Why Investment Continues to Grow in Dutchess County, NY

Located in the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County is quickly becoming one of the top business locations in New York. As the northernmost suburb of New York City, Dutchess County offers an affordable alternative to New York City living that is attracting the attention of young talent and businesses alike.

If you’re wondering what makes Dutchess a prime location for people and companies here are just a few benefits to living and working here:

The Perfect Location

 

 

County-Proximity-Map

Businesses and residents all agree that the quality of life in Dutchess is unsurpassed. Just 70 minutes to Beacon via MetroNorth Rail Road, and with easy access to major interstates, Dutchess is perfectly positioned to enjoy relief from lower metro area costs and congestion.  Additionally, rich in history and outdoor amenities, Dutchess provides an unsurpassed quality of life with access to myriads of recreational activities.

 

A Diverse Economy

Diverse Job Opportunities in Dutchess County

Our growing and healthy economy provides a wide range of jobs in many different industries from manufacturing and tech to agriculture and hospitality. Supported by a robust tourism sector, small businesses thrive in our revitalized cities and growing towns proving the strength of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Local growth is equally important to outside investment in creating our vibrant communities.

A Strong Support Network

Build your Dutchess County Workforce

Think Dutchess’ unique ability to connect small and large businesses to the services and support they need, helps companies of all sizes to succeed. Our partners provide access and resources to the business development, workforce development, education opportunities and capital a business might need.

An Inclusive Culture

A number of young professional organizations and community development initiatives, like First Friday provide ways to become a part of the network and leverage business and personal capabilities for a greater good. Additionally, community organizations, government initiatives, and even entrepreneurs like Innovation Challenge Winners Unlimited Tomorrow and Accessadoor, are part of a growing nexus of leaders expanding opportunities throughout the region.

A Revitalization Mindset

New construction and projects working to repurpose existing commercial and industrial spaces for new tenants, especially in our urban cores like the City of Beacon and the City of Poughkeepsie, are on the rise. Meanwhile, properties like 40 Cannon, Eastdale Village, Queen City Lofts, and more throughout the county expand affordable living options and provide city-style amenities.

All of these factors not only make Dutchess an attractive place to do business, they are also drawing young talent who are embracing the economic advantages living outside of big cities. Over the last few years, Dutchess County has seen an influx of out of state and foreign direct investment including New York’s largest sake brewery, Asahi Shuzo, in Hyde Park, NY. Want to see more of the success? Take a look at a few other businesses that have found success by choosing to Think Dutchess.

If you’re looking to expand or locate your business in Dutchess County, or are want to learn more about Dutchess County, contact

Sarah Lee

sarah@thinkdutchess.com

845.463.5400

2019 Innovation Challenge Winners

 

Two Young Start-ups Impacting Underserved Industries Win Second Think Dutchess Innovation Challenge

High tech manufacturer, Unlimitted Tomorrow, and app company, Accessadoor, take first and second place in a close competition among cutting edge start-ups and social enterprises.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – June 10, 2019

 

Last week, four semi-finalists competed in a live pitch competition at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, NY. The competitors represented industries from aviation, manufacturing, and the food and beverage sectors. Each presented a ten-minute pitch of unique products and solutions to a panel of well-established investment and business professionals. A cash and services prize package valued at more tha$5,000 was presented to the first and second place winners.

High-tech manufacturing company, Unlimitted Tomorrow, took first prize presenting an impressive initial funding round full of high profile investors and a compelling story of how the 3-D scanned and printed product came to life. The company, which produces 3-D printed Prosthetic limbs was founded by Easton LaChapelle. What began as a fascination with robotics and 3-D printing at age 13, garnered the attention of President Obama and backer, Tony Robbins. Today, 23 year old LaChapelle and Unlimited Tomorrow create an affordable solution for limb-loss patients using 3-D printing and scanning technology. After a successful crowd-sourced funding campaign, the company is ready to start production and pitched judges to assist in the process.

“This is a really exciting event to be a part of,” said LaChapelle of winning first prize in the Innovation Challenge. “It’s great to see Think Dutchess bring so many start-ups together and see the community support them like this.”

Local Dutchess Community College grad and Marist College student, Dana Jones of Accessadoor took home second prize showcasing her smartphone application. Born with a rare physical disability, Dana’s experience led her to solve her own challenges. Jones pitched a product to replace the technology in “blue-button” handicapped doors. Using impressive beta partners and showing a strong go-to-market strategy, Accessadoor was close second place winner.

“This has been a great experience,” said Jones of the coaching and support preparing for the Innovation Challenge. “I’m a Dutchess County native and want my business to start and stay here. Opportunities like this make that possible.”

Veteran owned and female-led aviation manufacturer, United Aircraft Technologies and local gluten-free restaurant, Earth, Wind and Fuego presented compelling pitches as well. Showcasing a novel solution to an aviation clamp the would reduce total aircraft weight, save companies millions of dollars in fuel costs, and increase worker safety and efficiency- UAT is bound for success and is certainly a company to watch. Additionally, local gluten-free restaurant, Earth, Wind and Fuego was a crowd favorite with their innovative social enterprise approach to solving employment issues for those encountering boundaries to employment.

“It was a really close race. The contestants this year really gave compelling pitches for some incredible products and services,” said Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “The Innovation Challenge was designed to encourage startups to plan their enterprises better and engage with local and regional support services. So, it’s exciting to see the number of entrepreneurs here in Dutchess ready to take advantage of these opportunities.”

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More Photos Below

Contact Information:

Rachel Welch

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

rachel@thinkdutchess.com

845.463.5400

 

About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit www.thinkdutchess.com

You Be the Judge

Meet the Judges of the 2019 Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge is right around the corner! On Wednesday, June 5 at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, four contestants will pitch their products and services for a chance at landing big investors and a cash and services prize package valued at nearly $9,000.

You can be part of the decision-making team. Those in attendance will help our esteemed judging panel select the first and second place winners in a live vote. Tickets are selling out fast to support leading Hudson Valley innovators. Purchase your tickets here to secure your seat!

BUY YOUR
TICKETS NOW!

Our judges:

Sheila Appel- U.S. Regional Director, Corporate Citizenship at IBM

Ms. Appel is responsible for leading the US team and overseeing a range of programs helping to establish IBM as a leader in a new breed of corporate philanthropy — an approach that promotes systemic social improvement largely through investments of technology, services, employee skills and volunteerism. Holding various management roles at IBM throughout her career, Ms. Appel is recognized as one of the top 100 women leaders in the Hudson Valley region and a key leader throughout New York State.

Ms. Appel was appointed by the New York State Commissioner of Education to serve on the NYS Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, appointed by SUNY Chancellor to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee for Higher Education in New York State, and serves on the NYS Education NextGen Science Standards committee and a member of the Empire State STEM Network.  Ms. Appel is the past Chair for the United Way of New York State and currently a board member of the Public Policy Institute of New York State. She also serves as board chair of the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, board member of the Westchester Business Council, Women’s Enterprise Development Corporation and was recently appointed to serve on the board of trustees for Dutchess Community College.

Ms. Appel has been recognized for numerous professional and community accomplishments including New York State “Woman of Distinction”; Future Business Leaders of America with the “Business Person of the Year”, YWCA Salute to Women Award, Dutchess Community College Hall of Fame Alumni of the Year in 2009; Marist College President’s Award in 2011, and received an award from Pattern for Progress, for a career supporting innovative education programs such as P-TECH schools to give high school students access to technical skills training.

Johnny LeHane- Managing Partner, Hudson Valley Start-up Fund; Head of Growth, Accel7; Co- Owner/Co-Founder, Co.; Co-Owner, Director of Sales and Operations; CLUBWAKA

Johnny is the Managing Partner of Hudson Valley Start-up Fund, Head of Growth at Accel7, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Co. co-working space in Rhinebeck, and the Director of Sales and Operations at CLUBWAKA. A proven leader in business and technical vision, creating and managing partnerships and assisting in the development of culture, brand image and service, Johnny excels at understanding and developing business solutions, helping technical and non-technical people understand each other, advocating ideas and bringing people of diverse backgrounds and philosophies together to achieve common goals. His specialties include: Business planning and development, process improvement, due diligence, brand identification, technical infrastructure, mobile workforce, social media, technology in education, franchising, online and offline social networks.

Chris Shaw- Vice President, Commercial Banker Mid-Hudson Region Chase Bank

Chris is a relationship banker for Hudson Valley-based middle market companies.

Before joining Chase, Chris founded CORE Leader, a leadership development company. While running CORE, Chris also founded the NYC chapter of Bunker Labs, a national non-profit that helps veterans start and grow businesses.

Previously, Chris served in the U.S. Army as an aviator in the 82nd Airborne Division. He flew OH-58D armed reconnaissance helicopters and deployed twice to Afghanistan.

Chris earned a BA from Cornell University in History and an MBA from NYU Stern. He lives in Garrison, NY with his wife, Alison, and son, Henry.

Noa Simons- Executive Director of Upstate Capital Association of New York.

Noa is the Executive Director of Upstate Capital Association of New York, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to capital in Upstate New York. In her role, she manages a robust membership network and convenes events on technology, trends and best practices for deal-making to a wide-ranging audience including investors, entrepreneurs, service providers and professional advisors. In 2018, she took over running the statewide intercollegiate business plan competition (NYBPC), which lays the foundation for entrepreneurship for students. She is also co-founder and manager of the Hudson Valley Startup Fund, a member-managed seed capital fund investing in companies with high growth potential. Prior, Noa was a partner at TD Growth Capital based in Shanghai, China. Her investment work included worldwide technology sourcing, market analysis and diligence on deals both inside and outside China. Before joining that firm, Noa was interim CEO at Norton Motorcycles in Portland, Oregon and built and launched the digital archive housed at the Mary Ferrell Foundation.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Economics and Latin American Studies from Brandeis University.

The Prep Team

Our semi-finalists had assistance from the following leaders who generously donated their time while preparing for the competition:

Eric Egeland

Mr. Egeland and Capacity Consulting have been helping clients accelerate success since 1999. We have consulted on and/or conducted hundreds of engagements in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. A published author and thought leader; Eric’s personal values are Caring, Candor, and Confidence. He insists on honesty and accountability and has an innate “need to know”.

 

Tony Fareed

With over 25 years of broad experience as a corporate executive & intrapreneur, deal-maker, advisor, entrepreneur, and investor, Tony Fareed spent the first 16 years of his career as a capital markets professional working within dynamic global financial institutions, including The Northern Trust Company, CME Group, and Société Générale Group.  In 2007, Fareed founded Bridge Global Capital Group, an independent investment banking and strategic growth advisory firm focused on assisting companies of all sizes and stages optimize market positioning, substantiate value, obtain capital, accelerate growth, and achieve successful exits.  To provide clients with more complete solutions, Fareed spun out 360accel, which is an innovative consulting platform that provides value creation solutions for companies, investors, and boards. Clients leverage 360accel’s proprietary system and pool of domain experts to help assess opportunities, design winning strategies, build stronger businesses, and accelerate sustainable growth.

He taught Entrepreneurship at Marist College (Adjunct Professor) and is an Advisor to and SUNY New Paltz’s HV Venture Hub. He also volunteers as a mentor to Marist College’s IDEA Center and USMA/West Point’s entrepreneurship program.  Fareed has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois; he is also a Certified Public Accountant and holds FINRA registrations 7, 24, 63 and 79 equivalent.

Thomas Hendrix

Thomas Hendrix is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Decisive Point, a venture advisory firm providing bespoke Government Contracting expertise to the DoD Innovation Community. Previously, Thomas was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Zx Ventures and has served as an advisor to multiple early stage ventures.  He began his career in the private sector as an Analyst at Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager and before that served in the U.S. Army for nearly 10-years as an Infantry and Special Forces Officer.  Thomas earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and holds a BS in American Legal Systems from the United States Military at West Point.

Helene Lesterlin

Helene Lesterlin is the Managing Director of Programs and Startup Services at The Trillions Co. and Idealab NY, focusing on impact investing and social innovation startups; Co-Founder and Managing Director of CO., a co-working co-op in Rhinebeck NY; advisory board member and mentor for Start.coop, an accelerator for cooperative startups; volunteer and parent at Primrose Hill School; former professional curator, artist, and producer in the contemporary arts and performance.

Lauree Ostrofsky

Lauree Ostrofsky helps women leap into meaningful careers and businesses. Clarify what they want and feel more confident putting themselves out there. She is the founder of Hudson Valley Women in Business with 2400 members in the region, and growing. Her books are, “SIMPLY LEAP: Seven Lessons on Facing Fear and Enjoying the Crap out of Your Life,” a happy how-to about reinventing yourself, and “I’m scared & doing it anyway,” about reinventing her own life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Find out more about her writing, speaking and hugging at SimplyLeap.com and @SimplyLeap on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

This event would not be possible without our sponsors:

Partner  Sponsors   

Innovation Challenge Leader Sponsor Central Hudson

Advocate Sponsors

Innovation Challenge Advocate Sponsor

Event Sponsors

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Fortune 500 Company to Develop its Largest State-Of-The-Art Semiconductor Factory in Dutchess County

Arizona chip fab manufacturer plans to add nearly 150 new high-tech jobs at East Fishkill, NY facility

Fortune 500 company ON Semiconductor recently announced that it will expand operations in Dutchess County, NY by purchasing and preserving the existing GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 10 manufacturing facility located in East Fishkill, NY.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ON Semiconductor will enter into a foundry supply arrangement whereby GLOBALFOUNDRIES will manufacture ON Semiconductor-specific chips at Fab 10 from mid-2019 through 2022 as ON Semiconductor increases staff and equipment installations each year.

With this decision, ON Semiconductor has committed to invest more than $720 million over 10 years in the East Fishkill facility. The company’s expansion is also backed by an investment to add nearly 150 high-tech jobs and retain a minimum of 950 existing jobs in Dutchess County.

ON Semiconductor’s decision to locate in East Fishkill will put the company alongside a number of other high-tech and fast-growing companies, including IBM, Gap, Sloop Brewing Co., More Good, Crepini and more. East Fishkill is also home to iPark City: a 300-acre branded mixed-use tech/flex redevelopment that supports growing technology companies from all fields, including digital-based, clean room and laboratory users, as well as offers retail, hotel and residential components.

 

“This is an exciting announcement for Dutchess County, and we are grateful to Empire State Development for brokering the expansion of ON Semiconductor, a U.S.-based, public traded Fortune 500 company, in New York State and Dutchess County,” said Dutchess County Executive, Marcus J. Molinaro. “Dutchess County continues to be where innovation happens, and we are excited to welcome ON Semiconductor into our community and shepherd in the latest technological innovations for automotive electrification, 5G mobile networks, alternative energy and more.”

ON Semiconductor has received support from various partners in its expansion decision. Empire State Development Corporation has offered to provide up to $17.5 million in grants toward the purchase of the Fab 10 property, facilities and certain manufacturing equipment and $22.5 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits related to its investment, new hiring and research and development over ten years.

 

Source: NY Gov

 

2019 Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

Think Dutchess LogoRGB

Think Dutchess Announces Four Start-Ups to Compete in Pitch Competition

Four semi-finalists to pitch innovative business concepts to a live audience for a valuable prize package in the second competition hosted by Think Dutchess. 

 

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – March 19, 2019 — Think Dutchess Alliance for Business has announced the  semi-finalists in the 2019 Innovation Challenge. Four pioneering startups will receive mentorship and coaching leading up to a live pitch event where they will compete for a valuable prize package of cash and business services. This year’s competition will be held at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 4:30-7pm.

“The Innovation Challenge supports companies in the process of creating and evaluating new business and social ventures,” says Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “In only its second year, this event has drawn the attention of high-tech businesses across the region with the potential to significantly impact a wide range of industries including advanced manufacturing, technology and social entrepreneurship. We are excited to watch the growth and success of an extremely talented pool of semi-finalists after this competition— but more importantly, to feel their impact both locally and globally.”

The applicants represent the ideals of Think Dutchess to highlight and develop the role of entrepreneurs and small businesses in creating jobs and attracting future business. This year’s semi-finalists are: Unlimited Tomorrow and Earth, Wind and Fuego, Accessador and United Aircraft Technologies. Think Dutchess will share more about the companies as they progress through the coaching and mentoring process on their website and social media channels.

A panel of esteemed judges and a live audience will determine the winner. Tickets are on sale now at https://thinkdutchess.com/innovation-challenge/.

 

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About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

 

A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit www.thinkdutchess.com

Specialty Food Manufacturer, Crepini, Expands and Relocates in Dutchess County

New facility at iPark 84 in East Fishkill will add more than 100 jobs to the local economy thanks to support from local and regional economic development partners.

EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. – January 24, 2018

On January 15, 2019, specialty food manufacturer, Crepini, announced the relocation and expansion of their production facility to the growing food hub at iPark 84 in East Fishkill, NY. The new, custom-built 33,000 square foot facility will incorporate state-of-the-art machinery and technology aimed at producing crepes and healthy alternatives to bread and wraps. 

Already sold in over 4,000 stores nation-wide, Crepini’s move to Dutchess County positions the company for significant growth. The move, scheduled to start in May 2019, will grant Crepini more production space and increase capacity by 500%.

“We look forward to welcoming Crepini to our fast-growing food and beverage industry,” said Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess Alliance for Business. “iPark has become a significant economic engine for Dutchess County, providing affordable, high tech infrastructure perfect for companies like Crepini looking to grow in New York State.”

Grants and benefits provided by local and regional agencies show the commitment of our partners in revitalizing available property and growing the local economy.  “We are pleased to welcome Crepini to Dutchess County, and I appreciate the efforts of Empire State Development, Think Dutchess, Central Hudson and iPark to land Crepini, and add to our growing manufacturing and food and beverage industries,” said Marcus J. Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive.

“We are so honored to receive this grant to use towards our continued use towards our continued growth and we are committed to giving back to the state that has been our home since we immigrated to America,” said Paula Rimer, CEO and one of the Founders of Crepini. “Through our family’s hard work and growth, we are now able to create more than 108 new jobs for other hard-working New Yorkers in the Hudson Valley and continue to work towards our goal of having Crepini products on every table in America. We are truly living the American dream.”

For more information on Crepini’s move to Dutchess and the organizations that assisted in the process, view the official Crepini press release below.

Crepini Official
Press Release

 

 

 

Hudson Valley Lighting Celebrates Official Ribbon Cutting at State-of-the-Art Wappingers Falls Facility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hudson Valley Lighting Celebrates Official Ribbon Cutting at State-of-the-Art Wappingers Falls Facility

A once vacant building now serves as a 260,000 sq. ft. headquarters, manufacturing and distribution center for a Dutchess County-based contemporary lighting company with global reach.

WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. – December 13, 2018

In 2016, Hudson Valley Lighting—a world leader in manufacturing contemporary lighting— relocated and invested more than $17 million dollars to purchase and renovate long-vacant space on 151 Airport Drive in Wappingers Falls, NY. Since then, with assistance from Think Dutchess and its partners, Hudson Valley Lighting has transformed the property which sits on 67 acres, into an energy-efficient facility housing the company’s headquarters, manufacturing and distribution facility. The Wappingers Falls facility employs more than 90 staff members and is also home to the company’s R&D, design and sales space.

Founder of Hudson Valley Lighting David Littman remarked, “Not only does Hudson Valley Lighting design and build beautiful fixtures for people who put quality first, we’ve carried that philosophy forward by investing in the workspace where that magic happens” “The fact that our global headquarters is in the region where I grew up and started my business makes it even better. We are excited for what comes next.”

Grants and benefits provided by Think Dutchess’ partners including, the Dutchess County IDA, NYSEDC and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation were critical to attracting Hudson Valley Lighting to the county and upgrading the surrounding infrastructure.

“Without infrastructure, you can’t have job growth- and the infrastructure that now exists in the area makes this business corridor even more attractive to new and growing manufacturers,” said Dutchess County Executive, Marc Molinaro. “Hudson Valley Lighting’s success is the result of many different organizations coming together to drive growth and create good paying jobs.”

“We are committed to supporting economic development in Dutchess County and the Mid-Hudson Valley,” said Anthony Campagiorni, Central Hudson’s Vice President of Customer Services & Regulatory Affairs. “Our economic development programs support business attraction and retention efforts throughout the region, strengthen local industries, develop new employment opportunities and bolster the region’s municipalities.”

“The relocation of this project not only repurposed a once vacant property, it preserved jobs and holds the potential to add more” says Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess. “This project is a wonderful example of the services Think Dutchess can provide by connecting our public and private partners to ensure the success of our Dutchess County businesses.

Learn More 

 

 

 

About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, formerly Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, is the one-stop shop for business development needs and activities in Dutchess County, New York. It’s a business-led, nationally recognized organization and economic development corporation, whose mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses for the benefit of Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention and expansion, financial counseling and deal structuring, zoning, commercial real estate, innovation and technology, strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit https://thinkdutchess.com

Contact:

Rachel Welch

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

845.463.5400

rachel@thinkdutchess.com

About Hudson Valley Lighting

Hudson Valley Lighting is a global company founded by David S. Littman 35 years ago. Proud to be based in the Hudson Valley, their international footprint expands from Los Angeles, China, Philippines, and a network of sales associates across the world. Littman has created a new business model to meet the ever-changing world and marketplace. Today, Hudson Valley Lighting designs, distributes, manufactures and sells high-end, contemporary lighting out of its state-of-the-art Dutchess County, NY facility.

Contact:

Sue Sullivan

President and CEO

iSER Consulting, LLC

845.219.5805

sue@iserconsulting.com

About Central Hudson

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., is an energy delivery company headquartered in Poughkeepsie, New York. The utility serves approximately 300,000 electric and 80,000 natural gas customers in eight counties of New York State’s Mid-Hudson River Valley, delivering natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends north from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City to the Capital District around Albany. https://www.cenhud.com/

Contact:

John Maserjian

Director, Media Relations

Central Hudson Gas & Electric

845.471.8323

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What You Need to Know About the Innovation Challenge

Due to the overwhelming request to survive the holiday season, we have extended the application deadline! The second Innovation Challenge by Think Dutchess is accepting applications through January 11, 2019!

The pitch competition will place four contestants, in two categories (Idea/Seed Stage Start-Up and Early Stage Business) in a live pitch with an audience, as well as a panel of expert judges, who will vote to discover the next great business! In an effort to spur innovation and creativity right here in Dutchess County, the competition promotes advancements in various sectors of emerging technology, products and services.

The Innovation Challenge pairs each semi-finalist with relevant mentors who can be a help to the business, providing advice and counsel. Semi-finalists have the opportunity to network and increase their exposure with influential Hudson Valley companies and organizations and can take leverage the opportunity for customized consultations including risk management, finance & sales strategy, marketing & branding, and pitch coaching.

Here’s what you need to know:

Entry Deadline:

1/11/19

Entry Fee:

None

Description:

The Innovation Challenge is a pitch competition for Hudson Valley entrepreneurs and startups seeking to establish their business.  In its second year, the Innovation Challenge- a pitch competition for Hudson Valley startups and entrepreneurs- offers an opportunity to build your business blueprint for success. Contestants gain exposure, practical insights about starting and growing a business, access to Think Dutchess’ network of business services and investors, and of course, prizes!

Judging Criteria:

An independant judging committee will assess business plan summaries and move two contestants in each category to compete in the live pitch event.

Eligibility:

At least one of the Seed/Idea Stage Start-Up C-Suite officers must be a Hudson Valley resident.

Early Stage Businesses must be located in the Hudson Valley region and must currently service Dutchess County.

Awards & Prizes:

Cash and Services valued at more than $9,000 and growing.

Sponsors:

2018 BEA Visionary Sponsor Central Hudson

 

 

Previous Winners:

Screamin’ Onionz

Facticiti

 

APPLY TODAY!

 

 

 

Questions? Contact

Rachel Welch

Email: rachel@thinkdutchess.com

Phone: (845) 463-5400

Four Reasons to Enter the Innovation Challenge

 

The business world is competitive. And startups have an even bigger challenge building the momentum for an idea during those critical first years. The Innovation Challenge is a pitch competition for Hudson Valley entrepreneurs and startups seeking to establish their business.  In its second year, the Innovation Challenge- a pitch competition for Hudson Valley startups and entrepreneurs- offers an opportunity to build your business blueprint for success. Contestants gain exposure, practical insights about starting and growing a business, access to Think Dutchess’ network of business services and investors, and of course, prizes!

Winning comes with a lot of perks, but even if you don’t win, you won’t leave empty-handed. Here are some benefits to entering the Innovation Challenge.

Exposure

Sometimes the hardest part of breaking in a new business is just getting the word out.  The Innovation Challenge is a great way to tell others about your business, gain exposure, and find new customers. Your business will benefit from additional marketing through Think Dutchess’ public relations and marketing efforts as well your opportunity to attend the Business Excellence Awards in 2019.

Insights

Every business can benefit from the support and instruction of the leaders before them. The Innovation Challenge is the perfect way to tell everyone about your business. You’ll also find tried-and-true advice and get a new perspective on your business that could lead to your breakthrough moment.

Leading up to the pitch competition you’ll connect with knowledgeable advisors, coaches, industry mentors and potential investors. They will provide valuable insights on how to grow and scale your business; refine your idea and value proposition; set and achieve your goals.

Network Expansion

Having a strong network is one of the keys to startup success and the Innovation Challenge gives you the perfect platform to develop that network. From mentors to potential investors and clients— a supportive local network often bridges the gap between the hustle and success. Think Dutchess can introduce you to the people that will benefit your business at every stage.

Prizes

 We didn’t forget about those! Last year’s inaugural event provided winners with a prize package of cash and services valued at nearly $9,000. With the great success of our first event and increasing interest from the business community, the prize package is growing fast!

Runners-up didn’t walk away empty handed either. With access to venture capital, mentors, headline exposure to business communities and numerous PR opportunities, everyone is a winner!

Ready to apply?! Click the button below to complete your business plan summary.

APPLY HERE! 

 

 

 

 

Five Ways Think Dutchess Supports Entrepreneurs

It’s National Entrepreneur Day!  Dutchess County recognizes that the key to building a strong community is a strong ecosystem of local businesses. Dutchess County has rich history of entrepreneurs like Adams Fairacre Farms, Dorsey Metrology, Efco Products and Schatz Bearing Co. who have called Dutchess home for decades.

We recognize that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbones of our cities. We are proud of our entrepreneurial communities like Beacon, Millbrook, Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie that continue to provide innovative ideas and efforts, and develop products recognized both locally and worldwide. Companies like Crown Maple, More Good, Sloop Brewing, Salleyander Soap, Screamin’ Onionz, Unlimited Tomorrow are leading entrepreneurial growth here in Dutchess.

One of our biggest strengths in driving economic growth has always come from this entrepreneurial spirit. A spirit that creates a constant source of jobs, innovation and revenue that drives a diverse industry base keeping a steady influx of capital flowing into the local economy. From business services and a range of products, to restaurants and manufacturing facilities, Think Dutchess provides services to businesses of all sizes to keep that spirit strong.

We understand the dynamics of entrepreneurship. Some businesses that start small will grow quickly to employ many people and increase production rapidly. Others will remain small, following a more gradual growth path. Whatever your path, here are five key ways we support entrepreneurs and small/medium businesses:

  • Build your Dutchess County WorkforceWe provide access to a network of resources that work alongside your growth.

From workforce development incentives available from the Dutchess Community College, Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board and Empire State Development, to commercial real estate analysis and site selection support, we can help you find the people and space you need to scale your business.

  • Think Dutchess helps you navigate regulatory process and remove barriers to entryWe simplify processes.

Our experts help simplify regulatory processes and remove barriers that can slow your growth. We can help navigate and anticipate compliance and regulation procedures including permitting and review processes, licensing and zoning.

 

  • Think Dutchess increases your access to capitalWe expand access to capital.

Whether you need assistance with deal structuring, access to funding or just perfecting your pitch and business plan, we can introduce you to people like Community Capital, Hudson Valley Start-up Fund, SBDC and WED-C to keep the ideas, and cash flow, coming.

  • Think Dutchess gets you networking like a proWe grow your network.

From meetups and co-working spaces to keep you inspired to important face-to-face meetings to get you to your next milestone, Think Dutchess will get you networking like a pro!

  • We encourage innovation.

We know the greatest entrepreneurs are the ones that dare to challenge the status quo.  If you are an idea/seed stage company that is seeking to disrupt an industry and develop their idea here in Dutchess, apply to compete in the Innovation Challenge- Think Dutchess’ entrepreneurial pitch competition that aims to launch the next great business idea.  Applications are being accepted now through December 31, 2018.  Compete and gain all of these services and more cash and prizes to take your business to the next level.

ONE UNIFIED VISION

A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 12 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.