The 2016 Venture Ecosystem Awards will take place on September 16 at the Turning Stone Resort and nominations are now open. We caught up with John Liddy, winner of last’s Campus Connect Award to see what’s happening with the Syracuse Student Sandbox and more!
Campus Connector – an award for an individual affiliated with an educational institution who is leveraging on and off-campus resources and connections to spinout research startups and/or create opportunities to retain entrepreneurial students.
John Liddy is the inaugural director of the Syracuse Student Sandbox, an incubator whose goal is to help aspiring entrepreneurs to “push their venture from idea to company.” Since its creation in 2009, the Sandbox has been helping over 175 start-ups from Upstate New York through mentoring and coaching.
John tells us about his recent accomplishments and future plans.
“I recently left Le Moyne College where I was teaching. I am taking on the direction of a new incubator called Griffiss Institute Business Incubator which is seeking to help existing businesses commercialize technologies in relationship to the ARFL,” he said.
John has also been working with the thINCubator in Utica, NY, where they opened a brand new space of 8000 square feet.
He has also spent much time worked abroad. John recently traveled to Japan, Italy and England as part of a business program where he taught entrepreneurship for exiting military members.
And if that weren’t enough, he started his 2016 cohort of emerging leaders, which works with companies with $0.5 to $10M in revenue that seek to build their businesses.
“I’ve worked with a dozen individual clients on a one on one basis. And then I’ve been teaching at SU as well!”
His future plan is to continue the Syracuse campus venture, Student Sandbox, but to develop it in a more international approach. “We recently applied to the Federal EDA to continue the Sandbox. We don’t have to have a central location anymore as we used to when the Sandbox was created. We’ll try to replicate what we did internationally,” said Liddy.
“Doing business in Central NY is great but if you really want to scale, you have to be global.”
The Syracuse Student Sandbox Demo Day will take place next Thursday at 3 pm at the Everson Museum. Twenty teams from Syracuse University, Le Moyne College and Cazenovia College will participate, along with 3 students from Thailand. “The types of businesses are pretty diverse,” Liddy explains, “I have sharing economy to apps, to sensor and drone startups, a wide variety of verticals will be represented at Demo Day.”