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Laine Business Accelerator Program Continues to Support Local Businesses

The Laine Business Accelerator (LBA) program, now entering its third year, remains committed to identifying and nurturing businesses to support their development and sustainability. Hosted by the Olean Business Development Corporation (OBDC) in collaboration with the St. Bonaventure University Innovation Center and SUNY Jamestown Community College, the LBA has announced its 2023 cohort.

2023 Cohort Participants

The LBA selection committee has identified the following 11 businesses for its 2023 cohort:

  1. Magro Speech Therapy PLLC
  2. Syntori Collective
  3. Marquee Brewing
  4. SheBe Marketing
  5. Sarah Blovsky Photography
  6. Kelly Design and Development
  7. Sorvillo Services
  8. Swan Street Florist
  9. Canticle Farm
  10. ZET’s Entertainment
  11. Miss Heidi’s Music Studio

With a track record of supporting 14 businesses in its first two years, the LBA is investing $140,000 in the local business community through the $5,000 investment in each of its 2023 cohort businesses.

Aiding Local Businesses through Generous Donations

The establishment and success of the LBA program are made possible by the generous donations that created it, including support from the Key Bank Foundation, as well as the enduring legacy of Erick Laine. Erick Laine, an Olean entrepreneur who founded Alcas Cutlery and Cutco, is remembered through this program. Bob Forness, the president and executive director of OBDC, expressed gratitude for the financial support, which, combined with the dedication of the LBA committee, has initiated investments in the first two cohorts and now extends to the newly selected 2023 businesses.

Growth and Sustainability of Previous Recipients

One of the most remarkable outcomes of the LBA program is that the previous 14 recipients have not only sustained their businesses but have also continued to grow. While the seed money provided crucial support, the program days hosted by OBDC at The Hub and the weekly entrepreneur speaker series hosted by the Innovation Center at St. Bonaventure University contributed significantly to their success. The mentors and instructors, experts in their respective fields, who have experienced the entrepreneurial journey themselves, resonate with the LBA business owners. The ongoing collaboration with St. Bonaventure University and SUNY Jamestown Community College ensures continuous improvements to the program and speaker series.

Building Community and Relationships

The LBA participants also benefit from the camaraderie established among the businesses. Several previous cohort businesses continue to collaborate, serving as pseudo board members for one another. This cooperative approach fosters an entrepreneurial community with a “Give First” mentality, a core value of the LBA.

Tom Cullen, the director of the SBU Innovation Center and the LBA, expressed astonishment at the sustained interest shown by numerous businesses in the Olean area. Although not all applicants can be funded and enrolled in the LBA program, Cullen is thrilled to welcome 11 more businesses to the growing list of LBA participants and alumni. The 2023 cohort represents a diverse range of business types and activities, and the LBA team looks forward to helping these businesses enhance their business acumen and become integral parts of the Olean region’s entrepreneurial community.

Success of the 2022 Cohort

In December, LBA showcased the nine businesses selected for the 2022 program at the Cutco Theater on the JCC campus. Each of these businesses received a $5,000 investment following the 13-week program. The 2022 awardees included Scull Manufacturing, WNY Audiologists, Raise the Bar Woodworks, Beat City Music, Wolf Pack Storage, Dalorum, Neighborhood School of Dance, Ellicottville Greens, and TimberHut. These awardees were chosen from over 40 applicants.

OBDC Funding Announcement

OBDC also received positive news in December as it secured over half a million dollars in funding from the state. This funding, provided by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, will support OBDC in incubating new businesses over a five-year period. Such recognition further reinforces OBDC’s role as a certified business incubator since its establishment in 2015.

How AI legalese decoder Can Help

The AI legalese decoder can play a crucial role in supporting the Laine Business Accelerator program and its participants. With its natural language processing capabilities, the AI legalese decoder can analyze and decode legal documents, contracts, and other important materials, simplifying complex legal language and making it easier for entrepreneurs to understand and navigate. By using the AI legalese decoder, LBA business owners can save time, improve their legal comprehension, and make informed decisions, ultimately enhancing their business acumen and ensuring their long-term sustainability.

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