VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Organizations devoted to helping start-ups succeed gathered in Greater Binghamton this week to study a success story.

The Koffman Southern Tier Incubator and Binghamton University hosted the Business Incubator Association of New York State, or BIANYS, yesterday and today for its annual conference.

Participants toured B.U.’s Innovative Technologies Complex and engaged in several panel discussions focused on local innovation, deep tech, funding sources and the New Energy New York effort to construct a lithium-ion battery ecosystem in Endicott.

BIANYS Executive Director Marc Alessi says its an excellent opportunity to share ideas and best practices.

He says attendees were impressed by what they saw yesterday at The Koffman.

“We were blown away coming here and seeing what’s been built since just 2017 when they launched the new incubator. A lot of people are learning from the model that has been built here in the Southern Tier,” he said.

There are currently 118 incubators and accelerators across the state that belong to BIANYS.

Alessi says that while the ways in which they were created varies, The Koffman follows a common model of an academic institution, in this case B.U., taking the lead in the formation, along with partnerships with various federal, state and local agencies and programs.

Executive Director Bandhana Katoch says The Koffman offers office space, wet labs and co-working arrangements, it also provides a lot of programming and one-on-one guidance, both in person and remotely.

“Instead of looking at Koffman just as a real estate play, most likely start-ups and entrepreneurs should look at it as a partner, a strategic partner in their journey of entrepreneurship,” she says.

The annual conference began yesterday afternoon with a tour of iM3 New York lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Endicott.

iM3NY got its start at The Koffman.