COMETS program for LI startups gets funding boost

Peter Goldsmith, the head of the Long Island

Peter Goldsmith, the head of the Long Island Software & Technology Network, which runs COMETS, in the COMETS office space in Hauppauge on Aug. 27, 2012. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

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Long Island's startup accelerator program COMETS is getting a funding boost from Accelerate Long Island.

Accelerate, which works to aid the local economy by encouraging the growth of high-tech companies, will provide $12,500 in grants for the COMETS program.

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The COMETS accelerator, which helps startups grow quickly by providing key resources, will kick off its third iteration later this year with a $50,000 fund from local investors for the participating companies -- the first time it has offered a monetary incentive.

Applications for COMETS -- Connected Organization Mentoring Exciting Tech Start-ups -- are being made available this week and will be due in late August. Five startups will be selected, with three top companies receiving $5,000 from the COMETS fund at the beginning of the program and $5,000 at the end. The other two companies may compete for funding throughout the 12-week program, said Peter Goldsmith, the head of the Long Island Software & Technology Network, which runs COMETS.

Accelerate's funding, which comes from the state's Empire Development Corp., can grant each of the five companies selected as much as $2,500. But the exact amount and how the companies will receive the funding has yet to be decided, Accelerate executive director Mark Lesko said. Those interested can apply at

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