Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Entrepreneurial Networks for Renewable Energy Technology Business(ST8369-1)

High Tech Rochester Inc.


This project facilitated the development of incubator and business networks for renewable energy technologies in western New York by developing the Technology Crescent Renewable Energy Incubation Network (TCREIN), an organization that helped build teams, inventory existing firms and capabilities, perform outreach and business assistance, as well as provide networking and member company marketing, primarily through a virtual or remote strategy. Assistance was provided to renewable energy companies with interest in fuel cell technologies, as well as a broader array of other renewable energy companies.

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Project Description

The goal of the project was to identify, incubate and create a cluster of technology based companies in the renewable energy field within the region defined as upstate New York, west of I 81, including but not limited to the areas of Buffalo, Corning, Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse and Binghamton. The firms then would be marketed to other companies in New York both for potential partnership opportunities and for business transactions. Some firms were assisted in reaching a broader audience beyond New York, as appropriate. Work included: 1) Forming and developing RenewNY 2) Building teams by leveraging existing resources within the business network, identifying gaps and bringing additional resources to those gaps 3) Developing an inventory of existing regional firms and their technical capabilities, including identification of firms that need assistance 4) Providing outreach to the identified firms, including drawing the firms into RenewNY as clients, as well as marketing RenewNY within the region 5) Providing business assistance and networking, including coaching of entrepreneurs, guidance in capital strategy, connections to existing networks and networking opportunities, educational programs and seminars, and connections to key resources, and 6) Marketing the firms in RenewNY to other companies in order to form strategic partnerships and/or customer/supplier relationships, as well as marketing the region as a hub for renewables


Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS), part of RenewNY, has continued relationships with seven companies after the project ended. At least 15 companies won awards after receiving help.

Project Results

In the three years of the project, all objectives were completed or exceeded. RenewNY identified 51 early-stage renewable energy companies. An inventory of renewable energy intellectual property available in Western NY was developed. RenewNY developed a mailing list with 972 names – more than three times the number targeted. The three open houses that showcased the region’s renewable energy companies hosted more than 700 attendees. The project supported participating companies with business and technical assistance and coaching, and provided participants with assistance in identifying and obtaining grants. Project team members met with 117 CEOs over the course of the project.


High Tech Rochester Inc.
150 Lucius Gordon Dr Ste 100
West Henrietta, NY 14586

Principle Investigator

Paul Wetenhall

Universities Involved

Rochester Institute of Technology


Project Type:

Business Development

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8369-1

Last Updated: 3/25/2014