculty, and students.
INVEST Client Companies will
- Participate in INVEST's public relations activities, including but not limited to, directly indicating that Tenant is a Client of or Tenant or its headquarters are located within "INVEST at Russell Sage College" and attempting to stress this fact during any interview.
- Accept Sage student interns/research assistants and participating in INVEST's related public relations activities related thereto, including but not limited to sharing and participating in interviews and highlights of student intern/researcher experiences/achievements.
- List Tenant's logo and basic information on the INVEST website as a client company. All related signage, internal and/or external, will include Tenant's name as a client under the main title indicating the INVEST incubator program.
- Abide by the terminology that is the norm at incubators nationally and common within the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA), including, but not limited to, being referred to as an incubator "client within INVEST at Russell Sage College" and "graduating" from the incubator upon exiting from the incubator program, etc.
- Give guest lectures within classes when/where appropriate to the needs of the academic program and Tenant's area of expertise.
- Participate in seminars/speaker series when/where appropriate to the needs of the academic program and Tenant's area of expertise.
- Participate/collaborate in appropriate research projects within the academic programs.
Beyond any potential revenue or equity in the future, are the added values acquired through recognition and prestige as well as a distinctive marketing niche for the college.
Future planning anticipates growth and diversification, radiating from the core of science & technology, to business, communication, design and beyond. An exciting longer term outcome envisions generations of students developing and operating their own business venture through INVEST