Local Mentor Receives Award for Community Involvement

Local Mentor Receives Award for Community Involvement

Entrepreneur in Residence at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Brad Treat, received an unexpected honor on June 26.

Treat, who was the organizer and primary speaker for the IC2 Innovation Series, received the IC2 Community Partnership Award, recognizing his commitment and dedication to organizing the program for the community. The award from Oxford Academy and Central School commemorates his work educating students and community members about entrepreneurship.

Brad Treat poses with his award from the Oxford Academy and Central School program.

Treat said he was initially working on a month-long speaking series at the school when Shawn Bissetta, Superintendent for the Oxford school district, approached him and suggested they turn the series into a year-long program. The program’s structure was organized over six months, it began in September and concluded this June.

Guest speakers were brought in from across the region to speak on a unique topic connected to entrepreneurship. Speakers ranged from financial planners to insurance agents, entrepreneurs to marketing professionals, each speaking on a topic related to their field that startups should be informed about.

Over the course of the program the workshops gained momentum and popularity, sometimes hosting up to 100 participants. Treat said that, although they had a number of high school students attend, the largest number of participants came from the community. This was likely due to the fact that each event was open to the public.

“[We worked with] local entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, students who were wondering what entrepreneurship was all about… and then we had a number of people who I would call ‘looking for their next career,'” [1]

The program came to a close on June 20. Treat said since the Southern Tier Startup Alliance focuses on new company creation with the intention of that translating into new job creation, it couldn’t continue with the program because the turnover of ideas into business ventures was having little success.

He said there was a clear interest in continuing to learn about entrepreneurship and participation in the events was high, but the interest did not transfer over into company creation. The STSA is working on bringing its initiative somewhere else. The organization has yet to confirm any plans.

[1] A 2015 Gallup study showed that Baby Boomers were twice as likely to want to start a business and pursue entrepreneurship within the year than Millennials.

*The Southern Tier Startup Alliance is a network of Southern Tier incubators of which Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is a partner.

 

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Glenn Epps