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Young professional summit round-up

Zack Seward
Jeremy Cooney, chair of We Live New York, sat on a panel discussion last Friday about retaining young talent upstate.

Hundreds of young professions gathered at Cornell University at the end of last week for the We Live New York summit.  The Innovation Trail was there too and you'll be able to hear the result of our conversation about retaining young talent on Innovation Trail partner stations in the coming week.

The headliner for the event was supposed to be Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, who was pulled away by an impending budget deal in Albany.  Stepping in for him was SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher, who gave a version of the stump speech she's been traveling the state with as she makes the case for SUNY as an economic driver.  Liz Lawyer at the Ithaca Journal reports:

Zimpher urged the approximately 400 participants present for her address to become active, not only in their communities, but beyond their borders. "You have to get in the game statewide," she said. "The vitality of your contributions has not gone unnoticed. I would be more vocal. Spread the word."

Rachel Stern at Gannett reports that folks came from far and wide to attend the event in Ithaca:

Joel Barrett, 32, of Rochester, participated in the business and entrepreneurship events. He works for an accounting firm, but always thought he would like to start his own business. Now, thanks to the summit, he said, he is aware of resources that could help. One is college incubators. He learned that Rochester Institute of Technology sponsors one. The incubator is a collection of individuals who provide assistance -- such as interns and resources -- to start-up companies, Barrett said. That is an avenue he said he plans to explore.

Young entrepreneurs had a strong showing at a panel devoted to the challenges startups face, reports Aaron Munzer at the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

And Steve Reilly at the Ithaca Journal reports that the summit also had a showing from the Rust to Green initiative, which hosted a seminar on neighborhood revitalization:

Jamie Vanucci, a lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Cornell, said Rust to Green Utica was comprised of just eight people when it came to the city in February 2010. But after students, businesspeople and other groups were asked to share their input on Utica's growth, the movement grew. By December, she said, more than 100 different organizations were partnered on projects ranging from the distribution of rainwater-collection barrels to the formation of a local food policy council. "Picking up steam around the periphery is something we noticed," Vanucci said. "The further out we get, the more energy we get, and the bigger the project builds."

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