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Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute Launched

DATE: 08-31-2009

The Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute, a partnership created to spur economic and social progress in the region, held a dedication ceremony at its newly renovated building in downtown Auburn on August 20, 2009. On hand to show state-level support for the Institute were New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio, Chancellor of the State University of New York Nancy L. Zimpher, and Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges Dennis Golladay, former president of Cayuga Community College.

The Institute will offer programs, services and activities to support business and professional development in the region. The three-story building at 2 State Street houses five business incubators, each a small office space, for use by start-up businesses, as well as an internet-wired Smart Classroom for community use, and a Grant Writer's Library. The building also serves as the home of the Stardust Foundation of Central New York.

As a founding partner, Cayuga County Community College has helped to shape the Institute concept and plan its programs. The College will conduct professional development classes at the State Street facility to foster the next generation of local entrepreneurs. On campus, Cayuga already offers credit-bearing courses with an entrepreneurial focus to promote innovative approaches in social and business enterprises.

Funding sources for the not-for-profit Stardust Institute include First Niagara Foundation, state assistance through Senator Nozzolio for the business incubators and wired classroom, the local Main Street Facade Program, the Stardust Foundation of Arizona, and the Stardust Foundation of Central New York.

The afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Institute featured remarks from Chancellor Zimpher, Senator Nozzolio, Cayuga Community College President Daniel Larson, Auburn Mayor Michael D. Quill, Stardust Institute President Jack Bisgrove, and J. Lanier Little, Executive Vice President of First Niagara Bank.

PHOTO: Dignitaries prepare to cut the ribbon for the official launch of the Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute, a partnership of Cayuga Community College and community leaders to spur regional economic development. Poised with scissors at the ready are (from left):

  • Guy Cosentino, executive director, Stardust Foundation of Central New York and Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute
  • Matteo Bartolotta, owner, Bartolotta Furniture Company
  • J. Lanier Little, executive vice president, First Niagara Bank
  • Auburn Mayor Michael Quill
  • Nancy Thomas, vice president, First Niagara Bank
  • Dennis Golladay, State University of New York Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges
  • New York State Senator Michael Nozzolio
  • Daniel Larson, Cayuga Community College president
  • Peter Emerson, Fred L. Emerson Foundation Board of Directors
  • State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
  • Thomas Paczkowski, Fred L. Emerson Foundation Endowed Chair in Enterprise and Innovation at Cayuga Community College
  • Jack Bisgrove, Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute president
  • Cayuga County Legislature Chairman Peter Tortorici
  • Attorney Robert Bergan, Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute secretary