Congressman Collins visits RIT’s Venture Creations

TRANSFER Act would help young businesses and the economy with jobs

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Greg Livadas

Rep. Chris Collins at Venture Creations Friday, flanked by officials from RIT.

U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-Amherst) visited RIT’s Venture Creations Friday to talk about the TRANSFER Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill he proposed that will help colleges, universities, research institutes and national laboratories transfer their innovative ideas and research to startup companies.

“One of the most effective ways we can spur economic growth is to assist some of the country’s smartest minds in turning their good ideas into commercial success,” Collins said. “Scientists often need a funding boost to take the initial steps to see if their invention or concept has the potential to be commercialized. Without this critical legwork, a scientist is often unable to partner with a business or an investor to take their idea to the next level.”

The TRANSFER ACT would provide, on average, $50,000 grants and up to $1 million for second-phase funding.

“We are tremendously exited to hear about the new bipartisan bill being introduced by Congressman Collins,” said Ryne Raffaelle, RIT’s vice president for research and associate vice provost. “We at RIT take great pride in the support we provide to small businesses. This new bill would most certainly enhance our ability to help deliver the innovative advances that support our local entrepreneurs and have become the hallmark of our upstate economy.”

Opened in 2003, the RIT Venture Creations incubator is where young companies can advance their concepts to become profitable, viable businesses. They benefit from coaching, networking and connections to potential investors. Located on Tech Park Drive, off John Street near the RIT campus, it has housed 35 companies, created more than 300 jobs and brought in more than $30 million in private capital raised.

“This potential funding will fill a critical gap in the process of converting university innovations into commercial ventures,” said Venture Creations’ Executive Director Bill Jones.