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Paul Smith’s College has ‘Idea Lab’

PAUL SMITHS — Paul Smith’s College and the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation have partnered to launch an “Idea Lab” at the college to support entrepreneurial efforts in the Adirondack region.

The college’s Global Center for Rural Communities is leading the effort.

The Idea Lab is a satellite office for AEDC that is designed to provide students and the local community professional feedback on new business ideas and technical assistance with launching a business or growing an existing company, including business plan development, access to capital and training.

AEDC is currently based out of Saranac Lake, and provides business training, lending and technical assistance to underserved populations in 14 counties across the North Country: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Oswego, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties.

“AEDC is pleased to bring its services to the vibrant Paul Smith’s College campus,” AEDC Executive Director Victoria Duley said. “We see a great opportunity to expand the entrepreneurial skills and spirit here for students and local community members alike.”

In 2018, Paul Smith’s formed the GCRC in an effort to share ideas with global partners about how to create thriving rural communities that exhibit ecological, social and economic resilience. Faculty and students work with organizations addressing rural development issues including the Resilience Studies Consortium, UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program, and most recently, the AEDC.

“We are very excited to collaborate with the AEDC, both regionally and right here on campus,” Paul Smith’s College President Cathy Dove said. “Not only is this an exciting resource for our students, but it also aligns well with our mission to support rural communities such as our own in finding ways to thrive.”