The Orange County Accelerator helps Orange County entrepreneurs and manufacturers expand their businesses in order to nurture and grow a workforce. In short, it’s about jobs.
The Accelerator’s parent, the Orange County IDA, is a nonprofit public benefit corporation.
The IDA’s Orange County Legislature-appointed board considers tax breaks and other economic incentives to create, attract and retain jobs.
The Accelerator’s business assistance fund, currently $11 million-plus, comes from the fees the IDA has collected from other businesses applying to be considered for tax breaks and incentives for economic development projects.
The Accelerator helps small startup businesses, take the next steps in order to scale.
Businesses that have outgrown workspaces in home garages or basements and are prepared to move to the next level in their business growth are ideal Accelerator clients.
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 affordable office space.
Support may 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, working with 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
#845 567 3610
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:
Lastly, The Accelerator also offers numerous conferences throughout the year, such as their popular annual Hudson Valley Women’s Leadership Conference: Leading the Change. In 2018 more than 800 attendees gathered at the Culinary Institute of America Marriot Pavilion in Hyde Park, N.Y.
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.
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:
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.
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.
NYCe Blu is a women’s handbag manufacturer specializing in very high-end handbags made from fine Italian and Spanish leathers.
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.
Get in Touch
To book a piece of equipment, fill out our form:
*T-SEC reserves the right to screen and approve each request.