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RIT Process for Startup NY

RIT’s Startup NY program will seek to sponsor companies that, in addition to complying with the terms and conditions of the Program as defined by the State of New York, maximize their alignment with the Institute’s scholarly and research missions, including such items as:

  • Opportunities for experiential learning for our students
  • Involvement of interns, co-ops, and alumni
  • Research collaborations with RIT faculty
  • Commercialization of Institute intellectual property

In determining the degree of alignment, we will also consider our view of the short and long term viability of the business that is seeking our sponsorship, its ability to self-fund and/or attract private investment, and the potential contribution the business may make to the community and local economy, including, but not limited to the creation of new jobs.

The process steps for companies that are seeking sponsorship to RIT's program are:

  1. All inquiries will be directed to the Startup NY coordinator at RIT’s Venture Creations technology business incubator. Generally, the coordinator will contact the individual making the inquiry to obtain additional information about the business and whether or not the individual has spoken to an accountant and/or tax attorney to learn about the program and determine whether or not the program is a reasonable fit for their business. The discussion will also include an overview of the process steps outlined here. Depending on the outcome of the conversation, the coordinator will either:

    1. Request that a draft application and “alignment form” (which we will forward to the individual) be completed and returned to RIT and, if they have not already done so, have the conversation with the accountant/tax attorney, or
    2. Indicate why the business is not a suitable one for the Program or RIT sponsorship – citing either that it’s a prohibited business as outlined in the Program or that it’s not sufficiently aligned with RIT’s research or academic missions to be considered further. In the latter case, the coordinator will, as appropriate, suggest that the individual contact another campus or ESD for exposure to other NYS programs that may be more suitable for the company.

  2. Once the draft application and “alignment form” have been received, the coordinator will continue to assess the business’ suitability for RIT sponsorship. This may require additional contact with the individual which may be done either on the phone, video conference, email, or in person. After sufficient interaction to determine next steps, the coordinator will either:

    1. Recommend that the individual present to RIT’s Startup NY Evaluation Team*, provide expectations for the presentation, and schedule the meeting, or
    2. Indicate why the business is not a suitable one for the Program or RIT sponsorship. If appropriate, the coordinator will suggest that the individual contact another campus or ESD.

  3. During the presentation to the Evaluation Team (which may be done in person, or over the phone, Skype, etc.), the individual will have the opportunity to “make the case” for the business to be included in the RIT Startup NY program with emphasis on alignment, business viability, business scale, and job creation. The company will receive 25 minutes, inclusive of Q&A, to make the pitch. There will be additional time available for the company and the team to discuss RIT’s Startup NY Program, process steps going forward, etc. Depending on the outcome of the presentation, the coordinator will either:

    1. Direct the Evaluation Team members to complete their assessments and forward recommendations to the coordinator, for assembly and forwarding to the RIT’s Startup NY Selection Team*, or
    2. Request additional information, as may be needed by the members of the Evaluation Team to complete their recommendations.

  4. Once the individual recommendations of the Evaluation Team members have been forwarded, the Selection Team will make its decision. Note that the decision may or may not align with recommendations made by the Evaluation Team members. It’s also possible that the Selection Team will request additional information from the Evaluation Team or the company, though this is not the norm. Once the Selection Team has reached a decision, the company will be informed.

    1. In the event RIT decides to sponsor the company, the Startup NY coordinator will be instructed to work with the company to complete its application to the Program.

*Team Members

Selection Team: RIT VP – Research, RIT CFO, Member of RIT Board of Trustees

Evaluation Team: RIT Venture Creations Incubator Director, Member of RIT Sponsored Research Organization, Member of RIT CFO staff

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