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SUNY Oswego looks to build "innovation ecosystem"

It won't be a physical structure like some incubators. And it won't be trying to churn out startup businesses. Instead the incubator SUNY Oswego is launching this month will try to create an "innovation ecosystem."

The Thrive program will try and develop a new blueprint for Oswego county's future, says Jeff Grimshaw, the director of business and community relations at SUNY Oswego. He notes new businesses starting out of their incubator would certainly be a positive.

But the bigger goal is community engagement.

"What’s happening here? What don’t we like about our community? What would we change about our community? And really engaging our community to take some action and responsibility."

Grimshaw says Oswego has some good "people capital" with the young people from the college.

Thrive kicked off Tuesday evening with a lecture from venture capitalist Greg Horowitt. The incubator will hold a series of lectures and workshops that Grimshaw says will bring together students, city residents and business owners.

"We've been listening to the community, been observing things happening in the community and things are starting to click," Grimshaw says. "[Hearing some] positives about how the community is ripe for change, ripe to take some action on these concepts."