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S. Tier Innovation Hot Spot Brings Together Companies Like Corning & Institutions Like Cornell & Binghamton Universities to Grow Entrepreneurship In The Region

Schumer-Supported Effort Would Combine The Region’s Strengths In Engineering, Materials Science, And Manufacturing With Cutting-Edge Business Incubation, Acceleration And Entrepreneurship


Schumer to EDA: Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot Merits Investment


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced he is pushing to secure federal funds for the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, a collaboration between Binghamton University, Cornell University, Corning Inc., and the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center, to support the development of a Hardware Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (HEE) in the Southern Tier. Schumer is urging the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to award the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot $500,000 over two years to support their efforts, which would then come with a match from New York State and the applicants of $879,000, bringing the total project value to $1.379 million over two years.


Schumer explained that the Hardware Entrepreneurship Ecosystem will leverage the investment of New York State, Cornell University, Binghamton University, and Corning, Inc. in the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot. He explained further that the Small Business Administration’s investment in the pilot “Southern Tier Hardware Accelerator” program at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works will facilitate product entrepreneurship in central New York. This ecosystem will combine the region’s strengths in engineering, materials science, and manufacturing with cutting-edge business incubation-and-acceleration and entrepreneurship to quicken the development of product-oriented startups and grow the region’s economy and employment. This proposed project will help re-establish the identity of the Southern Tier as a great place to start and grow a product-manufacturing company.


“The Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot has an ambitious plan to support entrepreneurs who want to start product-manufacturing businesses,” said Schumer. “Securing federal investment will turbocharge their efforts to develop a hardware ecosystem across the Southern Tier. Companies like Corning and institutions like Cornell and Binghamton University provide the perfect environment for this Hot Spot to talk off, and I will do everything I can to support their efforts.”


“Senator Schumer is an important partner in our effort to support the revitalization of manufacturing in the Southern Tier through a focus on entrepreneurs inventing, prototyping, and manufacturing physical products,” said Tom Schryver, Executive Director, Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University. “This program will leverage state support, a region-wide network, and the assets of two of New York’s leading universities and engineering programs, as well as of private companies such as Corning, who has the largest private R&D program in New York, and companies like Lockheed and BAE Systems.”


The Hot Spot is a member organization of four business incubators: the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center; the Kevin M. McGovern Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell; Rev: Ithaca Startup Works; and the Start-Up Suites at Binghamton University, soon to be the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator.


Schumer is seeking these funds through the EDA’s i6 challenge, which is a multi-agency grant that encourages and rewards innovative, groundbreaking ideas that accelerate technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth across the United States. Awards are expected to be made the week of February 9th.


A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the Economic Development Administration is below:


Dear Administrator Williams:


I am pleased to write in support of the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot’s application to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) i6 Challenge.


The Southern Tier has unparalleled assets to support a resurgence in American manufacturing. In Cornell and Binghamton University it has two world-leading academic institutions with particular skills in engineering and materials science. In Corning Inc. it has a private company with one of the highest rates of research and development spending in New York State. These entities have come together to form the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot – an innovative regional collaboration focused on supporting entrepreneurs as they start and grow companies.


Existing resources of the Hot Spot include the cohort-based hardware accelerator program, the pilot of which is currently funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. At Cornell, the New York State-funded Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) and the state and federally-funded Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) support regional development in advanced materials and manufacturing.  The Hot Spot will combine the region’s strengths with cutting-edge business incubation, acceleration, and entrepreneurship theory and practice to quicken the development of product-oriented startups and grow the region’s economy and employment.


By leveraging existing support structures and assets in developing this ecosystem, the EDA can be part of rekindling American manufacturing in the Southern Tier. I applaud the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot for their foresight and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval. 


Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington office.



Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator