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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University

Thursday, September 28, 2006

$100000 Emerging Business Competition

From EssentialConnections.org

$100000 Emerging Business Competition

We're looking for the most innovative and growth-oriented entrepreneur or emerging business in the region!

The competition is a project of the Central Upstate Regional Alliance, a 12-county public/private consortium that works on a variety of regional issues and opportunities.

In keeping with the Regional Alliance’s goal-oriented approach to business development, the $100,000 Essential Connections.org Emerging Business Competition is designed to:
  • Stimulate job creation and business developmenby providingng financial and in-kind resources tcompanies inin the Central Upstate New York region.
  • Increase the entrepreneurial culture and visibilitof entrepreneurialal activity in the region.
  • Increase investment-grade deal flow in the region.
  • Identify several high growth potential business opportunities in Central Upstate and connect these opportunities to a wide range of business development and capital resourceboth duringng the competition and beyond.
The competition will run in two categories: Emerging Business and Business Idea. The 1st place winner in the Emerging Business category will win $100,000, making this event one of the largest business plan competitions in the country!

Eligibility Requirements:
  • Participation in the competition is limited to individualor entryry teams from the Central Upstate New York region (defined as: Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, and Tompkins counties).
Emerging Business Competition ($100,000 prize)
  • Company currently in existence - formally incorporated by January 15, 2007
  • Revenue stream between $0 and $2.5 million
  • $150 application fee
Business Idea Competition ($2,500 prize)
  • Open to general public
  • No application fee
  • Only one submission per person
  • Applications are due by Monday, January 15, 2007 at 5:00 pm EST
  • Finals will be held on April 5, 2007
For more information, please contact:

EssentialConnections.org Emerging Business Competition
c/o Metropolitan Development Foundation
109 South Warren Street
State Tower Building, Suite 1900
Syracuse, NY 13202

View complete competition guidelines and apply at:

Monday, September 25, 2006

Event: Small Business Training Program, every Wednesday until Nov. 15

The SSIC Enterprise Management Institute (EMI) will conduct a nine week, Wednesday, lunch time, brown bag, Small Business Training Program in the Harriett McDowell Memorial Training Room located in the South Side Innovation Center. The sessions began on Sept. 20, but it is not too late to join in. Each session goes from 12 noon - 1:15 p.m.

Topics include:

  • Heart, Soul, and Mind of the Entrepreneur
  • The Key To Making Money
  • Getting The Most Out Of Your Business Plan
  • Show Me The Money: Financing Your Business
  • Winning The Game: Competitive Strategies That Work
  • Customer Drives The Business
  • Operations & Performance Measurement
  • Growth & Expansion of Your Business
  • E-Commerce


Friday, September 22, 2006

NYS Assembly Commission on Government Administration

The NYS Assembly Commission on Government Administration covers areas of interest to micro-businesses. The August 2006 legislative update includes information on the micro-business roundtable and Assembly actions. Those Assembly actions include bills aiding micro-businesses, more support for minority and women-owned businesses, supporting entrepreneurship in the arts, and reforming the State's budget process.

If you did not receive the August 2006 update in the mail, you can view it here. Back issues are also available.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

FUSE 2006: Technology, Talent & Capital

Officially the focus of FUSE 2006, held in Syracuse, was "Accelerating Technology-Enabled Business Growth"; however, its seems like the words "technology, talent and capital" were more appropriate. FUSE 2006 brought together business executives, industry experts, and leaders from research, public sector, non-profit and higher education to talk about innovation, business & economic growth, collaboration and new technologies.

There were several technology areas discussed, but perhaps more important than specific technologies were the ideas around innovation.
  • The rate and pace of commodization has accelerated. Companies must innovate in order to stay relevant.
  • Innovation is not just invention. It may mean innovating how a company operates, not just what it makes.
  • Companies benefit from bringing in ideas from outside its "four walls" in order to spark or hasten innovation.
  • Patents were mentioned as inhibiting collaboration, yet it is collaboration that businesses need in order to work smarter and faster.
  • One question posed is whether innovation is a value or a means.
Dr. Kenan Sahin, CEO of TIAX LLC, was emphatic about our older workers being valuable talent. He sees older workers as having the knowledge and capacity to move ideas forward.

He noted -- in talking about youth -- that at events like these, there average age is often 52. If we believe that younger workers are important to our future, why are they not at the "table"?

There was also discussion on tools that our talent (workers) need. Our workers are changing how businesses think about and use technology.

Of course, capital -- money -- is important. Investors, though, want to invest in winners. As someone noted, where are the "rainy day" bankers? Where are the investors who will back an idea whose path is not golden?

FUSE began on Tuesday evening at the Whitman School of Management with a reception then an evening session. It continued on Wednesday at the OnCenter with a full day schedule. By mid-afternoon, you could sense that people were becoming overwhelmed with information and -- perhaps -- their own thoughts on the topics at hand. Ending earlier in the day (maybe by 3 p.m.?) with a real facilitated discussion would have allowed those bubbling ideas, questions and concerns to get out on the table. It might have been useful to have been able to engage Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll in a dialogue -- along with Nancy Cantor (SU's chancellor) ,
Kenan Sahin and David Ahlers (Founding Co-Principal, Cayuga Venture Funds) -- about technology, talent and capital.

Finally, although there were several hundred people at the event, it stood out that the audience might have been 20 - 25% female. Women are involved in technology and in innovation, but this conference did not attract them. Why didn't more women attend? Was it the cost, the topics, or the speakers? Whatever the reason, I hope the FUSE organizers figure it out and ensure that more women are involved in this conversation next year.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Event: Sunday Smoothie Soiree, Sept. 24, Ithaca

MizBusiness and Lost Art Media Present: Sunday Smoothie Soiree, and early afternoon fete for women entrepreneurs.

Date: Sunday, September 24th
Time: Noon to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Cafe Carpineto at Island Health & Fitness
310 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, NY (Map)
Cost: $12 RSVP, pay in advance; or $15 at the door
RSVP: mizbiz@mizbusiness.com

MizBiz and Lost Art Media present Sunday Smoothie Soiree, an early afternoon fete for women entrepreneurs in the Finger Lakes region. We'll be gathering by the inlet at Cafe Carpineto, located inside Island Health fitness. (For directions, contact MizBiz at mizbiz@mizbusiness.com)

Enjoy light snacks and your choice of beverage (of course we recommend the smoothies.) Let's network with our sisters in business, see what we have in common, and find out how we can give each other a leg up. As usual, door prizes will be awarded.

You can read more about MizBiz here (WBOC blog).

Updated Sept. 19 with address & map

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Event: 4th Annual CNY Edge Networking Dinner

4th Annual CNY Edge Networking Dinner

Date: September 21, 2006
5:00 p.m. cocktails and dinner at 6p.m. sharp
Pier 57 in Liverpool (7376 Oswego Rd, Rt. 57 across from Glenn Crossing Plaza), Liverpool, NY 13090

Back by popular request! Get ready because once again we are bringing you our 4th Annual Networking Dinner!

This is a great opportunity to learn things about both fellow members of CNY Edge as well as non-members that you just could not possibly find out on your own.

Enjoy a four course meal (soup, salad, main entree, and dessert) while switching tables for each course. You will meet new people for every course.

CNY Edge will provide questions that are conversation starters, some will require laughter. Attendees have said that it is a great way to meet new people without any pressure.

Dinner options:

  1. Fresh broiled haddock with baked potato
  2. Twin grilled chicken breasts over rice
  3. 8 oz. Delmonico steak with baked potato
  4. Homemade Lasagna
Fee: members $20; nonmembers $25. Pay by check or pay pal.

Monday, September 11, 2006

In her own words: Mona Lake Jones

Poet Laureate Mona Lake Jones will be speaking Oct. 12 at Connections in Oswego (click here for details). Based in Seattle, Jones is a writer, orator, and educator. She served as Poet Laureate for the City of Seattle for five years and presently holds that title for Washington State’s King County. Her books include The Color of Culture and The Color of Culture II. She has also released CD featuring her spoken work, titled “Poetry Dancing on Music.” She has previously spoken in the region at an event entitled "A Room Full of Sisters", named after one of her poems (excerpted below).

Quotes from Mona Lake Jones:

Put a period in your life and make a fresh start

It's not just thinking only of you,
but caring about those around you too.

It's looking from the inside out--
That's what life is all about.

A room full of sisters like jewels in a crown
Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate Brown......

They were smart, articulate and well-read
With all kinds of history stored in their heads

Jugglers of professions, managers of lives
Mothers of children, lovers and wives

Hear more from Mona Lake Jones on Oct. 12 at Connections.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Event: Insight CNY, Oct. 26

Insight CNY

Thursday, October 26th 4-7:30pm
Syracuse University Goldstein Auditorium
Schine Student Center

Presented by Sensis Corporation, Martin J. Whitman School of Management and Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE)

We are at a crossroads.

Can Central New York be transformed into a dynamic entrepreneurial community? INSIGHT CNY examines the future of Central New York from an entrepreneurial perspective. This rich and provocative program is designed to stimulate discussion and action steps that will enable all of us in the region to capitalize on our untapped potential. Hear from successful entrepreneurs who have built world class companies in CNY, and choose to stay despite the challenges of doing business here.

Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, will inspire our vision with her high growth story from one shop opened in Brighton, England in 1976. Today, The Body Shop is an international business with 2000 stores, serving over 77 million customers in 50 different markets in 25 different languages across 12 time zones.

Join us for an evening that will raise the entrepreneurial consciousness in the CNY Business Community:
  • Listen to Keynote Speaker Dame Anita Roddick share her entrepreneurial journey to global success and how her experiences have implications for the future of our community.
  • Hear a panel of four amazingly successful entrepreneurs from CNY offer perspectives on being globally competitive and explain why they make CNY their home base.
  • Be part of a critical dialog that extends past the event, as we seek ways to change mindsets and build a culture of entrepreneurship in CNY.
  • Meet and network with entrepreneurs and community leaders.
  • Meet Anita Roddick and get an autographed copy of her latest book.


  • Registration: 3:45–4:00pm
  • Welcome and Introduction of Panel
  • Perspectives of High Growth Entrepreneurs: 4:00–5:00pm
  • Keynote Speaker Dame Anita Roddick: 5:00–6:15pm
  • Reception: 6:15–7:30pm
  • Anita Roddick Book Signing: 6:45–7:30pm

Our Destiny Beyond Destiny: An Entrepreneurial Vision for CNY

CNY needs a new attitude and willingness to compete on a national and international scale. We are a region rich in entrepreneurial potential but lack clear direction in leveraging this potential for economic growth.

In this forum, four high growth CNY entrepreneurs will share their insights on how to embrace a culture of entrepreneurship and thinking big:
  • ignite passion
  • take educated risks
  • create opportunity
  • build wealth
  • contribute back to our region
  • reverse brain drain
  • Entrepreneurship: A Road of Hope for Syracuse.
For more information, and to register, go to http://whitman.syr.edu/eee/Falcone/insightCNY.asp

Event: Connections, Oct. 12

Please note that you can now register with a credit card through the box office at SUNY Oswego.

Connections 2006

CALLING ALL WOMEN! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to overcome the challenges to women within the corporate world, entrepreneurship, and creative paths in the arts & sciences!

F e a t u r i n g

Dr. Lois Frankel

SUNY Oswego graduate, business coach, and speaker

Author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich

Poet Mona Lake Jones

Writer, educator, orator and model of the African American woman on the move

Constance Gomez Gregory, JD (Rochon Gregory Associates)

Tracy Higginbotham (Women’s Ties: http://www.womenties.com)

Christiana Kaiser (Bluetree Studios: http://www.bluetreestudios.com/index.html)

Erin Trowbridge (Center for Forensic Science)

And Many Others!!

Thursday October 12th

Located in SUNY Oswego Hewitt Union

and Continental Breakfast 8:30 - 9:00 am

Program 9:00 - 4:30pm

Lunch will be served! (12:00 - 2:15pm)

Pre-registration required: CONTACT TYLER Box Office @ 315.312.2141

Tickets are $25 Before September 30th

and $35 After September 30th


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wisdom & blogs

Tonight I spoke at Women Business Owners Connection (WBOC) about blogs. My presentation was entitled:

Unveiling the WBOC Blog
What You Wanted To Know About Blogs But Didn't Know How To Ask!

You can view the PowerPoint presentation here. I had a slide show running before the meeting and during dinner that displayed quotes about blogging and screen shots of blogs. You can view that here.

I spoke to several women who are interested in blogging as a way of marketing their businesses. Topics they are thinking of blogging on include nutrition & food, stress reduction, selling/purchasing businesses, and leadership. Each person has wisdom that she wants to share. Wisdom that she feels will help to position her in the marketplace and help to distinguish her from competitors. Blogs are a great way of disseminating wisdom. Blogs allow your light to shine. They are a beacon that will attract people to you.

In the crowd tonight were also people who see blogs as (1) one more thing to read and (2) not credible. Yes, blogs can be viewed as one more thing to read. Many people, though, are shifting where and how they get their news and information. Many people read less hardcopy sources and more information online. Why? Information online can be much more up-to-date. Even business and professional news will be more up-to-date in an online journal (e-journal) than what you receive in print.

For those who enjoy reading print publications and find that those publications provide good information, blogs may be perceived as one more thing to read (which translates into something they don't have time to do). For those who find that the print publications are not covering their industry well -- or that the information is old -- then receiving news online may be very beneficial.

It is a benefit to read the blogs of those who are "in the trenches." Imagine reading about an important business deal from those who were involved in the deal...or hearing an analysis of the deal from someone who has had time to review the documents and look into the background. Yes, that can happen in the print media, but online there may be many voices -- many experts --contributing to the discussion.

And that leads us to the second thought -- that you don't know the credibility of the bloggers. I would argue that about any author. We tend to judge the credibility of a person based on what they have done professionally, what they have written, who they have worked with, and who has recommended them. When we judge at a book, we read about the author, look at the reviews, skim the book, and then perhaps decide to purchase it. It is the same with a blog.

Besides looking at the writer's credibility, I tend to consider three questions:
  • Can I learn something from them?
  • Do they hear things about the industry that I need to know?
  • Do they have a perspective that I need to hear?
By the way, I heard a David Weinberger, former senior internet adviser to the Howard Dean presidential campaign, spoke in 2004 talk about blogs, wikis and other new ways of disseminating information as allowing the wisdom of the masses to be recognized. According to Weinberger, wisdom used to be held by people, but then shifted to be a thing that only experts controlled. Now the Internet is allowing ordinary people to display their wisdom and expertise. (I'm over-simplifying this a bit, but not by much. You can hear his presentation here.)

Everyone tonight was given a card with the URL for the WBOC blog -- http://wboconnection.blogspot.com. I hope the women will look at the blog, leave comments, check out the calendar, and see it as a place where they can learn more about WBOC. Will it replace the WBOC newsletter? No, but it will compliment it. The newsletter is published bi-monthly, while the blog will be updated weekly. That means that the blog will have more current information and fresher content. The blog will also compliment the content on the WBOC web site.

In the end, I'm glad that I had a chance to talk about blogs so that more people are aware of them. With things rapidly changing on the Internet, being aware of seemingly new technologies/tools is always good.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


In the September 2006 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, the editor (Rieva Lesonsky) shares her favorite Barry Faber insight. The insight from Farber, a columnist, comes in the form of these words:


Lesonsky goes on the note that most people will see the words and discern them to be "opportunity is nowhere." But look again. Could it be that "opportunity is now here"?!

Even in the worst of times, there are opportunities. We need to find them, recognize them, and follow them.

Look around you and see the opportunities that are now here.