Colgate student start-up program helps local economy

HAMILTON (WSYR-TV) - On a rainy Monday morning, several Colgate University students are inside a Hamilton incubator space thinking up their next big idea. 

They're part of Colgate's Thought Into Action program, which awards grants to current students and alumni looking to solve problems. 

"They're accessing and resourcing the skills they've learned in the classroom to solve those problems," Wills Hapworth, the Alumni Executive Director of the program said. 

Ventures part of the project include a product that makes it more difficult to drop a cell phone, a sports highlight app, and several businesses around the Hamilton business district. 

One of those businesses, Good Nature Brewing, received a $12,000 grant from the program several years ago. What started as a small tap room in Hamilton has expanded into a brewing facility and restaurant in the village.  

"This solves a big problem," Carrie Blackmore, Good Nature's owner, said. "There were no breweries in Madison County and it was very difficult to find local beer at all." 

As an alumna, Blackmore was eligible for funding through one of Thought Into Action's funds. She turned her grant into a successful company that now employs more than 35 people. 

In total, about 165 full and part-time jobs have been created through Thought Into Action.

More than half of those ventures remain in operation. 

 


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