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First Niagara Bank Foundation Gift of $150,000 to Cayuga Community College Foundation to Create First Niagara Entrepreneurship Center

DATE: 08-13-2008

Auburn, NY – The First Niagara Bank Foundation has awarded $150,000 to the Cayuga Community College Foundation to establish the First Niagara Entrepreneurship Center in downtown Auburn.

The Center will help Cayuga students and faculty develop new ways to revitalize the region through economic and social innovation, according to First Niagara Regional President Greg Gilroy. Entrepreneurship is a form of business and social enterprise that focuses on innovation to respond to market needs and opportunities. The grant will also enable the college to attract matching funds from other sources, amplifying the Center's impact.

"First Niagara shares the college's goal of searching for innovative ways to stimulate the local economy," said Gilroy. "This is not just a grant in First Niagara's view, but a key investment in an important upstate market – serving as a catalyst for surfacing new and sustainable forms of economic activity."

The First Niagara Entrepreneurship Center will be housed at 2 State Street, the site of the Stardust Entrepreneurial Institute, a cooperative project of Cayuga Community College and the Stardust Foundation. Renovations made possible by the First Niagara funding will begin at that location in fall 2008, with a target of early 2009 for completion.

"We're pleased and deeply honored by this recognition from First Niagara and by the opportunity that it brings to Cayuga students and to our region," said Cayuga president Daniel Larson. "The impact of this gift will be extraordinary."