Officials recently announced a new Downtown Ithaca Incubator, where students from Ithaca College, Cornell University and Tompkins Cortland Community College can work on business projects. The incubator could provide the campus with its first real connection to the upstate New York technology sector, as well as neighboring campuses.
In the past, programs fostering entrepreneurship on campus have been limited to the Business Idea Competition and this year’s Global Game Jam. Meanwhile, more than $1 billion of investment money was provided to student entrepreneurs across upstate last year — none of which the college saw. Cornell’s eLab and the Syracuse Student Sandbox have launched dozens of student companies since 2008. The incubator is the college’s entrance into this industry.
It also allows the college to connect with Cornell and TC3 like never before. Besides the Cornell University–Ithaca College exchange program and the Washington Semester program, Ithaca’s programmatic ties with its neighbors have been negligible.
The collaborative effort of the incubator may improve the academic relationship among the three colleges and provide a delayed but necessary breakthrough into the tech startup community.