Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Dear County Lawmaker :

Today, I write to ask for your support for funding for the HVCFI, a non-profit organization that fosters the growth of high value business and technology development firms in Ulster County and throughout the Hudson Valley.

The HVCFI has been an asset to Ulster County and to the creation of high tech jobs and business creation. There are now six businesses in the HVCFI and several jobs that have been created, and many more to come.

One thing that should be pointed out is, this funding is NOT a permanent thing. The HVCFI is striving to become self-sustaining through licensing revenues, corporate sponsorships, continued local, state and federal grants. Let's hope that when we look back that we can say that Ulster County had the foresight to recognize the importance to keep the HVCFI in Ulster County. And, with the New York State Business Council giving this county an "F" rating in regards to economic development, we must ask ourselves, can we afford not to fund this incubator?

Governor Eliot Spitzer said in his inaugural address : Like Rip Van Winkle, the legendary character created by the New York author Washington Irving, New York has slept through much of the past decade while the rest of the world has passed us by.

For a long time that has been the case in Ulster County in regards to good paying jobs and specifically jobs that have to do with technology. If the funding for the HVCFI is not passed the unfortunate reality is that HVCFI will have to shut down it's facility and move out of Ulster County. Let's not be the county that slept through and let this very unique and exciting opportunity pass us by.


Jeremy Blaber


Anonymous said...

There is no question that taxpayer money should be spent and invested very wisely following the loss of $40 million dollars in the Ulster County Jail fiasco.

There are no sure fire solutions to any problems facing Ulster County. The only thing we can be sure of is change.

There seems to be a very outdated way of thinking when it comes to economic development. UCDC sent post cards to companies inside Ulster County trying to attract them to locate here. What kind of marketing strategy is that?

The reality is that other counties in the region and nationwide spend a significant amount of money on economic development and tourism.

Ulster County seems to underfund these economic engines.

What can be done with $250,000 tourism budget? Next to nothing. Same goes for economic development.

Les Neumann is a visionary who is trying to develop a new way of creating high-tech jobs. Since most people don't understand the need to do this we run the risk of losing the momentum gained by Neumann.

Funding HVCFI for one more year and then get actively involved is what the legislature should be doing.

Pulling the plug on this program in its second year would be an unwise decision for the long-term benefit of all citizens of Ulster County.

Anonymous said...

I just found this...


Anonymous said...

Come on guys....this is a no brainer. The County Legislature through the Economic Development folks should have done this when IBM left back in 1993.

This is a program that seems to be working. I hope that they get the funding. It has given me reason to get out of my 9 to 5 job and start working full time on my idea.

I would like to meet with HVCFI - if they get their funding.

Anonymous said...

Ulster County lacks vision. Let's hope the new county exec can help set a new course.

There a few really sharp people on the legislsture, but they are outweighed by too much dead weight.

Anonymous said...

Simple questions for the ULSTER COUNTY Legislators to ask.

How many of the grand total of 15 jobs are actually in Ulster County?

Where does Les Neumann live?

What is the rate of return for this investment as far as property tax, sales tax, or any growth in the tax base?

What are the projections for real jobs over the course of the next year?

Anonymous said...

How about this place. Isn't this a better model? http://www.hvtdc.org/

Though HVTDC receives support from state and federal agencies, this funding is not guaranteed into the future and is not sufficient to cover the operating costs of the Center. Consequently, HVTDC charges fair-market-value prices for its consulting services, seminars, and other business-support functions

Anonymous said...

To: 754am

I just checked the website out that you referred to: http://www.hvtdc.org

They are located in Dutchess County - specifically, Fishkill.

Why are you so interested in sending a high-tech outside Ulster County?

We need high-tech jobs here now!

What is your idea(s) of a sustainable marketplace for high paying jobs in Ulster County?

Anonymous said...

To: 657am

I am not really sure what your point is about where Les Neumann lives.

Here is my point. There are hundreds of Ulster County residents who commute outside the County each and every day for work. Why? Because there are very very few high paying jobs in Ulster County.

It seems to me that HVCFI is a program that is trying to prevent more people from commuting outside Ulster County and perhaps worst yet moving outside Ulster County.

Ulster County Government ought to embrace this concept speaking loudly saying, "Enough is enough. Live in Ulster, Work in Ulster, Enjoy Ulster!"

Anonymous said...

What have they produced so far for the money they have received? I think the legislature's concern is can they get better bang for their buck than HVCFI has been giving. HVCFI's effectiveness needs to be examined and the end result is there is a lot of promise, but not many results so far. They give speculation as to what they can produce...but speculation is not results. It seems like an awful lot of money for the amount of people that are using there services. You talk about it not being permanent funding, but what have they done so far to get these corporate sponserships you talk about and how successful have they been in getting them so far. It would seem to me that if they were as effective as you believe they are, these corporations would be jumping on board to help fund this thing because it would make these corporation money. The reality is they are not jumping on board and that should tell you something. I think it is prudent for the legislature to look long and hard at this. They will be coming back again and asking for more money and the county may get nothing out of it, ever.

Anonymous said...

HVCFI is involved with essentially early-stage, pre-revenue companies that if not for the HVCFI would be elsewhere.

how do you expect a start-up to be producing high paying jobs at this point in thier life cycle. an important consideration is the quality of the companies that are already here and thier potential to stay here, work with the existing political and economic development establishment to help them stay and grow here.

what other agencies are offering this opportunity. Companies, especially high tech companies often take years to refine and development thier products. How long and how much do you think was invested to generate the IPhone or develop a new solar technology. This is about having a long-term vision.

There are countries, cities and communities spending millions upon millions to lure high tech companies to thier area? the HVCFI is asking for $250,000 how can you justify not funding them.

Anonymous said...

The same could be said about UCDC. Injected with cash each and every year and we, county wide, have seen very little for it. In fact, $250k that the County is blessing them with basically goes to salaries for 4 people, office rent and supplies and then a little left for what? I guess, advertising.

I attended at least two breakfasts at HVCFI in the past. The attendance was decent about 40 people. But to your point they were "sponsored" by outside companies. I have to believe that sponsorship means taht they paid for my breakfast...perhaps more.

I read in the newspapers recently that Les Neumann reported that they are meeting their goals.

I would be very interested in hearing details of what you believe a one of its kind not-for-profit hi-tech incubator should have for job performance metrics.

Anonymous said...

to 10:24.
I was referring to the fact that clients pay for the monthly seminars etc... That is a self sustaining model. They acknowledge the fact that funding is never more then a vote away from disappearing. They are doing something about it other then asking for more.