ALBANY, NY – The Sage Colleges is pleased to announce that its School of Management Entrepreneur-in-Residence Robert Manasier has been nominated for a 2016 Venture Ecosystem Award. Manasier is one of Upstate Venture Connect’s finalists in the Ecosystem Champion category which recognizes individuals who are catalyzing and supporting startup activity across multiple Upstate communities.

Manasier is a serial entrepreneur and investor who currently serves as CEO of In Focus Brands, a branded go-to-market acceleration firm;  COO of Autonomy Distributors, a US products export partner;  and President of IFP Films, a multimedia, multiple award-winning content creation studio.

Manasier has created and developed the Economic Development Acceleration Labs (EDA LABS) to assist small to middle market businesses to be faster, stronger and smarter in deploying into markets or pivoting operational systems. He is also responsible for creating the Diamond Point Co-Development Fund to assist startups, intellectual property, services, products and new ideas to prove concept and/or get to market.  Manasier has been a judge, mentor and strategic/tactical partner in numerous nonprofits, incubators, accelerators, university entrepreneur programs and business plan competitions and is currently building out the national expansion model for Tech Valley’s Center of Gravity and the Parkhurst Field Foundation’s Community Development System based on the In Focus Brands’ Accelerator Model.

“It is great that Robert Manasier is being nominated as an Ecosystem Champion at UVC,” said Kim Fredericks, Dean of Sage’s School of Management. “Bob is a true champion and mentor of countless startup businesses.  As our Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Sage Colleges, we continue to build collaborative relationships with students, businesses and the community and we look forward to continuing to bring together all of these groups.”

The award winners will be announced during a luncheon at the Turning Stone Resort on September 16, 2016. Upstate Venture Connect is a 501c3 public benefit non-profit creating an entrepreneur-led startup ecosystem for Upstate NY. Since 2010, UVC has helped launch four angel funds and two startup accelerators.

Media Contact: Deanna Cohen, director of external relations, The Sage Colleges
(518) 244-4593 (O), (518) 598-4927 (C), email:


Interdisciplinary academics, combining the professions and the liberal arts, community engagement, international exposure, and artistic and athletic endeavors are among the pillars of the educational experience at The Sage Colleges. Sage enrolls more than 3,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs at the undergraduate Russell Sage College for women in Troy, N.Y.; the coeducational undergraduate Sage College of Albany in Albany, N.Y.; and the graduate-level Esteves School of Education, School of Health Sciences and School of Management, with programs on both campuses; adult education through the School of Professional and Continuing Education and via the Internet through Russell Sage Online.