Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Rochester Economic Development Corp., has received $137,500 in funding from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank to help build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will benefit small-business owners and residents of the City of Rochester. The funding is part of a larger $400,000 gift from Chase Bank to the City of Rochester.
The CUE/REDCO funding will be used to build a coordinated network of technical assistance and training provisions that will connect service providers through the implementation of a digital referral and data tracking system. The shared system is expected to improve business-focused service outcomes by ensuring that clients are directed to the correct service type and that referrals among service providers are communicated among all parties. The system will also have the ability to collect data on the performance of entrepreneurs and their businesses over time.
“This new shared system will add the capability to view the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a whole and make data-driven decisions regarding funding and strategy,” said Ebony Miller-Wesley, director of RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship. “In addition, we are looking forward to continuing to develop the pipeline in which an entrepreneur or existing business owner can work to develop their enterprise.”
The project will include software customization and implementation and the development of a pipeline of service types that will help entrepreneurs launch and grow viable businesses.
“The major goal of the project is to transform the network of business-focused service providers and develop a system that is more accessible to Rochester entrepreneurs and in which impact is measureable,” added Miller-Wesley. “We would like to thank Chase Bank for their generous donation and foresight in seeing the benefits of investing in our city and its residents. We are hopeful that this project will ultimately drive increased business and job creation for Rochester.”
RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, located on the first floor of the RIT Downtown Center for Entrepreneurship in the former historic Rochester Savings Bank building at 40 Franklin St., provides business and consulting services targeting new urban entrepreneurs or individuals who have an existing business or are hoping to launch a new business within the City of Rochester.