Bank of America Gives to SSIC

June 27, 2007

The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University today received a $250,000 gift over two years from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of entrepreneurial ventures at SU’s South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), located on South Salina Street.

The SSIC will use the gift to provide the services and staffing required to achieve the entrepreneurial objectives and goals of the program: ultimately creating sustainable ventures and a vibrant culture in the South Side community. With support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the SSIC will be able to offer incubation space to 5 to 15 additional start-up ventures; provide on-site business support and training; and organize entrepreneurial speaker series and special events.

The announcement coincided with a visit to the SSIC from Michael Jones-Bey, executive director of minority and women’s business (MWBE) development for New York State. Joined by representatives from Bank of America and SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, Jones-Bey led a discussion on the vision and agenda of the New York State administration in MWBE compliance.

“I want to thank Bank of America for their generous support of the South Side Innovation Center and their acknowledgement of the important work the SSIC does to assist our neighbors in launching and sustaining their own businesses,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “In the true entrepreneurial spirit, we view Bank of America’s gift as an investment—a tremendous sign of confidence in the South Side, in the SSIC, and our collaborative approach to creating new opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

“The Bank of America Charitable Foundation gift is a huge benefit to the SSIC and to the South Side neighborhood,” says Nola Miyasaki, executive director of the Falcone Center. “The community engagement represented by Bank of America’s gift will enable us to enhance and expand our services, making the SSIC more useful to prospective tenants and to the surrounding neighborhood at large. We are busy recruiting new tenants and are confident that this grant will go a long way towards assisting with that effort.”

“Small business is the backbone of our local economy,” says Brian A. Howard, Central New York market president for Bank of America. “Without the work of groups like the Falcone Center, many innovative businesses would never get off the ground. Through this grant and support of other economic development initiatives in Upstate New York—such as the Rural Opportunities Initiative—Bank of America is pleased to play an active role in supporting our local economy.”

“It is through the generous donation Bank of America has given us today that the SSIC can continue to support its mission to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit in the Syracuse South Side neighborhood,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School. “We are very proud of the initiative’s accomplishments thus far and look forward to seeing its further growth and development.”

Launched in April 2006, the SSIC is a 14,000-square-foot, inner-city business incubator designed to foster the creation of new ventures and help make existing ones sustainable. The program is part of the larger South Side Entrepreneurial Connect Project (SSECP), which seeks to identify and support 100 sustainable ventures over five years, includes infrastructure building, student and faculty engagement through consulting teams, a microcredit fund, training programs for entrepreneurs, and opportunities for minority purchasing.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Amy Mehringer, communications manager for the Whitman School of Management, at (315) 443-3834 or aemehrin@syr.edu.

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Bank of America has embarked on a 10-year goal to give $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the quality and vitality of their neighborhoods. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank one of the most generous corporate donors in the world. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called “neighborhood excellence” under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contribute more than 500,000 hours each year to improve the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.