OLEAN, NY - Olean Business Development (OBD) is now part of a regional effort dedicated to helping entrepreneurs establish new companies across all industries and disciplines.

Officials at OBD recently signed an agreement to become the 10th member of the Western New York Incubator Network (WIN).

The incubator network is a collaborative effort of incubators and entrepreneurial service providers from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties working together to turn the region into a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.  The group shares best practices, networking, mentoring, educational, and financial resources to better assist incubator client companies.

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“We couldn’t be more pleased to be part of Western New York Incubator Network. Our affiliation with the incubator network opens up Cattaraugus County and its entrepreneurs to a host of resources not previously available to our area,” said Larry Sorokes, OBD’s president. “This is especially important for the city of Olean as the unprecedented overhaul of its downtown is setting the stage for a local economic renaissance.”

WIN is funded through the NYSTAR Innovation Hot Spot program, which offers a unique set of tax incentives and funding opportunities for companies in their earliest stages. As a member of the incubator network, OBD can assist fledgling companies in benefitting from WIN’s  financial support system.

“For many new businesses, relief of any sort from the often burdensome costs of starting up is critical to their long-term viability,” Sorokes said. “The assistance we can provide our startups through WIN’s array of economic opportunities is something that will believe will be a game changer for entrepreneurs considering founding a company in our area.”

OBD, located at 301 N.  Union St., works directly with entrepreneurs starting a new company from conceptualization to their eventual establishment in the community. In addition to WIN’s benefits, OBD provides startup companies with full suite of services through its business incubator including business plan development and implementation, mentoring, and guidance with legal and financial matters.
Prior to OBD’s establishment, the closest business incubators to the Olean area were located in Alfred and Fredonia.

“As economic development practices have changed to focus on nurturing small businesses from their earliest stages, we felt that it was imperative for Olean to have a place where entrepreneurs can get the best help possible in taking their ideas for a new company from the drawing board to the real world,” Sorokes said. “Becoming part of WIN helps us do just that.”

About ODB: Established in 2013, OBD is the only organization of its kind in the city of Olean dedicated solely to reinvigorating the local economy. The nonprofit was founded by major employers, educational institutions, investors, and agencies throughout the Olean area committed to fostering a climate of economic opportunity and prosperity in the community.