Paul Smith’s, Adirondack Economic Development Corporation partner to launch “Idea Lab”

Feb 13, 2020 | News

Paul Smith’s College’s Global Center for Rural Communities (GCRC) and the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) partnered to launch an “Idea Lab” at Paul Smith’s College to support entrepreneurial efforts in the Adirondack region.

The Idea Lab is a satellite office for AEDC that is designed to provide students and the local community professional feedback on new business ideas and technical assistance with launching a business or growing an existing company, including business plan development, access to capital, and training.

AEDC is currently based out of Saranac Lake, N.Y., and provides business training, lending, and technical assistance to underserved populations in 14 counties across the North Country: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Oswego, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington counties. Launching the Idea Lab at Paul Smith’s College gives AEDC an opportunity to extend their client base to include student entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to bolster rural economic development in the region.

“AEDC is pleased to bring its services to the vibrant Paul Smith’s College campus,” said AEDC Executive Director Victoria Duley. “We see a great opportunity to expand the entrepreneurial skills and spirit here for students and local community members alike.”

In 2018, Paul Smith’s formed the GCRC in an effort to share ideas with global partners about how to create thriving rural communities that exhibit ecological, social, and economic resilience. Faculty and students work with organizations addressing rural development issues including the Resilience Studies Consortium, UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program, and most recently, the AEDC.

“We are very excited to collaborate with the AEDC, both regionally and right here on campus,” said Paul Smith’s College President Cathy Dove. “Not only is this an exciting resource for our students, but it also aligns well with our mission to support rural communities such as our own in finding ways to thrive.”

To learn more about the Idea Lab or to schedule an appointment for a free consultation, please contact AEDC’s business counselor, Stephanie Donaldson, at 518-891-5523 or

About Paul Smith’s College
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit

About Adirondack Economic Development Corporation
The Adirondack Economic Development Corporation Inc. (AEDC) is a not-for-profit economic development corporation. AEDC was formed in 1976 as a cooperative effort of community leaders from towns in the northern Adirondacks to reduce traditionally higher than average levels of unemployment and to expand employment opportunities for the residents of the region. AEDC provides no-cost business counseling and technical assistance, classroom training and access to commercial loan funds across a 14-County North Country region.



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