Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Binghamton, NY

Binghamton, NY

Due to its location near railroad crossings, the Binghamton area has a long history as a manufacturing center and economic hub for the region, leading to it being nicknamed “Valley of Opportunity.”

Binghamton, NY, located just above the Pennsylvania border, is one of the state’s “Triple Cities,” along with Endicott and Johnson City. Due to its location near railroad crossings, the Binghamton area has a long history as a manufacturing center and economic hub for the region, leading to it being nicknamed “Valley of Opportunity.” A number of businesses being founded in the area helped it earn that name, most notably IBM in Endicott.

Though the city may not be the supreme economic center it once was, it’s still a good place for entrepreneurship: Binghamton was 30th overall in a 2018 study by Verizon of the most innovative metropolitan areas in the US. And while the city was all the way down at 733rd overall on WalletHub’s 2019 rankings of the best small cities to start a business, its rank of 213th in the “Access to Resources” category is a promising statistic. New York as a whole is a state full of entrepreneurial opportunities – though it was near the bottom of a 2019 WalletHub list of the best states to start a business, it was sixth overall in the “Access to Resources” category.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Binghamton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

Technology and software developers in Binghamton and the surrounding area can join this group to network with others and potentially grow their startups.

Not exclusively focused on entrepreneurship, Ithaca Web People is a networking group that is primarily aimed at those working with the web.

Down the road from Binghamton, the Startup Ithaca meetup group hosts regular meetings to support area entrepreneurs and their startups.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce organizes and hosts a number of events, including awards ceremonies, annual conferences, networking opportunities and more.

Binghamton University hosts a variety of events related to entrepreneurship and small business, including regular business workshops.

Hosted by the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, the Southern Tier Startup Summit is an annual conference celebrating entrepreneurs in the region.

 

Startup Competitions:

Created by NYSERDA, the 76West Competition offers $20 million in prize money and services every year to the best clean energy companies in the Southern Tier region.

Since 2009, the City of Binghamton has organized and hosted a business plan competition every year, with a prize of $5,000 cash as well as professional services.

Binghamton University connects its students with a number of startup competitions, from those organized by the school to local, regional and statewide opportunities.

 

Co-working Spaces:

Not a traditional coworking space, the B-Innovative Suite is a place for entrepreneurial students of Binghamton University to work collaboratively and develop ideas.

Though it isn’t traditional co-working, the website CityFeet has a collection of office spaces for rent throughout Binghamton and other cities around the country.

The Koffman Southern Tier Incubator provides a number of co-working spaces throughout its building, with a variety of membership plans available.

 

Makerspaces:

Down the road in Ithaca, the Ithaca Generator aims to provide everyone in the area with access to tools, equipment, a workspace and the knowledge to use it all responsibly.

Binghamton University’s STEAM Room Makerspace is a small makerspace available to university students with a selection of tools, computers and materials used for small creation.

Located in Binghamton, the Triple Cities Makerspace offers several different varieties of working spaces, with different tools and equipment available.

 

Incubators:

Housed at Binghamton University, the Binghamton Small Business Development Center offers advising and other support services for both brand-new and previously-established businesses.

Located in Binghamton, the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator provides a wide variety of business support and development services to companies throughout the Southern Tier region.

The Start-Up Suite at Binghamton University provides low-cost working space and support services for businesses related to faculty research.

 

Accelerators:

One of the programs run by the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, the Accelerator works to support innovative startups in the area.

Another program of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, XCEED is an accelerator program that helps fund and support cleantech startups.

 

Colleges/Universities:

Students at Binghamton University have access to a number of entrepreneurial support resources, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Down in Ithaca, Cornell University offers its students a wide variety of support and opportunities related to entrepreneurship.

The State University of New York Broome Community College offers a two-semester, 30-credit certificate program in entrepreneurship.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

Though Golden Seeds is headquartered in New York City, the group invests in startups around the entire country that are led by women.

The Innovation Venture Capital Fund, a program organized by New York State’s Empire State Development, invests in seed- and early-stage businesses throughout the state.

A program of Empire State Development, New York Ventures invests in both promising technology startups throughout the states and other investment funds.

As the name suggests, Tri State Ventures’ investments aren’t just localized to its home in New York City. The company invests in startups in the tri-state area and beyond.

 

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce offers The Chamber Report. This monthly newsletter focuses on chamber news, local business information and other important activities in the community.

The Koffman Southern Tier Incubator allows those interested to join their mailing list. They regularly update subscribers on the biggest entrepreneurial-related news and events in the area.

Binghamton’s daily newspaper, the Press & Sun Bulletin, offers several newsletters, though none exclusively cover business or entrepreneurial news.

Are you familiar with the entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Binghamton not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Syracuse, NY, Buffalo, NY, Rochester, NY


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.