Westchester’s Lesser-Known Innovation Backbone

As Westchester’s first biotechnology incubator, BioInc@NYMC, located on New York Medical College’s Valhalla campus, provides startups with the amenities and business support they need to flourish. “The goal,” says Randi Schwartz, BioInc@NYMC’s interim director, “is to increase the probability of success for startup and early-stage firms so they graduate in a financially viable condition.”

BioInc@NYMC offers access to top-grade amenities—including a 31,000-square-foot vivarium, a behavioral phenotyping facility, an in-vivo imaging system, and wet and dry labs. Members—who’ll remain in the incubator for up to five years—also receive technical consulting and management guidance to secure financial and commercial growth, as well as the opportunity for student interns (from NYMC and the Touro College and University System) to assist in their research. 

 The incubator is currently working with two local companies: MB Group USA, whose research focuses on natural materials to alleviate the adverse effects of chemotherapy and to reduce insulin resistance, prevent diabetes, and stabilize blood glucose levels; and Conversion Energy Enterprises, which is exploring means for improved wound healing via replacements for sutures and staples. Cofounded in 1993 by husband and wife Barbara Soltz (CEO) and Robert Soltz (VP of Engineering), Conversion Energy Enterprises was initially a consulting firm but recently moved into research and development, and Barbara Soltz believes BioInc@NYMC can help with that transition. 

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Though she explains the access to a vivarium will be most valuable resource-wise, Soltz says the company is “looking for collaboration with staff members [at NYMC], researchers who are doing work that would actually improve or broaden the applications that we have, and test the abilities that we don’t have.” Says Soltz: “All small companies need that kind of mentorship and support to keep going.”      

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