Brookings, Ex-Im Bank, Commerce Officials applaud Regional Export Initiative
MicroGen Wins $200,000 Emerging Business Competition
Business of the Year Winners Announced
SYRACUSE, NY – The Annual Meeting of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO) drew 1,100 people to the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter in Syracuse. The theme for the 2012 Annual Meeting was “Go Global” and attendees were presented with new strategies for doubling regional exports by improving connections to and competitiveness in the global economy.
“The world’s fastest growing markets are outside of the U.S. If we want to accelerate our own economic growth, we must reach beyond our borders and focus on external markets,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO, in Syracuse. “Together with Brookings and partners across the CenterState region, we’ve developed strategies that will help companies that have never sold outside of the U.S. enter new markets, and help our leading exporters increase their international sales. Over time, this approach holds the potential to create, not hundreds, but thousands of jobs for this region.”
Brookings estimates that for every $1 billion in increased export sales, more than 5000 jobs are created and workers earn higher average wages. Doubling exports in the Syracuse metro area – from $3.3 to $6.6 billion – offers the potential to create 18,000 net new jobs.
Together with CenterState CEO, leaders from the Brookings Institution released the CenterState New York Metropolitan Export Initiative featuring three core strategies to increase exports by $3 billion over the next five years:
1. Increase export activity of the region’s top exporters
2. Build export capacity of small and medium sized enterprises
3. Expand exports of the region’s key service providers
The three core strategies were the result of a year-long analysis of the CenterState region which included dozens of one-on-one interviews and a regional survey of 144 businesses. In addition to outlining a strategic plan for regional growth, the report also highlighted the strength of the region’s knowledge based assets and collaborative efforts.
Brookings praised the CenterState region for its leadership in developing the CenterState MEI as a leading example of what progressive communities can and should be pursuing. CenterState New York is one of four areas in the nation participating in the Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative. The three other metro areas include: Los Angeles, California; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; and Portland, Oregon.
The Export Initiative is part of the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metro Innovation, a national effort to catalyze and showcase leading-edge practices to boost the nation’s transition to the Next Economy.
“Central New York is exhibiting the kind of purposeful and visionary leadership we need to reposition our economy for growth in the post-recession environment,” said Amy Liu, senior fellow and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. “With this export plan, the CenterState area will connect their firms to expanding opportunities abroad and create more jobs for workers here at home. This plan will also serve as a model for other regions interested in stronger global trade and engagement.”
Through the implementation of the Metropolitan Export Initiative, the region will be able to dramatically increase exports and provide blueprints that can be followed in metropolitan areas across the country to double U.S. exports.
“There is great potential in this region, especially because we see powerful partnerships like the one between Brookings, CenterState CEO, and the Commerce Department,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Chief of Staff Bruce Andrews. “This area has a broad array of industries, a strong manufacturing sector, and most importantly talented and hardworking people. All of this means the region is poised to export more products to more places around the globe. And when you add it all up, exports from CenterState New York, means jobs for CenterState New York.”
The meeting’s keynote address was delivered by Wanda Felton, first vice president and vice chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, who discussed the growth potential of U.S. exports and opportunities for companies in this region to grow their business by connecting with emerging markets across the globe.
“The CenterState Region is well positioned to grow by connecting its exporters with emerging markets across the globe,” said Wanda Felton, Vice Chair and Vice President of the Export Import Bank of the United States. “Ex-Im Bank is committed to encouraging more small businesses to enter new global markets. We are here to support these companies, and their employees, and strengthen the economy."
$200,000 New York’s Creative Core® Emerging Business Competition
The CEO annual meeting also featured the announcement of the winner of the New York’s Creative Core® $200,000 Emerging Business Competition. MicroGen, LLC of Ithaca, was awarded the grand prize, designating it as CenterState New York’s most innovative and growth-oriented business.
MicroGen Systems’ technology harvests the energy created by vibrations which can then be used in a range of applications. MicroGen is developing a product suite of long life vibration energy harvesters. These low cost, long life micro-power sources will extend rechargeable battery lifetime. www.microgensystems.com
Five finalists emerged from a field of 90 companies to make live presentations before a distinguished panel of judges, including venture capitalists and investors, on March 26. The other finalists included: Applied Biorefinery Sciences; Onondaga County, NexID, St. Lawrence County; NOHMS, Tompkins County; Technology Life Cycle Solutions, Onondaga County
Over the last five years, the competition has awarded $834,500 to the most innovative and growth-oriented business in the region. With the 2012 prize, that total eclipsed the $1 million dollar mark. The 2012 New York’s Creative Core© Emerging Business Competition would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, making this the largest privately-funded competition of its type in the nation. In addition to title sponsors M&T Bank and NYBDC, the competition is supported by Executive Sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb, Delta Air Lines, National Grid, and SRCTec, as well as 22 corporate sponsors, media sponsors, partners and supporters.
Business of the Year Awards
CenterState CEO announced the four companies honored with 2012 Business of the Year Awards. The awards were presented in four categories including:
More than 50 Employees
Company with less than 50 Employees
Fleet Feet Sports of Syracuse
Onondaga Community College
This year’s winners were selected from a competitive field of 40 nominees.
“We are proud to honor these businesses which serve as models of success for the entire business community,” said CenterState CEO Chairman, Allen Naples. “Over the last year, these companies have excelled - creating new jobs, making new investments and being engaged in the community.”
About Wanda Felton
Wanda Felton is the vice chair and vice president of the Export Import Bank of the United States. She was nominated by President Obama on April 8, 2011 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2011. She has approximately 25 years of financial industry experience.
Prior to her Ex-Im appointment, she operated MAP Capital Advisors. Previously, she was a Managing Director at Helix Associates, a division of Jefferies Inc., a Director at Credit Suisse First Boston, and a Managing Director at Hamilton Lane Advisors. She began her career as a Loan Officer at Ex-Im Bank. Ms. Felton received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
About Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program
The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings provides decision-makers with cutting-edge research and policy ideas for improving the health and prosperity of metropolitan areas, including their component cities, suburbs, and rural areas. To learn more, please visit: www.brookings.edu/metro. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brookingsmetro.
About CenterState CEO
Based in Syracuse, the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity is a twelve-county business leadership and economic development organization. A private, not-for-profit, CenterState CEO represents more than 2,000 members and serves as the region’s primary economic, community and business development catalyst. CenterState CEO works to achieve regional growth and total community prosperity through partnerships, planning and problem solving.