U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) has announced that the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) has awarded $101,923 to fund the first year of the Downstate New York University Center program, a new five-year program at Hofstra University operated collaboratively between Hofstra’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the New York University Veterans Future Lab to provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development, with a focus on veteran entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs operating in distressed communities.
“When I served on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I saw how the men and women who served our country used their leadership skills in civilian life to create economic opportunities for themselves and others,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “This program at Hofstra University will ensure those veterans, and other aspiring entrepreneurs, can receive the technical assistance they need to bring their business ideas to life. I applaud Hofstra’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and NYU’s Veterans Future Lab for launching this collaborative program, and I’m thrilled it has secured this federal funding from EDA.”
“Hofstra University’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is committed to assisting and serving those who served us and those who currently serve their distressed communities,” said Sharon Goldsmith, Acting Executive Dean, Entrepreneurship & Business Development at Hofstra University. “Through our work on the Hofstra Veteran’s Venture Challenge, we identified a need to help entrepreneurs in the earliest stage launch and grow their businesses. The Downstate New York University Center program will not only provide training and resources, but will create a community of early stage entrepreneurs from New York City and Long Island. Leveraging existing resources across our institutions will allow us to provide support to these entrepreneurs as they launch, grow and scale.”
“This federal support will allow us to continue the exciting work of accelerating veterans into the innovation economy,” said NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Steve Kuyan, Director of Entrepreneurship. “At the same time this EDA funding ensures that regardless of where anyone lives, they will be able to receive the skills and training to build scalable ventures.”
Federal funding for the program was awarded through EDA’s University Center Program, which enables institutions of higher education to establish and operate University Centers (UC) specifically focused on leveraging university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, resiliency and inclusiveness. The Downstate New York University Center will provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs through a virtual training series, collaboration with faculty and students, and networking and instructional events in its mission to achieve the UC program goals.
“We are grateful to the men and women who have served our Country, and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. The collaboration between Hofstra’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and NYU’s Veterans Future Lab is an excellent way to provide them and other entrepreneurs with the tools they need to financially thrive in our County. Thank you to the EDA for funding this important program,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“Nassau County is home to over 55,000 Veterans. Many of them own small businesses,” said Ralph Esposito, Director of the Nassau County Veterans Services Agency. “I would like to thank Rep. Kathleen Rice, the EDA, and Hofstra University for their support of our veteran community.”