By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Syracuse University has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) targeted at innovation and acceleration of entrepreneurship and student ventures in Central New York.

Coupled with a $1.7 million endowment to the Raymond von Dran Innovative and Disruptive Entrepreneurship Accelerator (IDEA) Fund, the EDA award will provide funding for the Syracuse Student Sandbox’s effort to assist student entrepreneurs in launching new businesses in upstate New York.

The Syracuse Student Sandbox provides an incubator space and programming in the Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse for student start-up companies. There are more than twenty student-run ventures operating in the incubator space now, and the program is open to all student entrepreneurs from colleges and universities in central New York.

John Liddy, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Student Sandbox, provides support and mentorship connections to the student companies, and organizes events such as Demo Day, where students pitch their ideas to investors, venture capitalists and other business people.

IDEA’s educational partners include Binghamton University, Cayuga Community College, Clarkson University, Colgate University, Cornell University, Cortland State College, Le Moyne College, Morrisville State College, Onondaga Community College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Tompkins Cortland Community College, the University of Rochester, Wells College and Upstate Medical University.