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MVCC President signs entrepreneurship pledge during SUNY Chancellor visit
Aug 8, 2018
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson visited the thINCubator and Mohawk Valley Community College’s Utica Campus on Tuesday, Aug. 7, to discuss the importance and value of entrepreneurship as MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner signed the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge to take five action steps to increase the College's focus on entrepreneurship and its impact on the economic well-being of the communities it serves.
"Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart,” said Johnson. “You have to be strong. You have to be resilient. You have to be all of the things that Mohawk Valley gives its graduates."
Since 2015, the MVCC thINCubator, which provides resources for startups and is the first co-working space in the Mohawk Valley, has worked with more than 150 different entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs through workshops, training, and mentorships; has assisted in creation, deployment, or acceleration of 27 new businesses; and has hosted almost 100 events and workshops. MVCC is the only community college with a New York State Regional Innovation Hotspot designation and is only one of two community colleges in the nation to have secured the federal Economic Development Administration’s i6 grant, which allows the thINCubator to provide funding for startups and connect them with the resources needed to succeed and create jobs.
The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge is in response to the Obama Administration’s Startup America call-to-action to stimulate economic growth state-by-state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.
Community college presidents who take the pledge commit to these five action steps:
- Develop transparency of community college and community assets
- Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
- Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges
- Engage in industry cluster development
- Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship
"Through all the incredible efforts, MVCC and our many partners continue to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and creative collisions here in our area using the thINCubator as the hub for connecting entrepreneurs, colleges, students, and community organizations," said VanWagoner. "Today is not only about celebrating successes associated with launching more than one business every month for the past two years, but to affirm and amplify our commitment and enthusiasm to entrepreneurship right here in the Mohawk Valley."
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