Clarkson University's Shipley Center and Swift Eyewear Innovation North Are Excited to Announce the Opening of the Massena Hot Spot Business Accelerator

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Clarkson University's Shipley Center Opening Innovation Hot Spots Across the North Country

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Clarkson University’s Shipley Center for Innovation has pinpointed several of the locations to display the shingle for the new Innovation Hot Spot Program in Ogdensburg, Massena, Plattsburgh, Watertown, and Saranac Lake.

The North Country is one of only five New York State Regional Economic Development Councils that was awarded a Hot Spot through New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The Shipley Center and its Peyton Hall Incubator administer an Innovation Hot Spot award to advance technology transfer and support all aspects of start-ups and expansion in New York State's North Country.

The Hot Spot program has been able to bring together institutions, agencies, and multiple businesses in the area to create an innovation ecosystem across the North Country Region.

Each office at the selected locations will be open one day per week and staffed by a start-up professional who will meet with entrepreneurs who have ideas for new businesses and need assistance. They will be able to help with anything from providing resources in the area to forming a corporation to developing a business plan to commercialize their products and growing.

“The Innovation Hot Spot Program aims to expand the North Country’s innovation ecosystem building off the existing backbone of the partners involved,” said Matthew E. Draper, deputy director of the Shipley Center for Innovation. "The North Country has a wealth of human capital and we seek to harness this resource to bootstrap economic development by building our own ideas into companies, jobs, and wealth that stays in the region." “Swift Eyewear is excited to sponsor the Massena, NY Hot Spot and support entrepreneurship in the area,” said Joseph Ianni, CEO of Swift Eyewear.

The North Country Innovation Hot Spot program has four out of five locations selected -- a Saranac Lake location is still being determined. To find an incubator, the program has launched a website that includes the locations, vetting criteria, and the proposal. It is also now accepting ideas from the region to start the program. For more information, go to

The program hopes to nurture new start-ups and direct successful entrepreneurs into New York State’s new START-UP NY program, which gives start-ups the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on eligible campuses and spaces in New York State.

The Innovation Hot Spot team will be visiting four locations this week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on each day:

Tuesday, July 29: CITEC Plattsburgh Office, 402 West Bay Plaza
Wednesday, July 30: 351 E. Orvis St., Massena
Thursday, July 31: Watertown DANC Office, 317 Washington Street
Friday, August 1: 120 Chimney Point Drive Suite B, Ogdensburg

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Swift Eyewear is an online provider of prescription and non-prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses whose mission is to help students by funding bursaries and providing eyewear to disadvantaged students at no cost. With customers throughout the United States and Canada, Swift continues to grow with the increased demand for affordable eyewear solutions.


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Joseph Ianni

Michael P. Griffin
since: 09/2012
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