INC.ubator program launched for student entrepreneurs

Najee Walker, Reporter

SUNY Buffalo State’s “Year of the Innovator” has brought a new program to campus, called INC.ubator, which is an environment designed to nurture and promote Buffalo State students’ desire to start a business and become entrepreneurs.

Located in Bishop 107, INC.ubator offers workshops, events and mentorship opportunities to students who wish to start a business. The INC.ubator also offers start-up business advisement, opportunities to meet other entrepreneurs, and ultimately, a chance at starting a business. The INC.ubator would also keep students informed on what is going on in the Small Business Development Center and give students access to resources.

Susan McCartney, advisor to the INC.ubator, and Simone Dawson, a senior business major who manages INC.ubator, both hope that students will recognize INC.ubator and stop by with ideas to start up a small business.

McCartney is also the director of the Small Business Development Center. “Students have the opportunity to use us,” McCarney said. “But they usually don’t.”

“If [students have] ever dreamed about owning a business, they should contact us.” McCartney said.

The Small Business Development Center sees about 1000 people per year coming to speak about their start-up businesses and get help and advice. However, the Small Business Development Center would like to see more students with an interest in starting a small business, and that, McCartney said, is where INC.ubator comes in. “I think if we can get this out there, we can get the word out about Small Business Development Center.”

Originally, the idea came up during a meeting by Joelle Leclaire, assistant professor in economics, where she noticed that many students were interested in starting their own business. Leclaire was concerned that students who want to try starting a small business could not, simply because they did not have the knowledge. She then spoke about her concerns and ideas with colleagues. After several meetings and some brainstorming, INC.ubator was opened, with the help and direction of Richard Johnson, manager for the Office of Research and Economic Development.

INC.ubator has been featured at many other campuses around the United States, Canada and at colleges and universities close by, such as at SUNY University at Buffalo. The program is not only open to business majors, but other majors as well.

“One of our members is an IT major,” Dawson said.

Other majors include art conservation, artists, music production majors, social enterprise and event management.

“The INC.ubator attacts all kinds of majors,” McCartney said.

INC.ubator emphasizes having a dream or a goal and having the will to reach it. Every Friday at 3 p.m. in Bishop Hall 107, INC.ubator meets and chats about how they and the Small Business Development Center can help students. INC.ubator also emphasizes creativity and is a place where students can freely explore their ideas.

Students are encouraged to email Dawson at [email protected] or call 878-4030 for more help and information about INC.ubator.

INC.ubator is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dawson is also available at the Small Business Development Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @NajeeW93