Community plan to ‘Thrive’

Greg Horowitt, co-founder and managing director of T2 Venture Captial spoke at Oswego State on Tuesday. (Photo provided by t2vc.com)
Greg Horowitt, co-founder and managing director of T2 Venture Captial spoke at Oswego State on Tuesday. (Photo provided by t2vc.com)

Oswego State’s Office of Business and Community Relations has put forth a new program called Thrive in an effort to improve both the Oswego State and city of Oswego communities.

Jeffrey Grimshaw is the director of the Office of Business and Community Relations, and has been a large contributor to Thrive. He has been involved in much of the program since the beginning.

“The Thrive project of the Office of Business and Community Relations is intended to elevate the engagement activities between SUNY Oswego and the greater Central New York Community,” Grimshaw said.

“The project is the result of a brainstorming session amongst the staff of the Office and taking the lead from President Deborah Stanley and her wishes to have more opportunities for SUNY Oswego Students to interact with business, nonprofits, government and community organizations,” Grimshaw said. “The project is also intended to provide opportunities for these entities and organizations to interact with the resources that SUNY Oswego has to offer.”

The ideas behind Thrive are the building up of a wall of trust, to kindle innovation and entrepreneurship, and to develop collaborative partnerships.

“The intention of the Thrive initiative is to bring world-class experts, authors, thinkers and innovators to our Central New York Community,” Grimshaw said. “The speaker Tuesday night is just one of those types of people. Greg Horowitt and his co-author Victor Hwang wrote a book, ‘The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley’.”

“The Office of Business and Community Relations will use the model that Horowitt and Hwang developed to lead the community in exploring what strengths we have and how we can connect to the world through innovation,” Grimshaw said. “The interesting part is that the model will be unique to this area initially and we will then explore how we make those global connections. The model focuses on issues of trust amongst individuals and organizations, connecting and navigating barriers that have kept others from succeeding.”

Thrive has planned upcoming events like the Oswego County CARES Expo – Community Awareness Regarding Exceptional Services – on May 9, and the Oswego County GENIUS Olympiad (April 17 – Quest Day within the Sustainability Fair).

Other events that have been held to move the program along were the Random Acts of Kindness Kickoff – Paying it Forward, which was held Feb. 11 through Feb. 15. They also hosted a series of seminars featuring Horowitt as a guest speaker in a three-day workshop to aide in designing an innovation ecosystem from April 9-11. In addition to those events, they also held a small business workshop series, SBDC What’s Next, on March 21.

“This project is an adventure for all involved and there will be some calculated risks taken and opportunities for learning that others may call failures, but we believe that if we do nothing, nothing will be different,” Grimshaw said. “We anticipate there will be some great opportunities for all involved, if we try.”