Resource Spotlight: Accelerate Long Island
Accelerate Long Island
Accelerate Long Island is a regional effort by leaders at Stony Brook University, Hofstra University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and North Shore-LIJ Health System to commercialize innovations at Long Island’s major research institutions. Collectively, the major research institutions in the area spend over $1 billion on research, the goal of the Accelerate Long Island initiative is to maximize the potential of that funding by developing a regional strategy.
When researching best practices to utilize research for economic purposes it was found that Long Island is behind other regions of the country in linking research institutions’ innovations with entrepreneurs. Several strategies were identified for strengthening the innovation economy in the region. Among them were plans for building an entrepreneurial ecosystem focusing on start-up networking called Accelerate Ecosystem, a support system for early stage high-tech start-ups called Accelerate Assist, and a funding initiative called Accelerate Funding.
Accelerate Ecosystem involves events that allow entrepreneurs to engage with each other as well as potential funders and partners. A strategic partnership with the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) and the Long Island Software Technology Network (LISTnet) was also forged to work on instructional events, cross-marketing the region as a technology hub, and providing assistance to companies and entrepreneurs.
Accelerate Assist works to team up start-ups with resources that have the expertise to help with specific needs. There are several intellectual property specific law firms that provide advice on patents and other IP issues. Other law firms and accounting firms have been recruited to aide in company formation and management issues. Also, there is an effort with the existing Long Island Entrepreneur-in-Residence programs at Stony Brook University to expand the mentor network available to early stage companies.
Accelerate Funding is a program that makes investments in high tech start-up companies using Accelerate Long Island’s $500,000 fund. The fund is matched by $750,000 in private investment from the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund that has a separate investment committee. Each of the funds invest up to $50,000 in early stage, high-tech start-up companies. The Long Island Angel Network is also working closely with Accelerate Funding to match start-up companies seeking early stage funding.
Accelerate Long Island uses these resources to expand Long Island’s innovation economy. These programs allow the region to utilize the existing research institutions and their innovations to their highest capacity.