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Learn at the Innovation Center

Buffalo has quickly become known as a “start-up city”, filled with astounding entrepreneurial resources that help young businesses to get off the ground. Once off the ground, many of these fledgling businesses need ongoing resources to ensure that they remain stable through their early growth curves. In order to help facilitate that help, an education and training center called Learn is underway at the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC).

The 1,500 square foot classroom suite with private conference spaces is made possible thanks to a two-year grant from First Niagara Bank in the amount of $50,000. Additional help was received from Capstream Technologies (audio-visual and digital technology) and Mid-City Office Furniture in order to create a tech savvy place for the entrepreneurs to congregate and learn from BNMC partners and affiliates.

“First Niagara is very proud to launch Learn at the Innovation Center as a central resource on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to spur entrepreneurship, business development and job growth. The Center will facilitate the collaboration and resource sharing necessary for companies to take root and grow in our city,” said Buford Sears, Regional President, Western New York.  “First Niagara’s team of experts will help staff the space to provide financial workshops, cultivate relationships and provide business services needed to develop new companies.  We are looking forward to the opportunities Learn will present to increase economic development in Buffalo and build a thriving community.”

Learn is located on the first floor of the Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott Street. Innovative offerings at the “plug and play” set-up include access to office, wet lab, research space, along with services such as legal, financial, marketing, and IT support. Collaborative space, conference rooms, kitchen facilities and a fitness center are also part of the Learn arrangement. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of networking events, workshops, educational forums, mentoring and start-up assistance. Learn has access to many of the Innovation Center’s D!G benefits.

Vic Nole, Director of Business Development for the BNMC commented, “Learn at the Innovation Center now gives us a dedicated place to hold more targeted learning and problem solving forums for companies and individuals that need access to specific business networks and expertise.  We are delighted that First Niagara has recognized the value in supporting the creation of this space in a way that will really benefit the start-up community. The Center will be a tremendous complement to the already rich portfolio on the Medical Campus.”

Learn will be used primarily for programs offered by the BNMC and its partners including Start Up CEL and Student Sandbox.  The facility will also be offered to outside organizations dedicated to the entrepreneurial community. For more information about programs offered though Learn at the Innovation Center, contact Vic Nole at

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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