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Accelerate, LISTnet, LIFT form strategic partnership

Mark Lesko, seen at an event in January,

Mark Lesko, seen at an event in January, who last week started as executive director of the nonprofit organization Accelerate Long Island, wants to cultivate Island’s tech business sector. (Jan. 18, 2012) (Credit: Newsday )

Three Long Island business organizations have formed a partnership that will aim to make the local business “ecosystem” more conducive to start-up companies.

Accelerate Long Island, the Long Island Software Technology Network and the Long Island Forum for Technology today announced they would be teaming up to promote the region as a technology hub and offers services, such as networking and mentoring, for start-ups.

"One of the things we noticed when Accelerate was being created... there was a number of very good organizations that were kind of separately working to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem on Long Island," said Accelerate director Mark Lesko. "Collectively we’re all better than if we were working separately.”

Accelerate is an initiative launched earlier this year to encourage collaboration between local researchers and entrepreneurs in order to create new companies and, therefore, jobs.

LISTnet is a group that supports local companies in the software and information technology industry, and LIFT is a network that connects local manufacturers focused on aerospace, defense and energy sectors.

Even before the partnership was formalized, Accelerate had already worked with both LISTnet and LIFT. For example, Lesko serves as a member of the steering committee for LI Tech COMETS -- the island's first start-up accelerator program being spearheaded by LISTnet.

Lesko said he wants to leverage the business communities that LISTnet and LIFT had already formed within their own industries and bring them together to promote a larger technology hub on Long Island, instead of starting from scratch.

The three organizations are already working together to plan an event that would help local start-ups, said LISTnet president Peter Goldsmith.

"The three organizations represent the tech community on Long Island, all in different areas," Goldsmith said. "We’re all looking to improve Long Island, we have the same goals, we feel comfortable working with one another, so let’s form a formal strategic partnership and start doing things."

Photo: Accelerate director Mark Lesko

Tags: accelerate long island , listnet , lift , mark lesko , technology , jobs

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