|First-of-its-kind free initiative connects business owners with mentors and marketplaces|
April 1, 2023.
BUFFALO NY– The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is pleased to announce the launch of IC Success—a free, year-long program to connect historically marginalized, early-stage entrepreneurs with mentors, marketplaces, and other resources.
IC Success provides new and early-stage entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to launch and grow their businesses—all at no cost.
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into IC success receive full access to the business accelerator program, extensive mentoring from business experts, access to connections and customers throughout the downtown medical campus (where 17,000-plus people work), and semi-annual pitch contests where entrepreneurs can earn seed funding.
“We’re here to connect people,” said Juweria Dahir (pictured above), who has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners as BNMC’s Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “For too long, people in historically marginalized and underserved communities have not had equal access to mentors, funding, and other resources—even though they have brilliant ideas and have proven to be amazing businesspeople. Creating these integrated networks eliminates many of the barriers for these entrepreneurs.”
A cohort comprised of 15 talented Buffalo entrepreneurs began the IC Success business accelerator program in January. This intensive 10-week program provides classes on all aspects of running a business, including finance, law, accounting, and marketing. In addition, each participant is matched with three mentors who support entrepreneurs throughout the program, and beyond.
Shéquanda Long, the founder of the educational resource company Teacher Tidbits, is one of the entrepreneurs in the spring 2023 class. “Through IC Success, I’ve met with mentors who are helping me create new products, focus my marketing, and get in front of new customers,” said Long. “It’s truly a game-changer.”[GU1] [MM2]
Underrepresented entrepreneurs face unique obstacles. For example, Black business owners who apply for funding were three times more likely to be rejected by banks than white business owners, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.
“We started this program because there are entrepreneurs all over Buffalo who still don’t feel welcome in the flourishing startup ecosystem here—especially people of color and women, who often face discrimination and other obstacles when building a business,” said Matt Enstice, President of BNMC. “By purposefully integrating networks—and caring for those connections on a long-term basis—we can help communities grow from within, driving the next wave of our region’s economic development.”
IC Success is the latest equity-focused program from BNMC, which has helped drive economic growth and development for more than 20 years. IC Success, which stands for Innovation Community Success, replaces EforAll, a national program that recently left the Buffalo market.
Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.
Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott St. | Buffalo, NY 14203
C 716.866.7344 | Mmorreale@BNMC.org
About Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
For more than twenty years, The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus organization (BNMC) has been a driving force in Buffalo’s economic renaissance. Throughout its management of the growth of Buffalo’s premier innovation district, the BNMC has foregrounded smart economic, social, and environmental development, prioritizing health & well-being, and sustainability. Today, the BNMC is focused on the next phase of Buffalo’s ongoing resurgence, cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community, launching the IC Success[GU5] (Innovation Community Success) program to support aspiring entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to help them start or grow a business. Program graduates will form the heart of Buffalo’s growing Innovation Community comprised of businesses large and small in an array of disciplines and leading the region’s next wave of economic development and growth. www.bnmc.org
A powerful opinion piece by Kyria Stephens, Director of Inclusion & Community Initiatives, was recently selected for publication in a new e-book compilation, Resilience Matters: Collective Action for Healthier Communities.
The essay, “People in need don’t want your pity,” explains why we need to rethink how we think about charity. As Stephens explains, people in need do not want pity; they need “solidarity, respect, and loving support.” These people are teachers, professors, CEOs, police officers, nurses, and artists. They save lives, drive the economy, and create culture. And they are successful, notes Stephens, “in spite of the obstacles placed (often intentionally) in our path.” By sharing time and resources, says Stephens, “you are not simply helping the less fortunate—you are nurturing the powerful.”
As a well-known speaker and thought leader on diversity and inclusion, Stephens is glad to see his message being shared with an even wider audience. “This is such an important time in our history,” said Stephens. “It’s going to take all of us, working together, to build a more equitable future. We must be detailed and strategic in how we move forward.”
At the BNMC, Stephens helps promote collaboration and inclusivity throughout the organization and community. His efforts have helped establish the BNMC as a regional and national model for diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Resilience Matters, published by the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, features contributions from dozens of leading authors, and is available for free online thanks to grant support from the Kresge and JPB Foundations.
Island Press is a well-known publisher of critical ideas on both the natural and built environment. In 2022, they published City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Strengthen Community, which highlighted the BNMC’s commitment to equity.
Left: Hervé Tullet, Traits points taches giboullage (Lines dots stains scribbles), is located at 847 Main
Continuous Improvements Make the Campus a Destination, a Resource, and a Connector for All in Western New York.
BNMC Inc, the organization that operates the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and its innovation community, recently announced a range of initiatives to enhance the safety and beauty of the Campus.
In collaboration with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, BNMC has added three striking new murals to the area by internationally renowned artist Hervé Tullet and celebrated local artists Muhammad Zaman and Ashley Johnson. The Zaman and Johnson murals are being incorporated into pedestrian safety improvements along Ellicott Street that BNMC worked with GObike to implement. The BNMC will seek to expand its public art program and safety initiatives throughout the area in the coming years.
Jamie Hamann Burney, Director of Campus Planning and Implementation said, “Our Campus is a magnet for innovators, researchers, and healthcare workers, and sees over 1.5M patients and visitors every year. We’re also part of a larger surrounding community and we strive to create places where everyone can gather and connect in a safe environment. Bringing great art to the Campus all the while making it safer for all who rely on its resources is a win-win for everyone. Look for more exciting projects coming soon.”
This year’s largest mural is by the internationally renowned artist, performer, and beloved children’s book author Hervé Tullet, and was executed in tandem with his largest exhibition to date, Shape and Color, which was on view at Abright-Knox Northland this summer. The BNMC mural, entitled Traits points taches giboullage (Lines dots stains scribbles), is located at 847 Main Street and is the second-ever public mural by the artist. The site was selected in part because it will live on the Campus, a site for healing, but also because of the many diverse cultural activities that BNMC champions and supports. The artist’s design is based on original works that were included in the AK Northland exhibition. The mural outline was printed on polytab, a mobile and flexible non-woven fabric, and completed at Buffalo Arts Studio by Jump Start program students who learned Tullet’s techniques that allowed them to complete the mural while also helping them develop their own portfolios as they contributed to the production of a major work of public art.
In addition, two other new murals have been added to the Campus. These murals serve not only to beautify the area and highlight the voices of leading local artists, but also to improve crosswalk and intersection safety. They have been produced in collaboration with GObike Buffalo and the Albright-Knox, with funding support from the Ralph Wilson Foundation and the University at Buffalo. Christina Orsi, Associate Vice President for Economic Development at UB said “We are thrilled to continue to support improvements that make the BNMC campus a leading destination for our community of innovators. Together, we forge greater connections with the surrounding community in a place where our differences become our strengths to enable lasting impressions and impacts in Western New York and beyond.”
Ashley Johnson’s work at Ellicott and Virginia Streets
Let’s Walk Together (detail), Muhammad Zaman at the Innovation Center
The murals are designed by artists Ashley Johnson and Muhammad Zaman. Johnson and Zaman working at 640 Ellicott Street and the intersection of Ellicott and Virginia Streets respectively, have each wp-contentlied their signature styles to the spaces.
Walk Together is an abstract work by Zaman at the crosswalk and pathway to the BNMC’s Innovation Center at 640 Ellicott. It is based on the concept that sharing a path together connects people to one another, echoing the importance of the connections made in the building and throughout the Campus community every day.
Artist Ashley Johnson is working on an abstract design on Ellicott and Virginia that evokes BNMC’s role in leveraging economic development on the Campus for the benefit of the overall community. With shape and color, the work explores the connectivity and interrelationships that make communities thrive.
“Through our Healthy Streets Initiative, we have been able to work with institutions and residents across the city to inexpensively develop temporary traffic calming solutions to immediately address safety needs,” said Justin Booth, Executive Director for GObike Buffalo. “We were hwp-contenty to partner with the BNMC and Albright-Knox to deliver this innovative project to do more than improve safety but beautify our city while doing so.”
The BNMC also worked closely with the City of Buffalo to plan and implement additional complete street improvements on the Campus this year. The City reconstructed Virginia and Burton Streets, widening the sidewalks, adding bike lanes, and installing mid-block pedestrian crossings on both Washington and Ellicott Streets.
When: Thursday, October 21st from 4:30 to 7 PM.
Where: The Lot at 589 Ellicott.
Space is limited for this free event, so pre-registration will be required.
Stop by and say hi!
On September 30, BNMC will present a second special pop-up event and we invite you to join us. We’ll be transforming the parking lot at 589 Ellicott into an outdoor beer garden and we’ll gather for some food and exceptional brews provided by our friends at Big Ditch. The Leroy Towns Band will provide the tunes.
When: Thursday, September 30 from 4:30 to 7 PM.
Where: The Lot at 589 Ellicott.
Space is limited for this free event, so pre-registration will be required.
Stop by and say hi!
Welcome to summer 2021! After everything we have been through this past year, we are delighted to invite you to join our BNMC Summer of Wellness, our healthy, fun program of events and hwp-contentenings that will help all of us reinvigorate and recharge. We have an array of events that will allow us to safely gather together to bike, walk, or practice restorative yoga. Join us for one, for some, or for all. These programs are open FREE to all who live and work in our community and on our campus. They will be safely socially distant, and facemasks are recommended. You can register for everything here. Here’s what’s on the schedule this year:
Thanks to all who joined the fun on May 21 at our Open Streets event celebrating Bike to work day!
Special thanks to our event partners, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Summer Has Arrived and So Have The Foodtrucks!
Once again this year, every Monday – Friday during the summer we will feature a variety of Buffalo’s best food truck vendors. The trucks will be located on the lawn at the corner of Washington and Carlton Streets. Lunch begins at 11:30 am every day and runs until 2 pm.
Here’s what’s on the menu for 2021:
- Mondays: Mad Sauces
- Tuesdays: The Cheesy Chick, House of Munch, Fat Bob’s, Street Café, and The Blend
- Wednesdays: Rob’s Kabobs, Thai Me Up, Carnivorous, and Andersons (Beginning in June)
- Thursdays: Eat Greek, Maria’s Bene Cibo, Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles, and Kona Ice
- Fridays: The Polish Villa, The Great Foodini, Mineo & Sapio, and Loose Cannon
Masks and social distancing will be required to ensure a healthy and safe environment for everyone.
Free, Virtual Meditation Sessions
Every Monday in November Beginning Nov. 2nd from 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
The BNMC Healthy Communities team presents Meditation Mondays, a 30-minute live guided meditation each Monday morning from 8:30 – 9:00 am in November. Each week has its own theme to provide focus, purpose, and intention. All participants will receive recordings of each session and an e-book to guide their own meditation practice once the series has concluded. Meditations are being guided by Amiyah King and Jasir Ali, full bios in our Facebook Events page. Register on our Medical Campus Wellness Events Public Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2243130692613771
BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Support Efforts of Farmers, Not-for-Profit Organizations, and Small Distributors to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic
Projects Support the Longer-Term Goal of Improving Access to Institutional Procurement
BUFFALO, NY—The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) has partnered with four local organizations to support projects that will increase the food system resiliency in our community. A total of $20,000 has been distributed to local partners to support the production and distribution of local foods, as well as the sustainability and growth of small farms and distribution businesses that may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding has been made available through “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation,” an existing three-year grant that the BNMC received in 2018 through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Local Food Promotion Program.
This collaborative initiative is designed to create a model that prioritizes local agriculture from New York State, enabling farms to access new markets (hospitals), and can be replicated across the state. The initiative is expected to create a culture that embraces local farms through prioritizing local procurement; establishes and expands community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs; establishes food chain transparency; increases awareness and knowledge among consumers of local food procurement efforts; and provides knowledge and skill-building opportunities to agribusiness stakeholders (farmers, distributor, food service teams). This project ultimately aims to make local procurement a regular practice and culture among health care institutions.
“Our grant manager at USDA was very understanding about our efforts to increase healthy local foods in hospitals slowing as our health care partners shift their full attention to caring for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marla Guarino, BNMC’s Farm to Institution Program Coordinator “We were able to redistribute the funds originally earmarked for conferences, travel, and longer-term strategies that are currently on hold, and expand the scope of the initiative to have a more immediate impact on making our local food system more resilient.”
Guarino added, “Implementing these short-term wins more quickly supports the overall goal of the grant – increasing the ability of small farmers and organizations to play a role in institutional procurement, such as hospitals, colleges and universities, prisons, and school districts.”
In order to support the local food chain supply quickly during the pandemic, the BNMC team looked to extend projects with existing partner organizations, primarily focusing on infrastructure capital improvement; equipment; and data enhancement. Priority was given to projects that were able to be completed within 4-6 months; collaborative efforts; minority and women-led; and infrastructure moving toward institutional procurement in the future. All final decisions required wp-contentroval from the BNMC USDA grants manager.
The team worked with the USDA in April for wp-contentroval to redirect funding, and identified the priority projects with partner organizations in May. All organizations received the funding over the summer and are well on their way to enacting change.
The following four organizations each received $5,000:
St. John’s Baptist Church, God’s Farm’acy Mobile Truck
God’s Farm’acy is a mobile food truck and raised garden initiative that distributes hot meals, fruits, and vegetables for free throughout the Fruit Belt and other underserved communities. The team at St. John’s also uses the truck to offer healthy cooking classes in the community. They used the funds to add refrigeration to the mobile food truck, allowing them to help eliminate food desserts by increasing access to fresh foods and nutrition information. Received: Funds toward refrigeration for Mobile Truck
Groundwork Market Garden: Groundwork Market Garden is a family-owned farm on the East Side of Buffalo. GMG received funds to develop and promote a digital catalog of local farm products available for purchase. This digital catalog will be updated regularly and used to secure business with larger institutions that small farms traditionally do not serve. GMG plans to include all local urban growers into the catalog as a way to procure larger contracts and promote local farms. Received: Funds for development of digital catalog, on-line marketplace and marketing support
“These funds are helping to bring our farm up to speed with the current trend for local food to be available through online marketplaces,” said Anders Gunnersen, GMG cofounder. “The online catalog will separate our products by retail and wholesale and will be used as a means to sell produce, and as a marketing tool for our farm to reach more people and institutions in the city of Buffalo and Western NY. This project is going to streamline our sales processes and tracking, and better market our products to a much larger and broader audience.”
Produce Peddlers: Produce Peddlers is an online marketplace for buying and selling produce that prevents food waste and saves money. They received funds to reconfigure its delivery van with a refrigeration unit to increase its ability to deliver fresh and local perishable goods to consumers and businesses in the WNY region. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed many businesses, farmers and other suppliers started to back up on product. In an attempt to help, Produce Peddlers opened its marketplace to individual consumers, who were also looking for alternative avenues to source their food that didn’t involve having to go out in public places. Refrigeration will allow Produce Peddlers to handle more goods safely, be GHP compliant, and streamline its delivery methods. Received: Funds for refrigeration for mobile truck
“The ability to refrigerate our delivery vehicle has propelled our business to new heights!” said Gina Wieczorek, Co-founder, VP Operations, Produce Peddlers. “We are now able to safely transport and deliver all sorts of locally grown and produced food, including animal products, meat and other processed items, to restaurants, schools and institutions all over WNY without breaking the cold chain.”
Urban Fruits & Veggies: Urban Fruits & Veggies is an urban agriculture business with two urban farms and a mobile produce market focused on providing access and nutrition education to underserved communities in the WNY area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are growing three times as much as they usually do to support requests for food delivery, and therefore need additional growing supplies, specifically refrigeration equipment. They also need office equipment to facilitate data tracking and growing partnerships with organizations and established programs to ensure they are addressing the social determinants to health. Received: Funds for computer, laptop and printer
About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC): re-imagining our city’s future through the dynamic intersection of technology, health, discovery, and collaboration. The BNMC is a social enterprise focused on cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community. We do this by improving infrastructure, managing our transportation system, creating a culture of health and wellbeing, driving innovation, and working with our partners to continue to build an innovative district that reflects the best of our community. In addition, the BNMC owns and operates more than 150,000 sq ft of incubator space, helping to grow a diverse array of emerging and mature companies through dynamic workspace, programming, and networking. www.bnmc-old.local
For more information: Marla Guarino, 716.867.9528
Be In Buffalo Newcomer Survey
If you are new to Buffalo, or if you’ve recently moved back, Be in Buffalo wants to hear from you!
Take the Newcomer Survey, designed to determine our region’s strengths and deficiencies, and create a roadmap forward for how to better welcome new residents to the City of Good Neighbors.
The confidential survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and questions range a wide variety of topics so we can best map our future needs. Take it today! The survey ends October 20.
GoBNMC Commuter Survey
The BNMC team has launched our bi-annual GoBNMC commuter survey to help with transportation planning for our district. We use this data to continually expand and improve the many safe, cost-effective and accessible ways for everyone to get to work. This year, we’re also hoping to learn more about COVID-19’s current and future impacts on how employees and students choose to get to the Medical Campus.
Network with your Cross-Border Colleagues Virtually!
While the safety measures of COVID-19 have reduced international travel, they have not stopped our potential for cross-border collaboration.
About this Event
While the safety measures of COVID-19 have reduced international travel, they have not stopped our potential for cross-border collaboration.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, McMaster University Innovation Park and Spark Niagara have come together to facilitate a virtual networking event for startups across the Buffalo, Niagara and Hamilton regions to interact, collaborate and seek opportunities for partnership.
By organizing the group into numerous breakout sessions entrepreneurs will gain a meaningful experience in learning from and collaborating with other startups.
WHEN: Weds., October 21st from 1:30 – 3:00 pm
WHO: Startups in Buffalo, Niagara & Hamilton regions.
HOW: Register today for this free, virtual networking event!
IC Success: Back to School Business Academy
This free, eight-week webinar series will help you build and grow your business. Now is the time to invest your time and effort in yourself!
The BNMC’s IC Success: Back to School Business Academy webinar series runs every Tuesday from October 6th – November 24th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm via Zoom. See below for the topic each week.
Register now for the entire series.
Zoom links will be shared after registration. We recommend attending all 8 sessions to get the most out of this series.
IC Success is an education series started by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) in 2019 as way to create pathways and building blocks for success in the small business community. BNMC is committed to helping all small businesses, including women, minority, and Veteran-owned businesses and enterprises to reach their full potential.
Attend all eight sessions and receive one free month at dig at the Innovation Center, the region’s best co-working space!
October 6th – So You Want to Start a Business – Now What?
20 questions to ask yourself, including: Who is my customer and how can I make them feel valued?; What is my product(s)/service(s)?; and What type of legal structure would be best for me to operate my business?
October 13th – Working through Start-up Costs
To properly understand if this will ultimately be a profitable business, we must do an analysis of all of the costs you will encounter to start and run your business. We will work through those on a provided worksheet. This will ultimately help us to determine what the price should be for your various product(s) and/or service(s).
October 20th – Creating Pricing and Revenue Projections – Will This Company Be Able to Make Money?
We will use provided Excel worksheets to determine fixed costs and variable costs to set a price for your products and services. From there, we can create revenue projections. Also, if the company is profitable, what are some investment options to manage the excess cash flow?
October 27th – Putting It All Together and Creating Pro-forma Financial Statements
We will use our Projected Revenue worksheets created in Excel and our Fixed and Variable cost worksheets to create the major pro-forma financial statements including an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow projections.
November 3rd – Marketing and Building Parts of the Business Plan
We will create a marketing plan including a definition of your customer and how to make those customers feel valued through customer satisfaction. We will include a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats) for your specific business.
November 10th – Management/Operations/Human Resources, Completing the Business Plan, and Legally Filing Your Business in Erie County
We answer questions such as, “Do I need a license to operate my business,” and “How do I file a business name in Erie County?” And, operationally, “What software packages can help me operate my business?” In addition, we will go over the “Guide to doing Business in Erie County” that is on the Erie County website. We will cover the major laws that you will need to know about if you hire employees, and how to retain and motivate those employees.
November 17th – Local Guest Speakers who have had Business Success
Open questions for entrepreneurs in our area who have already had success! Ask them what you would like to hear about! Perhaps, “How do you manage the life/work balance with this business operation taking up so much of your time.” Ask anything!
November 24th – Panel of Subject Matter Experts, Including CPA, Attorney, Insurance and a Banker
We will cover basics of taxes and the legal structure of your business. And, “Do I need an insurance agent, an attorney and a banker?”
This series will be led by Kerry Collard, MBA, a former banking executive who has taught in the field of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship for over nineteen years at local colleges in the Buffalo area.
Farm-To-Hospital: Fresh, Local Foods Coming to a Cafeteria Near You!
The BNMC’s Farm to Hospital initiative is designed to bring more locally grown and sourced produce, proteins, and other menu items to patients, visitors, and employees across the Medical Campus, in partnership with Kaleida Health and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Benefits of New York State Grown Foods
We all have heard the buzz about local foods. But what does it really mean?
When businesses and institutions buy local it can have remarkable effects on public health, the environment and the local economy. The mere questioning of where food is produced allows us to become more aware of what we put into our bodies. And when the benefits are listed, there seems to be little question of the better option.
Wow, this stuff is tasty! Locally grown food is at optimal freshness, picked at the peak of ripeness and therefore full of flavor. Produce retains more nutrients and is higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. With fewer steps between you and the source of your food, contamination is far less likely. As well, local farmers may be using less or no pesticides and herbicides, which is healthier for the body especially for those who are immunocompromised.
In Western New York we love our green spaces and blue waters. And, our “City of Good Neighbors” nature can extend to helping the environment too. Eating more local foods reduces C02 emissions through less food miles travelled, helping with overall climate change. When our producers operate well-managed farms it help protect the naturally rich ecosystem by conserving our fertile soil and fresh water from Lake Erie, as well as sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Buying local protects our amazing natural resources for future generations to enjoy.
Money helps too! Choosing local supports OUR farmers. More dollars stay within the local economy and provide the security producers need to continue in this rewarding yet challenging work. We should all be proud. New York State ranks nationally for its top agricultural products such as wp-contentles, maple syrup and pumpkins. We are third in the nation for our dairy, wine & grapes, cabbage, cauliflower and fourth for tart cherries, fresh market sweet corn, squash, pears. Here in Western New York we are surrounded by rural farmland and in the past decade, urban farming in Buffalo has become a mainstay and hydroponic farms provide offerings throughout the year.
Grant-Funded Program Increases Access to Healthy, Local Foods in Hospitals
In 2018, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) was one of 44 organizations nationwide and one of just four organizations in New York State to receive a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program to help create a culture of healthy food practices and increase local food procurement. “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation” works to prioritize local agriculture within hospitals and enables farms to access new markets such as health care institutions.
Our Partners’ Role
From the beginning of BNMC’s commitment to supporting local agriculture, the food services teams at both Roswell and Kaleida Health have been leading the charge. Devoted to providing the healthiest options, Roswell Park’s Director of Nutrition and Food Services Chris Dibble had this to say, “The culinary team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center strives to procure and utilize local produce whenever possible. Our Farm to Table program not only supports local farmers, but also provides benefits to our patients and visitors. Eating fruits and vegetables closest to their harvest times is always ideal because they are most nutritious at that point.”
RPCCC has encouraged their employees to take part in Community Supported Agriculture programs, extending these benefits to home dinner tables. Their team has travelled to learn more about what other hospitals are doing to support regional local food systems.
Similarly, since the start of this initiative at Kaleida, Metz Culinary has worked with the BNMC team to build on their promise of healthy offerings as well as providing helpful information on where they are sourcing their foods from and the benefits of farm fresh local foods.
“Metz’s commitment to procuring locally grown and sourced produce and meats aligns well with Kaleida Health’s commitment to advancing the health of our community,” said Hank Cole, director of Rehabilitation Medicine and Ambulatory Clinics at Buffalo General Medical Center. “Through Metz, we’re able to provide our patients, residents, employees and guests with healthy meal options, made with the freshest ingredients, while also supporting our local farmers. It’s a win-win situation. “
Kaleida and Metz are launching a Farm to Hospital campaign to share information on fruits and veggies they use in their menu as well as introducing the producers. Recently they featured a pop-up Farmer’s Market in the cafeteria, which is a fun way of getting these veggies out into homes.
The BNMC team are proud to showcase the hard work of our food service teams and our local farmers and are hwp-contenty to help provide the healthiest – and tastiest! – culinary offerings out there. Throughout the upcoming year, our Farm to Hospital team will provide employees, patients and visitors with BNMC Farm-to-Hospital Implementation information about featured local produce, as well as introducing the amazing farmers behind the products. Keep your eyes out for the latest informational messages coming your way. And enjoy the tastes of the season!
BNMC’s Food Truck Rodeo Wraps Up Oct. 2nd
We Look Forward To Seeing Everyone Again Next Year!
Many thanks to all of you for helping ensure a safe and delicious Food Truck Rodeo this summer. We will be wrwp-contenting up the FTR at Washington & Carlton this season on Friday, October 2nd. We look forward to seeing everyone back again next year!
Having our favorite food trucks on the Campus have provided some sense of normalcy – and delicious food offerings! – this summer. We are so hwp-contenty that our daily food truck rodeo continues to draw employees in a safe & physically distant way. For those of you planning to stop by the food trucks on the Medical Campus, please note the following changes to ensure we are able to keep this Rodeo going well into the fall.
Food Truck Rodeo Details:
- Please wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
- Only 4 trucks are allowed daily to provide enough room.
- Unfortunately, there will not be any outdoor seating. Food trucks will package all food to go. Please do not linger on the lawn after getting your food.
- Please be respectful.
Despite these precautions, we are looking forward to another wonderful 2020 season. Thank you for supporting our local food trucks!
Innovation-As-A-Service: Ognomy Case Study
When Dr. Dan Rifkin had an idea to transform the sleep medicine industry using telemedicine, he knew who to call. His company, Sleep Medicine Centers of WNY was one of the first companies to locate in the Innovation Center nearly 10 years ago, and he has known Matt Enstice, BNMC CEO, for a number of years.
“I reached out to Matt to get his feedback, and he immediately jumped into action,” said Dan Rifkin, M.D., Medical Director of Sleep Medical Centers of WNY. “I wanted to transform my business, and he gave me the tools to do so.”
Matt connected Dan to Sam Marrazzo, BNMC’s Chief Innovation Officer. Sam’s niche is helping companies – any company, regardless of industry – innovate from within.
“Our goal is to connect people with ideas to a quick but thorough process using agile innovation that can create the platform for a solution that minimizes investment and risk in the marketplace,” according to Marrazzo. “We take your domain knowledge and bring connections and ideas to move your initiative along quickly. We use novel methods to solve problems and deliver solutions at a rapid pace, allowing you to prototype prior to building a final product, saving time and money. If the idea is not going to work, we want to fail fast and move along to the next idea. Through this wp-contentroach, we are changing industries by cultivating people and ideas, much like we did with Dan and sleep apnea.”
Marrazzo pulled together an innovation team from across the country, including the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State, who helped hone in the idea and its unique business proposition, along with the UB School of Business MIS Department students and professors to help with requirements and overall implementation strategy.
He also engaged BNMC partner Topcoder, an international technology platform connecting companies to top talent. Marrazzo has worked with Topcoder for more than a decade, including bringing 200+ technology superstars to Buffalo in 2017 for its international conference. With the combination of Topcoder, UB, and BNMC’s Innovation team, we were able to develop a solution within budget and timeline that met the needs of Dan’s team.
“Within three months, we went from idea to implementation,” explained Rifkin. “It would have taken me years to get this far on my own. The connections that Sam, Matt and their team made for me are going to disrupt not only my industry, but other health disciplines as well.”
The team developed a telemedicine wp-content that incorporates practice automation and allows diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea to be done via a mobile wp-content—all in the comfort of a patient’s home. Typically, patients need to spend the night in a sleep center, hooked up to monitors in an unfamiliar room and setting. Now, with advances in diagnostic technologies, Rifkin is able to ship the equipment directly to a patient’s home and monitor them in their own environment, increasing access and ease of diagnosis.
Rifkin is now looking at other disciplines that follow similar platforms, such as cardiology, to see how they might benefit from this technology.
BNMC Presents Virtual Stress Reduction Series
Weekly Webinars in June with Innovation Center Tenant Lindsay Amico from Picture Perfect Mind LLC
WEBINAR DESCRIPTIONS & SIGN UP
Part 4: Habit Creation: Stress Reduction as a Lifestyle ✅
Tuesday, June 23rd at 2pm
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Resources for Businesses
If you’re like us, you are constantly getting barraged with information – emails, social media, texts, and constant news alerts about the COVID-19 pandemic and the resources available to businesses and individuals. We have started this page as a place for you to find accurate, timely information that can help your business today. Many of our colleagues and partners are doing a great job collecting this information – we are going to link to their resources as opposed to recreating the wheel. Please let us know of resources or information that you think should be added.
- In our final IC Success Zooms, Kyria features home schooling tips and resources on Tuesday, May 5th, and grants, loans and business resources on Thursday, May 7th. RSVP for these free community conversations today!
- The BNMC team is available to help make connections and provide information. Contact Sam Marrazzo at email@example.com.
- Here is the BNMC CARES Act Presentation from our April 24th webinar led by Donna Gonser from Lumsden & MCCormick.
- Empire State Development has a specific webpage with resources.
- WNY Incubators has a running blog of key updates for start-ups – thank you for distilling this information, Tom!
- Buffalo Small Business COVID Support Group on Facebook
- U.S. Small Business Administration has a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources page.
- The Women’s Business Center at Canisius College has lists of resources, as well as a weekly Knowledge Exchange to support women business owners during this time.
- Invest Buffalo Niagara has a website with health and business-related resources.
- The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has a thorough website with resources for businesses.
- Beverly Grey Business Exchange Center has resources listed on its site and is offering staff support for businesses.
last updated 4.27.20
Update on the BNMC Inc.
For nearly 20 years, the BNMC Inc. has been an organization built around the concept that bringing diverse groups of people together drives innovation and builds community. Throughout that time, “together” has meant in person. Moving to a remote workplace may have challenged our work, but it definitely hasn’t stopped our dedication to leveraging opportunities to solve problems, strengthen partnerships, and continuously learn from each other.
How are we doing this? We’ve shifted all of our work councils to virtual meetings, ensuring that our partners are still able to “see” each other and benefit from longstanding relationships. We continue to manage and monitor the parking and transportation system across the Campus, and continue to keep the grounds clean and safe for the essential staff, patients, and visitors that are on the Medical Campus each day. Our team is also still advancing planning efforts around infrastructure, healthy food access, building operations and management, and community-building on and around the Campus.
We will never get used to seeing the Innovation Center empty, our usually bustling building stilled as our friends and colleagues adhere to social distancing and working from home, but we continue to engage with our tenants and partners. We have moved some of our programming and social gatherings online, and our next series of IC Success begins virtually tomorrow. We are also offering a small business seminar for our Neighborhood Explorer business this week in partnership with Lumsden & McCormick.
We continue to join our peer districts around the globe through the Global Institute for Innovation Districts for regular video calls to stay in touch. It is sobering to hear from our European colleagues, especially those in Switzerland, just 10 minutes from the Italian border, but encouraging to see the research and discovery around COVID-19 also coming from these districts. We discuss how this pandemic makes all of our focus on innovating and strengthening transportation and energy systems, building healthy communities, integrating technology, and encouraging creativity even more necessary, and wonder what it will look like moving forward. Some of the work being done in Buffalo to fight COVID-19 was featured in GIID’s recent blog.
We’ve also recently partnered with Mission:Ignite and Say Yes Buffalo to provide home computers for students in the Buffalo Public School district, creating a connection that helps increase access to technology and education for students who did not otherwise have that opportunity. We are looking for individuals and companies to support this effort to ensure even more kids have access to computers at home – for $150 Mission:Ignite can refurbish and certify a computer.
We are proud to have helped launch a telemedicine platform for sleep apnea with partner and longtime Innovation Center tenant Dr. Dan Rifkin. We have been working on this together since last year in partnership with Topcoder, UB School of Business MIS students, and Buffalo State’s International Center for Studies in Creativity, but the timeliness and importance given today’s landscape of effective telemedicine makes last week’s launch especially gratifying.
We share all of this to say that, like most of you, we continue to do what we can to grow and improve our little corner of the world, while taking care of ourselves, our families, and our community.
We will get through this in the same way we have all worked to rebuild Buffalo – together.
Stay healthy and safe.
Matt and the BNMC Team
BNMC Inc. Partners with Mission:Ignite & Say Yes Buffalo to Provide Home Computers for Buffalo Public School Students
More Support Needed to Increase Available Computers
BUFFALO (April 6, 2020) – Three Buffalo not-for-profit organizations partnered to provide desktop computers to Buffalo Public School students who would otherwise not have access to this technology at home. More than 65 families will receive computers through an initial donation of $5,000, and the partners are seeking additional donations from individuals and corporations to reach even more families. For the cost of $150, Mission:Ignite will refurbish and certify a computer, and Say Yes will distribute to their families.
The first 20 computers were distributed on April 6th at P.S. 89 Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence and P.S. 80 Highgate Heights Elementary, with additional computers delivered on April 16th to South Park High School, PR 74 and iPrep Academy.
“When I thought about education shifting to homes when the schools began closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my mind immediately went to the technology gap,” said Sam Marrazzo, BNMC’s Chief Innovation Officer. “I knew that Mission:Ignite could help provide the hardware, so we reached out to Say Yes to see if they could help with the connection to the families. We hope to see other companies and individuals step up as well to help make sure kids have access to technology during these times.”
“We immediately agreed to help when we got Sam’s call,” said Christine Carr, Executive Director for Mission:Ignite. “Providing technology solutions for kids is our core mission. We are able to build computers relatively quickly to meet the tremendous needs of our community.”
“We were thrilled that BNMC and Mission:Ignite wp-contentroached us with this idea,” said David Rust, Executive Director of Say Yes Buffalo. “Our team has been providing basic needs to the 500+ families in Buffalo that we serve, and we know that parents are concerned that their kids will fall behind in school without access to the right technology.”
Say Yes Buffalo Family Support Specialists and BPS Principals will work to determine families with the highest need to distribute the laptops. The first 20 computers were distributed this morning.
Mission: Ignite, Buffalo’s source for affordable technology and refurbished computers; the BNMC, Inc., an organization focused on furthering economic growth, igniting urban revitalization, and building a strong thriving community; and Say Yes Buffalo, dedicated to strengthening the Western New York economy by investing in the education of Buffalo’s future workforce.
This event has been postponed, We will make an announcement when it can be rescheduled.
On March 18, 2020, 2:30-4:30 pm, TIBCO will be at the Innovation Center to show YOU how you can accurately predict the winners and losers of the largest basketball tournament of the year with TIBCO’s industry-leading data analytics software. Last year, TIBCO customers had a 98% accuracy rate, and a majority of last year’s attendees actually won their office pools! So come ready to make your predictions, compare your bracket with other attendees, and gain last-minute tips to improve your chances of winning this season!
Oh yeah, did we mention that there’s a FREE HAPPY HOUR too???
Jennifer Stanonis, award-winning [former] local TV meteorologist, is releasing her first ever children’s book focused on the science of weather, and the Hauptman-Woodward Institute (HWI) is proud to be a part of the launch events!
Willy and Lilly’s Adventures with Weather will make its international debut on March 19, 2020 — the same day as the Spring Equinox. To celebrate the book release, Stanonis will be at HWI on Friday, March 20th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for a book signing and meet and greet (light refreshments provided).
HWI looks forward to seeing everyone who can stop by, meet the author and get a book signed! Thank you for your support!
On Tuesday February 14th , the BNMC Healthy Workplace Initiative hosted a Mental Health First Aid training for its client companies. There were 22 people in attendance from 11 companies, including Walsh Duffield, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lawley, and Pegula Sports Entertainment.
This nationally recognized training was provided locally by Compeer Buffalo, a non-profit that takes a friendship wp-contentroach to Mental Health. Its model is nationally recognized and has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the American Psychiatric Association.
Mental Health First Aid training aims to educate the public on how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Upon completion of the training, participants received a certificate, identifying them as Mental Health First Aiders, equipped with the skills needed to reach out, offer help, and support someone who may be experiencing a crisis. Participants also walk away with a simple 5-step action plan in hand to help a colleague, loved one, or neighbor in dealing with a crisis until professional treatment is obtained.
Mental health is the most frequently requested topic among companies in the Healthy Workplace Initiative, and it is unfortunate the depth of local data available that supports this trend. According to the Economic Impact of Poor Health on Our WNY Community, depression alone is 19% prevalent in the Buffalo-Niagara region and costs our local workforce $170 million per year in medical spending and $415.7 million productivity losses each year. These data, combined with the existing stigma surrounding mental health, demonstrate the immediate need for further action to address the well-being of our region. BNMC hosted this training to not only improve mental health literacy among the local workforce, but to also empower collective urgency in combating mental health stigma through harnessing a proactive wp-contentroach.
In addition to being highly informative and educational on a variety of mental health challenges, the training featured a series of interactive activities to further reinforce course content. One of the most impactful activities involved comparing various mental health challenges with physical health illnesses. Based on a study by the World Health Organization, the rankings demonstrated how mental health challenges can be equally or even more compromising to activities of daily life as physical health challenges, such as vision loss.
Thank you to Walsh Duffield for sponsoring the event!
For more information on Mental Health First Aid Training, please visit http://www.compeerbuffalo.org/mhfa/
Hotlines in Crisis
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
National Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741
24-Hour Suicide Prevention Hotline for Erie County 716-834-3131