Applying to the Start-Up Suite
The Binghamton University Start-Up Suite guidelines were established pursuant to SUNY's "Policy and Guidelines for the Use of State University Facilities by Emerging Technology Enterprises" and have been adapted for the Start-Up NY program statute and guidelines. Companies may apply for space in the Start-Up Suite if they further the academic mission of the University by providing opportunities for:
a) internships, externships and other external student learning experiences;
b) research and development collaborations that include faculty, staff or students;
c) faculty, staff and students to apply for and win grants and contracts, either from the company
or from other sources in collaboration with the company;
d) employment for graduates;
e) increased utilization of University assets, for example of Center of Excellence facilities and
other core research and development resources;
f) commercialization of University research and technologies through licensing or other
g) mentoring, coaching or other means of intellectual or financial assistance of University
entrepreneurs and University spin-out companies.
The Vice President for Research (VPR) is designated by the President as the official who, in consultation with the Executive Director for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships (E&IP) and the Start-Up Suite Committee, will consider a prospective client company's use of Start-Up Suite facilities and recommend such use to the President when appropriate.
Start-Up Suite Memberships
In recognition of the State's policies and regulations, the State University of New York has formulated policies that encourage emerging technology enterprises to locate in campus incubators for a limited duration. The purpose of the Binghamton University Start-Up Suite (SUS) is to provide the infrastructure and environment needed to develop a concept or research result into a product, process or service that can be sold in the marketplace. Recognizing that emerging companies have different needs, the Start-Up Suite provides three tiers of memberships:
- Full membership
The client company will be assigned office space and may also apply for lab space and will also have access to use of conference rooms and core facilities. The company must be a formally organized business entity when entering the space and have liability insurance. The preferred company profile is one that is in the early stages of its business development in New York State and is engaged in validation and commercialization of research and/or advanced technology. The member will sign a client agreement with negotiated milestones toward graduation and will go through periodic reviews required for maintaining and renewing the client agreement.
Companies for which the primary business activity falls into the following areas are not candidates for full membership: Retail/ wholesale; restaurants; real estate brokers; law firms; medical or dental practices; real estate management companies; and hospitality.
- Associate membership
The member will not be assigned office space, but will have a business address plus access to conference room and events hosted at the Start-Up Suite. The member does not have to a formally organized business entity but is expected to work on their business plan toward becoming a usiness.
- Student membership
The member is enrolled as a full time student at Binghamton University and can apply to become a member of the Start-Up Suite for students (sSuite). The sSuite is a dedicated room set aside for student entrepreneurial activities and will be managed by students overseen by the E&IP Office staff.
Start-Up Suite Committee
The Start-Up Suite Committee shall contain a minimum of five and a maximum of seven
members. The Executive Director for E&IP shall be chair or co-chair, and shall be
responsible for management of the SUS facilities. The remaining members will be appointed
by the Vice President for Research: One from the Division of Research staff and three
to five from the University schools. No school shall have more than one representative
on the Committee. In addition, the VPR may appoint one member from outside the University.
The members will be appointed for an initial term of two years, which may be extended
upon favorable review by the Vice President of Research.
Where a committee member has a financial interest in a company that has submitted a SUS application, or for any other reason determines a potential for conflict of interest, that committee member will recuse themselves from committee deliberations regarding the application.
In compliance with SUNY policy, the Committee will seek ad hoc assistance depending upon the expertise required to accomplish its mission. This committee will also recommend guideline revisions for the operation of Start-Up Suite facilities to the Vice President for Research and will conduct periodic review of the success of the program (in terms of number of start-ups housed, transitioning to the next stage of incubation, impact on economic development, etc.)
Application Process and Review
- Pre-Application Process: The potential client company will work with the staff of E&IP to assess the fit with
the mission of Binghamton University and the eligibility under the Start-Up Suite
Guidelines. If the applicant is not managed by a faculty, staff, student or alumni,
E&IP staff will try to identify potential sponsors of the application. At its discretion,
E&IP will support the member applicant in completing the Start-Up Suite application.
In order to assure that company demands on campus facilities do not adversely affect other University programs, potential tenants will include in their applications a statement outlining requirements for specific University resources. This impact statement will serve as the basis for assessing financial charges for these services and for establishing guidelines for their use prior to approval of the application.
- Application Process: Applications for Associate or Student membership will be evaluated by the Vice President
of Research in consultation with the Executive Director for E&IP.
Applications for full membership will be evaluated by the Start-Up Suite Committee. The Committee will review the application relative to:
1. Business plan;
2. Management team;
3. Reasonable funding or plan for raising funding, including demonstrated capacity to meet user fees and other obligations from non-university sources;
4. Synergies with University activities, including a plan for working with faculty, staff or students or utilizing University resources; and
5. Contribution to regional economic and campus development and innovation capacity.
If the company applicant is a member of the Binghamton University community (faculty, staff, student), then the Committee review will include an assessment of potential conflicts of interest in accordance with University policies.
The Committee will make a recommendation to the Vice President of Research.
- Post-Application Process: Applications recommended by the Start-Up Suite Committee will be forwarded to the
Vice President for Research (VPR) for approval. The VPR may meet with the principal
officers of the applicant company as part of the evaluation process. If the VPR approves
the application, it will be sent to the appropriate Building Manager for space-allocation.
The Building Manager will assign space to the applicant company depending on whether
1. designated start-up space is fully occupied with Companies;
2. the type of business is appropriate for the building; and
3. security or resource requirements can be met.
Once space has been allocated, E&IP staff will work with the member applicant to determine appropriate milestones and execute the client agreement. The client agreement will have a maximum term of one year with potential for renewal upon favorable review of the company's progress in reaching milestones and prospects for expanding cooperation with campus programs and assets.
Emerging technology enterprises, including their employees and their consultants who
utilize University Start-Up Suite office or lab facilities under this policy, will
retain ownership of all patentable inventions and discoveries. Start-Up Suite facilities
must be clearly defined in advance of usage in terms of space allocation and duration
for this policy to apply.
All inventions and discoveries conceived or reduced to practice using University owned or controlled facilities not covered within the scope of Start-Up Suite client agreement shall belong to the University or the Research Foundation for SUNY in compliance with the SUNY Patents and Inventions Policy.
Faculty acting in their capacity as company employees or officers and who also have ongoing campus research separate from company activities must keep separate log books of research activity distinguishing accomplishments for each entity.
Miscellaneous provisions and policies
Costs associated with the use of these Start-Up Suite facilities, including the cost
of support services, shall be paid from user fees or from other non-University or
Research Foundation sources.
Appropriate campus support services may be offered to emerging technology enterprises provided that the provision of needed services to campus academic and administrative units will not be diminished.
Other applicable SUNY and Research Foundation policies and guidelines shall apply, including those governing university-industry cooperative use of research equipment, the professional obligations of faculty, conflicts of interest, patent, copyright and publishing policies related to faculty research. Students hired by company shall have a faculty advisor other than faculty directly involved in company.