Accelerate Long Island

Accelerate Long Island Logo

Accelerate Long Island’s mission is to foster a unique collaboration among Long Island’s world class research institutions and its business community to commercialize research and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

I’ve had the pleasure to attend both Accelerate LI events as well as spend some time with Mark and his team and their actions speak louder than my praise could. In a short amount of (for Long Island) time, they have connected with the Lords of all the local fiefdoms and is actively fostering not just communication but a sense of common purpose.

Aside from the less tangible progress, Accelerate LI has architected 3 core programs to further move the needle for entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists and those looking to support their growth here on the island.

Accelerate Funding

Accelerate Long Island has a $500,000 Seed Fund that invests up to $50,000 in early stage high technology startup companies in the form of grants. The Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund co-invests with the $750,000 Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund (LIETF), which was created by three venture capitalists and typically invests up to $50,000 in early stage startups.

Accelerate Funding is also working closely with the Long Island Angel Network and other early stage funding sources to provide one-stop-shopping for startups companies seeking capital. 

Accelerate Assist

Accelerate Assist is a free mentorship program for early stage high-tech startup companies. 

Accelerate Assist kicks off with a brainstorming session with a team of entrepreneurs-in-residence. The startup company is then paired with an entrepreneur-in-residence and develops a set of milestones for the  over a three to sixth month period. Completion of the Accelerate Assist program may result in an opportunity to pitch to the Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund or connections with other early stage funding sources.

Typical coaching topics include:

  • Developing or refining the market for the technology.
  • Determining the pain in the market and determining the best economic model for the company.
  • Navigating intellectual property issues.
  • Polishing the pitch for funding.
  • Assistance with company formation and management.

Accelerate Ecosystem

Long Island’s startup scene is blossoming – and Accelerate Long Island is supporting entrepreneurs and building’s Long Island entrepreneurial ecosystem. Accelerate Long Island’s networking and instructional events are part of the ecosystem. (editor’s note – this the collection of events Accelerate hosts for various groups that make up the Long Island startup ecosystem)

LaunchPad Long Island

Lauch Pad Long IslandThe brain child of co-founders Andrew Hazen and Richard Foster, LaunchPad Long Island is a 12,000 sq foot co-working space with an emerging business accelerator in Mineola, Long Island.

LaunchPad LI has cracked one of the biggest obstacles that has suffocated many Long Island entrepreneurial endeavors in the past… accessibility. By having their own parking lot, adjacent municipal parking and Mineola train station at their doorstep, LaunchPad LI and their tenants have the unique ability to efficiently draw talent out of Brooklyn, Queens and NYC as well as local residents.

Co-working

Judging from my walk through during the launch party, Andrew, Richard and Brian set out from the start to ensure all public and private spaces were designed to be equally fun and functional. The modern (read: brand spanking new) environment has wood floors, glass desks, leather chairs & couches and all the amenities needed to make the long days and late nights a little less taxing. Aside from the main benefits of peer support and collaboration that make co-working so desirable, LaunchPad Long Island also includes:

  • Peer Support & Collaboration
  • 24/7 access
  • No security deposit
  • Professional services support (legal, finance, marketing, insurance, etc.)
  • Networking opportunities
  • Storage lockers
  • Free coffee & water
  • Copy/Print/San services
  • Access to Hofstra Zarb Business School Speaker Series
  • Conference rooms with large TVs
  • Relax in the Blast Off Lounge

Private Office Suites

The second floor of LaunchPad LI has thirteen (13) brand new furnished Executive office suites for 1 – 6 people.

  • 24/7 Access
  • 95% of suites have windows (Amen!!!)
  • Receptionist services
  • No long term commitments
  • High Speed WiFi
  • Flex Space & “Writable” Idea/Strategy Walls
  • Conference rooms with large TVs
  • Free coffee & water
  • Copy/Print/Scan services
  • On-site parking

Business Accelerator

Unfortunately, at the time of this post, details are still a bit sketchy on the business accelerator side of things. There seems to be a seed fund of $250K with up to $25k being allocated to each team accepted to the program. 

Based on what they are seeking in applicants, it looks intentionally vague, which is natural for the first class of a new accelerator, but what concerns me more, is the lack of  program, such as class start/end dates, demo days, equity structure to the accelerator (if any), and other typical accelerator parameters.

Regardless, I recommend any Long Island based early stage entrepreneur check it out. Just do your homework on other top accelerators like Tech Stars and Y Combinator to best understand how LaunchPad LI stacks up to their peers. 

And There’s More…

There are also a handful of other programs and services that look like they will be coming into their own in due time. Here are a few of them…

  • Speaker Series
  • 30 Under 30
  • Movie Night
  • LaunchPad Cadets

In summary, Long Island now has a true hub for entrepreneurial talent that is easily accessible both geographically and financially. Andrew, Richard and their team have accomplished something very special, now it’s time to get involved to ensure it flourishes. 

LI Tech Comets

LI Tech Comets LogoLI Tech Comets is a business accelerator housed in the LI Tech Mall.

Like most accelerators, LI Tech Comets follows the usual process of…

  1. Submit application
  2. A round of interviews to narrow the pool to a final class
  3. Free office space, legal, account and marketing assistance
  4. 3 months of mentoring
  5. Additional 3 months of mentoring/office space if applicable

There are however, some notable omissions. Most importantly there is no explicit initial investment of capital for companies entering the program and no “demo” day on the calendar for the class to show off what they have accomplished to a definitive list of equally vetted investors.

It is these “book ends of capital” that really define an accelerator but more importantly draw a competitive level of entrepreneurial talent to apply and intern a competitive level of mentors and investors to get involved. So as it stands today, LI Tech Comets smells more like a structured incubator with an eviction date than a typical accelerator the likes of Y Combinator in CA or Tech Stars in NYC.

The phase “Walk before you fly.” is displayed prominently on the LI Tech Comets website and by speaking with those involved, LI Tech Comets as an organization is doing just that. I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor when the first class is released into the wild. Regardless of their survival rate, if LITC can rapidly evolve based on what they learned running the first class, they have an opportunity to become a keystone contributor to the Long Island startup ecosystem.

Learn more and submit an application.

LI Tech Mall

LI Tech MallThe LI Tech Mall is suite / cube space geared toward fledgling tech firms looking for some camaraderie.

It has all the infrastructure necessities: high speed internet, 2 shared conference rooms, kitchen and a receptionist. The biggest asset however is the close relation to LISTnet, one of the largest technology sector advocates on Long Island.

Offices range in price from  $500 – $900 and cubes are $200 – 250 which is on par with co-working spaces, but the location has more of an incubator feel with less chaos (for better or worse) and a focus on steady progress for its inhabitants. 

It is also worth noting that LI Tech Mall is home of the LI Tech Comets which is an early stage business accelerator.

If you are seeking a price competitive place to setup shop in the heart of Suffolk County that has a soft spot for tech, it is worth checking out.

Location

200 Parkway Drive South Suite 201
Hauppauge, New York 11788

More Information

Hack your way to Silicon Valley… on a bus

Startup BusStartupBus is an invitation-only community of hackers (coders), hustlers (marketeers) and hipsters (designers) passionate about startups. They are best known for their annual competition where they bring new people into our community, building and selling a product on a bus that’s traveling 60 miles an hour towards Austin, Paris, or other major cities around the globe.

Startup Bus is now taking applications for their Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley Route.

Applications are by invitation-only. To be invited, you can reach out to former Buspreneurs or @TheStartupBus and convince them that you’re the right kind of awesome or crazy (ideally both). You can also connect on the StartupBus website and make a lot of noise so that we notice and invite you.

CODE2040: Bringing Amazing Minority Engineering Talent to Silicon Valley

CODE2040CODE2040 brings high performing Black and Latino/a computer engineering students to Silicon Valley for a comprehensive summer fellowship program. The program consists of: an internship with a top startup, mentoring, a speaker series, company visits, interactive workshops, and executive coaching. In summer 2013, CODE2040 will welcome 20 students into its career-launching fellows program.

Last summer, CODE2040 fellows met executives at tech powerhouses Google and Facebook, sat down with partners at top venture firms Kleiner Perkins and Greylock, were mentored by early employees at YouTube and Quora, worked at leading edge startups Tumblr and Jawbone, visited trendsetting companies Zynga and Square, presented an original engineering project to founders from around the Valley, and more.

For more on CODE2040, check out this video on Bloomberg TV. Apply to be a fellow here –> http://code2040.org/apply

Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Nassau County

money bulbThe Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Nassau County is a meeting place for inventors with patents pending, others who have sold or licensed inventions and those who have lots of ideas but know where to start. The club also holds an Inventors Showcase where club members can display their inventions to receive feedback and encouragement from fellow inventors.

Learn more and sign up for the next meetup.

Group Organizer

Brian Fried holds four patented inventions and has an additional three that are patent pending under his company, Think Up Designs. Brian’s inventions were brought to market through manufacturing, as he has appeared on QVC and also has done licensing for retail distribution products from kids toys and infant products to kitchen gadgets. Another specialty of his is to create and license brand art properties that target the teen/tween market. His brands have been placed in several retail chains such as Target, and other well known retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

Government Support

The Nassau County Office of Economic Development is a broad-reaching entity established to strengthen existing communities. The Office coordinates critical services and information to businesses, residents and the community

Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Suffolk County

money bulbThe Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Suffolk County is a meeting place for inventors with patents pending, others who have sold or licensed inventions and those who have lots of ideas but know where to start. The club also holds an Inventors Showcase where club members can display their inventions to receive feedback and encouragement from fellow inventors.

Learn more and sign up for the next meetup.

Group Organizer

Brian Fried holds four patented inventions and has an additional three that are patent pending under his company, Think Up Designs. Brian’s inventions were brought to market through manufacturing, as he has appeared on QVC and also has done licensing for retail distribution products from kids toys and infant products to kitchen gadgets. Another specialty of his is to create and license brand art properties that target the teen/tween market. His brands have been placed in several retail chains such as Target, and other well known retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

Government Support

The Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Workforce Housing assists and promotes the development, growth and retention of a broad mix of industry clusters that facilitate job opportunities and private capital investment.  Through implementation of various technical and financing programs the department acts as a one-stop resource for all type of business sectors and their respective needs.  We assist private enterprise, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities in the production of workforce housing that offers opportunities for our highly educated and skilled workforce to remain here in Suffolk County.  Through various grants the department encouraging tourism and downtown revitalization both which support the quality of life our residents have come to enjoy and expect. 

Long Island Capital Alliance

Long Island Capital Alliance LogoSince 1984, the Long Island Capital Alliance (LICA), formerly known as Long Island Venture Group, has been promoting business growth on Long Island.

LICA seeks to create a productive and business-friendly environment that will afford area businesses access to the resources necessary to compete successfully in today’s markets. LICA serves as a focal point for the exchange of ideas among new and existing business enterprises, successful entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers. Through quarterly capital forums and special meetings, LICA brings together members of the region’s business community.

Learn more about the Long Island Capital Alliance.

LI Startups

Startup LI Logo

LI Startups was founded to help entrepreneurs, startups and early-stage companies on Long Island. It was created by Andrew Hazen, a successful Serial Entrepreneur, Angel Investor & Attorney.

This meetup is in it’s infancy, but Andrew has already begun assembling the key ingredients of a solid startup support network (early stage investors and service providers). Given time, I believe more entrepreneurs will come out of the woodwork and attend and if they are natured though tough love and good connections, there is a bright future for this group.

Check out their next meetup.