News & Events

BioInc@NYMC and iCANny Host “Their Big Idea” Event

July 06, 2018

“This event is a part of our mission to foster entrepreneurship and economic growth in New York State,” said Deborah Novick, director of BioInc@NYMC.

Valhalla, NY, – On June 28, BioInc@NYMC and The Incubation, Commercialization and Acceleration Network of New York (iCANny) invited a select group of entrepreneurs to present their business ideas to expert panelists and a mixed audience of fellow entrepreneurs, financial representatives, and local business executives, who evaluated each startup concept, and provided feedback to the presenters.

Prominent strategist, Dan Potocki, founder of the business consultancy firm Finis Ventures, who gained distinction for his role in spearheading business development and strategic initiatives for tech startups, moderated the group of presenters who believe their business ventures could be the next big thing.

The presenting companies and principals included: 

  • Cara Cesario, chief scientific officer of Crave Crush: Creator of a science-backed lozenge that suppresses sugar cravings, based at BioInc@NYMC.
  • Jesse Cruz, president and CEO of Cruz Street Media: Helps organizations unlock the power of their data to drive growth by treating information as an asset and creating systems to support that data.
  • Preston Bloss, co-founder and CEO of VOLTA Reserve Power: A commercial distribution leader in advanced battery system design and consultation, delivering scalable platform solutions for renewable energy and green building applications.

 “This event is a part of our mission to foster entrepreneurship and economic growth in New York State,” said Deborah Novick, director of BioInc@NYMC. “‘Their Big Idea’ brought together a diverse mix of companies for a constructive conversation about each idea. We hope that the advice dispensed at the event will not only contribute to the future of each presenting company, but will inspire everyone who attended.”

Four panelists with a history of advising and developing startups asked questions and provided feedback on each entrepreneur’s big idea. The panelists included:

  • Scott Brenner: A veteran lawyer with more than two decades of diverse experience representing domestic and foreign businesses  ranging in development from early and emerging growth stages, to mid-market and multi-national corporations.
  • Tom Morton: Partner at TechCXO, a professional services firm that provides experienced tech company CFOs on an as-needed basis to technology companies from start-up through mid-market.
  • Hugh Schwartz: Managing director at Strategic Concepts Consulting, a firm designed to help small- and medium-sized companies get to the next level of sales and profitability by leveraging a network of former senior executives who have successfully built sustainable companies across industries and markets.
  • Wendy Wollner: Founder and CEO of Balancing Life’s Issues (BLI). With more than 25 years of experience, she has built and overseen a network of more than 1,500 BLI trainers who bring work/life balance programs to corporations, not-for-profit organizations, employee assistance programs, and educational institutions.

BioInc@NYMC is New York Medical College’s (NYMC) biotechnology incubator and the mid-Hudson Valley’s only fully-equipped biotechnology incubator on a health sciences college campus. The incubator is currently home to eight biomedical startups. iCANny is the oldest continuously operating business and technology incubator and serves as the Mid-Hudson Region’s Empire State Certified Business Incubator.  Since 2005, iCANny has been supportive of both start-ups and mature enterprises, by providing expert mentoring and advisory services as well as a curriculum to commercialization.  iCANny and NYMC first partnered in 2014 in a successful CFA submission to become the Innovation Hot Spot for the Mid-Hudson Region.

“New York is full of ambitious innovators and big ideas, but many aspiring entrepreneurs need the support of experienced executives, mentors and industry specialists in order to bring their ideas to the next level,” said Les Neumann, managing director of iCANny. “Providing guidance and support is an important part of the work we and BioInc@NYMC are doing.”

BioInc@NYMC offers shared resources, turnkey wet lab space, and sponsored professional services to promising, high-potential entrepreneurs and start-ups. In addition to providing best-in-class infrastructure and operational services, BioInc@NYMC assists its members in refining their business strategies, conserving capital, building strong teams, and achieving business development and funding milestones.


New York Medical College

Founded in 1860, NYMC is one of the oldest and largest health sciences colleges in the country with more than 1,400 students, 1,300 residents and clinical fellows, nearly 3,000 faculty members, and 19,000 living alumni. The College, which joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, is located in Westchester County, New York, and offers degrees from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, the School of Health Sciences and Practice, a School of Dental Medicine and a School of Nursing. NYMC provides a wide variety of clinical training opportunities for students, residents, and practitioners.