Follow Us:

The Orange County Accelerator

With two campuses, one in New Windsor and one in Middletown, The Accelerator grows targeted economic clusters by partnering with startups in the lower Hudson Valley.

What does The Accelerator Powered by the Orange County IDA do?

The Orange County Accelerator is a New York State designated regional incubator. These incubators receive funding from NYS’s Empire State Development, the agency responsible for the designation, to assist early state companies that are seeking to grow their businesses.

 

Cyndi Allyn, owner of Farm Body, operates out of the Middletown Accelerator. She uses locally sourced ingredients like wine and honey to produce skincare products that help people with allergies, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis as well as those suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy.

 

The Orange County Accelerator is a New York State designated regional incubator. These incubators “receive funding to reach a greater number of early-stage companies,” according to the website of the Empire State Development the agency responsible for the designation, to assist these companies that seek business growth.

 

The Accelerator helps small startup businesses that have outgrown workspaces in home garages or basements and are prepared to move to the next level in their business growth. The Accelerator provides technical assistance to these budding businesses to enable them to scale up their production capacity and thus to produce their products more efficiently.

 

 

The Accelerator also provides business support to its clients, helping them prepare for the business world, offering guidance to help partner clients gain a better understanding of both the costs of doing business and the commercialization requirements for their product(s), all while offering an affordable high-tech office space.

 

This can also include help in developing a business plan or obtaining a MWBE (minority or women owned) business status.

 

In fact, The Accelerator partners with the Women’s Enterprise Development Center, which provides workshops on the Accelerator’s New Windsor campus for minority and women-owned businesses.

 

The Accelerator’s New Windsor Campus

 

SMARTT PODs

 

The Accelerator, working with its funding partner T-SEC, pioneered the concept of SMARTT PODs (defined here), which are production on demand (p.o.d.) spaces where pilot-scale manufacturing occurs. These SMARTT PODs are located at both the New Windsor campus and, most recently, The Accelerator’s Middletown Campus, located at Touro College.

 

Companies located at The Accelerator’s New Windsor campus are typically small manufacturing companies focused on the manufacture of textile goods and products and personal care grooming products such as:

  • women’s handbags
  • body creams and lotions
  • soap and hair products

 

These startup business owners come to the Accelerator with a product that they have developed at their kitchen tables and basement work benches. Once the product is viable these entrepreneurs want to commercialize their product and need to scale up their manufacturing processes in order to bring their product to a wider marketplace.

 

The Accelerator provides access to on-site resources such as manufacturing equipment and inexpensive space, as well as mentoring coaches, business classes, and access to SMARTT Labs.

 

One of the sewing machines at The Accelerator’s Sewing Center

 

The Accelerator’s Middletown Campus

The Accelerator’s Middletown Campus was developed to leverage the strengths of Middletown where there is a large medical industry cluster, including medical and health-care companies, hospitals, and Touro College.

 

Augmate’s VP, Brand Strategy & Communications, Steve Tollen and COO Dana Farbo demonstrate their IOT product dashboard for Heather Rieker of Galileo Technologies.

 

 

 

The Accelerator observed that the City of Middletown has a medical technology sector that would likely be attractive to college-educated millennials who seek well-paying jobs. These millennials also look for urban landscapes where they have easy access to outdoor recreational pursuits such as hiking and biking. Middletown benefits from city walking trails and a number of interesting restaurants and cafes, as well as a lively arts scene and easy access to the Catskills, the Delaware Valley,  and Manhattan.

 

 

The leadership at The Accelerator also decided to focus on computer programming and software-as-a-service economic clusters. These clusters are comprised of and attract businesses that need individuals with two-year associate, four-year, and post-undergraduate degrees.

 

CBS news quoted a glassdoor.com study stating that these two economic sectors, healthcare and programming, offer America’s highest-paying jobs, some paying in the six figures annually.

 

By emphasizing the biotechnology cluster potential of the Middletown location, The Accelerator is encouraging medical device development and production, and this is precisely why it chose Touro College as the home of its Middletown Campus.

 

HUB Zones

 

The other benefit realized in Middletown is that it offers Accelerator business-client graduates the chance to move into commercial real estate in an area deemed a HUB Zone.

 

A Hub Zone, designated by the U.S. SBA,  is an “historically underutilized business zone” wherein businesses can “gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities…these preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUB Zone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUB Zone,” according to the SBA’s website.

 

SBDC (Small Business Development Center)

 

The Accelerator’s Middletown Campus offers a satellite campus of the Mid Hudson’s SBDC. According to the Mid Hudson’s SBDC’s website,  “if you or your business reside in New York, the SBDC can maneuver you around the obstacles to success.  Among other things, we help our clients:

  • understand the importance of a business plan
  • discover sources of funding
  • prepare for e-commerce
  • identify avenues for exporting goods & services
  • develop marketing plans
  • assess an invention’s viability
  • comply with licensing & regulations

And thanks to our partners in the public and private sectors, our services are free of charge.”

The SBDC person to contact at the Accelerator’s Middletown Campus is:

Cynthia Clune

#845 567 3610

[email protected]

The Accelerator Without Walls Program

 

AWOW, the Accelerator Without Walls, is an Orange County-focused program bringing the on-site services of The Accelerator to the support of existing, established manufacturing companies located in Orange County. By leveraging a team of scientists, engineers, and business experts, clients receive assistance and coaching in areas such as production and development support, investment readiness, and market research.

 

The Accelerator Without Walls program can help off-site clients problem-solve, increase production, and discover how to meet a market need.

 

Rent at Accelerator Campuses for qualifying businesses is low-cost allowing businesses to expand without using up precious capital on rent.

 

The Accelerator also offers training in:

  • Digital and Traditional Marketing
  • Business Law and Insurance
  • Leadership
  • Artisan food handling/bottling
  • Fashion design/manufacturing

 

Lastly, The Accelerator also offers numerous conferences throughout the year, such as their popular Film Industry Conference, which was offered in 2017 at SUNY Orange’s Newburgh Campus.

 

T-SEC and The Orange County Accelerator work together to create and support SMARTT PODs and Labs

 

As a not-for-profit, 501(c)3, T-SEC (The Strategic Economic Consortium) is eligible to access New York State’s Consolidated Funding Access Grant (CFA), and has done so successfully (in partnership with The Accelerator) for the past several years, dating to 2013.

 

 T-SEC uses its grant funds to purchase specialized equipment for SMARTT Labs (defined here) and SMARTT POD’s (defined here).

 

These so-called SMARTT labs are found at locations throughout the Hudson Valley at partner Academic and Manufacturers’ facilities, such as at Fala Technologies and at SUNY Ulster’s Pfeiffer Lab.

 

The equipment at SMARTT Labs is primarily characterization and testing equipment that manufacturers use to improve product quality, test new products and ideas, and perform research and development related to future business plans.

For instance, at our manufacturing partner Sono-Tek, T-SEC has provided a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

 

Sono-Tek’s is internationally recognized for the ultra-precise nozzles it manufactures, which deliver coatings to a variety of products, including medical stents.

 

Because such characterization and testing equipment is expensive, but not always needed on a day-to-day basis by businesses, T-SEC and The Accelerator offer access to said equipment to entrepreneurs and manufacturers on an as-needed basis. As The Accelerator’s Middletown campus grows its bio-medical device footprint it is possible that client partners may seek access to the SEM located at Sono-Tek. Because of T-SEC’s partnership with The Accelerator, that opportunity can easily be arranged.

 

The equipment housed at a SMARTT Lab partner’s facility is also an important component of workforce development and training as it is used for:

 

  • training employed tech workers seeking to expand industry skills and knowledge
  • training SUNY Community College students preparing for entry into the hi-tech manufacturing field by providing hands-on training and access to participatory lectures
  • training apprentices accepted into a recently created program known as The New York State Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship program
  • training students to use Solidworks, the 3-D printing CAD system that creates the files needed to use 3-D printers. T-SEC has provided such equipment to The Haverstraw Center, SUNY Rockland’s satellite campus in Haverstraw, New York.

 

The Accelerator’s role (in partnership with T-SEC) is to oversee Accelerator SMARTT PODs and guide clients to the programs that SMARTT POD clients may need access to.

 

For instance, a handbag manufacturer may design a product using the Tucatech pattern-making software located at The Accelerator’s New Windsor campus (and funded by T-SEC) and then use the 3D Center SMARTT Lab in Haverstraw to prototype just the right clasp for the bag.

Scanning Electron Microscope at Sono-Tek
The Scanning Electron Microscope at Sono-Tek

The Accelerator’s Middletown campus focuses on bio-tech companies and supports T-SEC and The Accelerators’ shared goal of expanding regional economic clusters, such as the Hudson Valley’s biotech cluster. Any SMARTT POT partner client in need of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) will be directed to T-SEC’s SMARTT Lab partner, Sono-Tek, for access to T-SEC’s SEM located there.

_DSC1975
A NYCe Blu bag

NYCe Blu is a women’s handbag manufacturer specializing in very high-end handbags made from fine Italian and Spanish leathers.

_DSC2164-(1)
Rascal Creative Offers Digital Services

Rascal is a full-service creative branding agency that does website development, video production, logo and marketing material design, and social-media marketing. Rascal is located at the Middletown Campus.

If you are an Economic Development Agency in the Hudson Valley, and you’d like to talk to us about being a SMARTT Lab host partner, contact us! 

Find out more
 Filter By Category