Successful entrepreneur ecosystems and communities require several key components including research to generate new innovations, business expertise and support, venture funding, access to incubators and specialized equipment, and a talented workforce. UB and its Hub partners have a strong innovation portfolio from faculty, staff, researchers and students. The Hub will provide the necessary resources to move those innovations from the classroom, lab or clinic into the market place through new startups.
The Innovation Hub project involves three main components, including:
- Planning, design, renovation, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment funds for the approximately $7 million conversion of UB’s Center of Excellence for Bioinformatics & Life Sciences into incubation and entrepreneur support space. The space will be made available to companies affiliated with UB and partner organizations. UB will utilize additional space in the Center for Excellence for entrepreneur support programs, events, education and related services.
- Establish a $13.5 million Investment Fund to provide proof-of-concept and pre-seed/seed investments for startups.
- Provide outreach to and engagement with UB and participating institutions’ faculty, staff and students to increase the number and quality of startup opportunities, coordinate and execute startup support programming and develop new initiatives to guide startups through all phases of development, and personnel support to administer the new programs and services. This component will utilize approximately $11.5 million of the funds over five years.
The planning, design and renovation of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences into incubation and entrepreneur support space is underway and expected to open in Summer 2020. The space, which will be a designated START-UP NY-eligible location, will be made available to companies affiliated with UB and partner organizations. The university will also utilize various portions of the facility for entrepreneur support programs, events, education and related services.
Initial investments through the Innovation Hub's $13.5 million fund have commenced with a focus on fueling proof-of-concept opportunities and pre-seed/seed growth. As a result, seven proof of concept accelerator fund awardees have been selected, and the fund is expected to ramp up activity later this year, with additional funding announcements expected soon.
Outreach engagement and support programming to best serve and guide founders and startups through the various phases of development is underway. This outreach, curriculum and programming is being introduced and implemented.
The Innovation Hub is designed to help connect ideas to action and move research from the lab to the marketplace. It is funded through a $32 million Buffalo Billion II grant commitment and supports innovation at UB and its leading research partners, including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Jacobs Institute, Hauptmann-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Kaleida Health. UB and its Hub partners collectively have more than $412 million in annual research, 30,000 students, and more than 3,000-plus faculty who are focused on making new discoveries and advances in medical device technology, diagnostics, healthcare delivery, software applications, materials, imaging, sustainability and other diverse innovative developments. The Innovation Hub will increase commercialization of technologies and will ultimately grow private investment and jobs in Western New York.