SUNY Potsdam Start-Up NY Plan Approved; College Works to Attract Businesses to the North Country


From left, the SUNY Potsdam Start-Up NY Committee includes Raymond Bowdish, Meg Bain, Fred Hanss, Patrick Kelly, John Wicke and Sandy Maine.

SUNY Potsdam is the first campus in the North Country to have its Start-Up NY plan approved. Governor Andrew Cuomo's groundbreaking new initiative provides major incentives for eligible businesses to relocate, start-up or significantly expand in New York State.

"SUNY Potsdam is proud to announce that its Start-Up NY plan has been approved. The College is already in talks with multiple prospective new and expanding businesses, and we look forward to working with our community partners to enhance economic development in the North Country, with the goal of creating jobs, as well as bolstering entrepreneurship and experiential education opportunities for our students," said Interim President Dr. Dennis L. Hefner.

Businesses in the Start-Up NY program will have the opportunity to operate tax-free on or near campus for 10 years, and their employees will pay no state or local income taxes.

"SUNY Potsdam is excited to receive formal notification of our approved Start-Up NY campus plan. The College is fully committed to the success of this program, as part of SUNY Potsdam's mission is an abiding sense of responsibility to the North Country region," said Director of Strategic Alliances John M. Wicke. "We truly appreciate how Start-Up NY will help fuel knowledge creation and innovation to better prepare our students, while helping our regional economy."

SUNY Potsdam will seek to locate businesses whose missions align with the College's academic strengths. For example, the longstanding programs in computer science, music business and environmental science would complement information technology, art start-ups and renewable energy firms, respectively.

Start-ups in the growth areas outlined by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council's strategic plan will also be targeted.

The following locations are designated under SUNY Potsdam's Start-Up NY plan:

·Potsdam Commerce Park: 12,000-square-foot business-ready building owned by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency and located within one mile of campus, in the Village of Potsdam.

·Carson Hall: Six offices with all utilities available on the SUNY Potsdam campus, totaling 1,600 square feet.

·Lehman Park: 42 acres of land on the SUNY Potsdam campus, located on outer Pierrepont Avenue.

·NATCO Park: 25 acres of land on the SUNY Potsdam campus, located on outer Main Street.

In addition, SUNY Potsdam also included other locations that could be potential spaces to designate as Start-Up NY areas in the future. They include three business-ready buildings owned by the St. Lawrence County IDA in the Massena Industrial Park, as well as the business incubator owned by Clarkson University in Peyton Hall, located in downtown Potsdam.

SUNY Potsdam has partnered with the county IDA on a collaborative marketing plan designed to attract businesses to the North Country. For instance, the College recently worked with the IDA on a targeted mailing to Boston-area SUNY Potsdam graduates, in coordination with a trade show, encouraging alumni to consider locating a new or expanding business near their alma mater.

Dr. Hefner has designated a Start-Up NY Committee with local partners, to review, screen and recommend business applications, promote entrepreneurship on campus, and assist in attracting business ventures.

The SUNY Potsdam Start-Up NY Committee met for the first time on March 28. Its members include:

·John M. Wicke, director of strategic alliances, SUNY Potsdam

·Patrick Kelly, CEO, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency

·Sandy Maine '78, owner, Adirondack Fragrance

·Fred Hanss '83, planning and development director, Village of Potsdam

·Meg Bain, assistant director of career planning, SUNY Potsdam

·Raymond Bowdish '87, biology instructional specialist, Faculty Senate delegate, SUNY Potsdam

For more information about Start-Up NY at SUNY Potsdam, please visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.