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By: Adina Genn March 14, 2022
Melville-based Accelerate Long Island, which fosters entrepreneurial efforts based on scientific research, has tapped Stacey Sikes as its new chair.
Sikes, now vice president of Long Island Association, brings a wealth of expertise to the position.
Prior to her role at LIA, she served as executive dean of entrepreneurship and business development at Hofstra University’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Scott Skodnek Business Development Center.
“Long Island has incredible innovation assets, and I am excited to work with the Board on continuing Accelerate Long Island’s significant role in commercialization and supporting entrepreneurship,” Sikes told LIBN.
“Accelerate has been involved in the success of many startups since it was founded ten years ago, and will focus on connecting researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors,” she added.
Initially chaired by Kevin Law, who stepped down when asked to chair Empire State Development, Accelerate Long Island was started in 2011. It hit the ground running, bringing private money that was matched with state funds. That partnership brought $1 million to 10 start-up organizations, creating dozens of jobs in the region.
Recently the organization’s stakeholders – incudng from Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Brookhaven Natioanl Labs, Hofstra and Northwell Health – met to reassess its mission.
In those discussions, it was determined that there was a definite need to “connect early-stage entrepreneurs” with venture funding as well as mentor and train to help “companies get started,” said David Calone, who served as interim chair when Law stepped down.
Sikes, he said, is the “perfect person to serve as chair,” said Caldone, who now resumes his role as vice chair. “She’ll be teriffic.”
Accelerate also plans to hire a staff person to help build the organization in its next phase.
Matt Cohen, president and CEO of the LIA, and Susan Poser, resident of Hofstra, were also appointed to the Accelerate board of directors.
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