Students are back at Binghamton University. As classes kick back off, interested innovators got a chance to discover resources available to develop passions and incorporate teachings outside of the classroom. The (virtual) welcome week session hosted by the Office of Entrepreneurship provided a crash course on the Koffman Business Incubator in downtown Binghamton as well as the programs available to students.
Kicking the session off was Andre Haykal Jr, as Junior at Binghamton University and a local who had aspirations to become an entrepreneur since he was young. When he goes to college, he discovered Binghamton had resources to help him do just that. Getting involved with the incubator led him to start a club for entrepreneurs as well as a media agency that produces podcasts and online courses, among other services.
Next to speak was Zach Keck, a graduate student who now lives in the area. His background is in chemistry and engineering which he was able to leverage to start Zag Labs where he produces consumer packaged products. His first is a compound which adds traction to athletes’ shoes. He credits the incubator as being the main reason he has been able to start this business and notes how he gained the knowledge to start his business through his time in the Accelerator Program.
Tony Frontera, a professor at Binghamton University and Entrepreneur in Residence at the incubator, discussed on-campus resources for students. From classes to communities to clubs, a large ecosystem exists to foster innovation on and off campus. Binghamton is working towards offering a micro-credential in entrepreneurship for students interested in catering their education towards innovative business thinking.
Tony offered words of wisdom – “Entrepreneurship is a mindset, an attitude. You don’t need to start your own business to gain value from it. The experience you gain can be applied to jobs with other corporations and to your life in general.”
Eric Krohn, director of business incubation at the incubator finished off the session. He described the Accelerator program he runs and how it validates ideas and builds a foundation to launch from over a 12-week period. Modern lessons on business modeling and planning are delivered through this free program offered to students and community entrepreneurs.
Participating students stuck around to ask questions and learn about how they could get involved. A number followed up further and is on track to take advantage of some of the resources offered to them. From workspace to programs to clubs and classes – students have ample means to pursue their dreams and start something big.