Join us at the 2019 InBIA eBuilders Forum in Niagara Falls and you’ll get to experience incubation and economic development in one of the world’s most profound learning laboratories.
Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Western New York have known great prosperity – and great challenges. Our region, once home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world, gave the world air conditioning, pacemakers, jet aircraft, windshield wipers, crash test dummies, seat belts, and flight simulation. When Americans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in July, WNYers celebrated the 50th anniversary of having designed and built the engine that propelled Armstrong and Aldrin back from the moon to their spacecraft. Our region also came to know economic shifts, population loss, and disinvestment in the latter part of the 20th century.
This history inspires me – and countless incubator colleagues – every day. State investments in entrepreneurship, smart growth, workforce development, life sciences, advanced manufacturing are now showing results.
Our local innovators of 2019 continue to start companies and turn heads the world over. Liazon, once an idea in a Buffalo coffee shop, was acquired by Willis Towers Watson and employs hundreds in a renovated creamery building. Synacor, now a public company, operates from Buffalo’s waterfront. Two University at Buffalo products, Campus Labs and Content Savvy, are expanding in place after attracting national and international buyers. The Buffalo News theorized that ACV Auctions could become Buffalo’s first tech goliath.
If medical is your thing, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) launched in 2001 and is home to a frenzy of construction, collaboration, and new ideas. A 120-acre innovation district, BNMC boasts a major addition to Roswell Park (America’s first cancer center), the new Oishei Childrens Hospital, and the new Jacobs Medical School, in addition to scores of early-stage ventures. The University at Buffalo’s Innovation Hub promises to commercialize research from institutions across the campus.
Then there’s the self-made multi-billionaire and owner of the Buffalo Sabres, who in 2014 outbid Donald Trump (yes – that Donald Trump!) and Jon Bon Jovi for the Buffalo Bills. He developed a 20-story hockey, hotel, and retail complex that has already attracted the NHL draft and scouting combines. And the proceeds from the sale of the Bills? It’s being reinvested back into Western New York.
The Buffalo Billion, a bold, state-backed plan to grow the regional economy, has yielded initiatives including the 43North business plan competition, Tesla’s “gigafactory”, the IBM-backed IT Innovation and Commercialization Hub, the Genomic Medicine and Super Computing Project, the Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and the Better Buffalo Fund to stimulate reinvestment in urban neighborhoods.
Many locals see these projects as proof that our area has finally turned a corner. But you don’t need to take our word for it, because the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Gothamist, and Forbes all seem to agree.
Add it all up, and joining us for eBuilders means you’ll see a rapidly changing region filled by an ever-growing group of innovators and change agents.