Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $750K In Federal Funds For Cornell University’s Prototype To Production Accelerator

Jul 31, 2019

Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $750,000 in federal funding for Cornell University’s Prototype to Production Accelerator. The funding was allocated through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) i6 challenge program. Specifically, the Prototype to Production Accelerator will use the funding to help hardware tech startups enter the market with a viable product and support existing manufacturers in the region enter new fields.

“Start-up companies are the job-creating engines that power our economic growth in the 21st century. But as any entrepreneur knows, getting to the market with a product ready to sell can be especially challenging,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding will enable Cornell’s Prototype to Production Accelerator to provide local entrepreneurs and hardware manufacturers the resources they need to kick-start innovation and provide good-paying jobs to the people of the Southern Tier. I am proud to announce this federal funding and will keep advocating tirelessly for New York’s world-class education institutions that foster the advancement of our local entrepreneurs and manufacturing community.”

“New York has a proud history of manufacturing, and this funding for Cornell University will continue that tradition by helping new tech startups in Upstate New York turn their great ideas into thriving businesses,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our startups are producing innovative research on tech manufacturing, and supporting them will help keep jobs local and grow rural economies across the region. This is great news for our state, and I will continue working to make sure our entrepreneurs have the resources they need to succeed.”

“We could not be more grateful for Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand’s support of programs that support entrepreneurship in upstate New York. It’s been long shown that net new jobs come from new business that start and grow fast – with Sen. Schumer’s support, this grant will allow us to support a new generation of entrepreneurs in the region,” said Tom Schryver, Executive Director, Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University.

“The Southern Tier has a long history of manufacturing, a great talent pool, and strong engineering programs at Cornell and Binghamton University. Our existing program has enabled us to help entrepreneurs to take physical products from a drawing on a napkin to a prototype – with Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand’s support and with this EDA i6 grant, we’ll be able to extend this program to help entrepreneurs go from prototype to production,” said Ken Rother, Director, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.

The EDA’s i6 Challenge was launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative. The i6 Challenge program is a national competition that makes small, targeted, high-impact investments to support startup creation, innovation, and commercialization. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds. More information on EDA’s grant process and investment process can be found at