July 9, 2014

Media offered sneak peek of downtown incubator, 'Rev'

Tom Schryver
Lindsay France/University Photography
Tom Schryver, executive director of Cornell's Center for Regional Economic Advancement, briefs the media on construction progress of Rev July 8.
Members of the media tour
Lindsay France/University Photography
Members of the media toured the unfinished downtown Ithaca incubator, Rev. Renderings of the future space, provided by Snyder Architects, were on display.

Under construction and slated for a fall grand opening, Ithaca’s downtown business incubator has a new name, a newly launched website and is taking applications for membership.

The incubator is called Rev, subtitled “Ithaca Startup Works,” announced Tom Schryver ’93, MBA ’02, executive director of Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, during a July 8 media open house of the partially finished space at 314 E. State St.

Every aspect of the incubator’s name was purposefully chosen, Schryver said – for example, “works,” because organizers want members to not only have great ideas, but to “turn those ideas into something real.” Schryver also introduced Rev’s newly hired coordinator, Alec Mitchell, a 2012 graduate of Ithaca College.

Rev is a joint venture by Cornell, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College. It was launched in January and is part of the Southern Tier Innovation Hot Spot, a regional economic development initiative in partnership with Binghamton University, Corning Enterprises and the Ceramics Corridor Innovation Center.

“What we’re about is trying to help economic development and job creation,” Schryver said. “We’re interested in companies that are serious about starting and growing, and we are interested in companies that can articulate a business model and have a plan for growth.” That could include anything from a high-tech startup to a nonprofit.

The second floor of the Carey Building has been gutted in preparation for the collaborative workspace, designed by Snyder Architects. Travis Hyde Properties is overseeing reconstruction of the site, including a planned third-floor addition, now under site plan review with the City of Ithaca.

Bonnie Sanborn, a master’s student in design and environmental analysis in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, is also including analysis of the incubator space in her thesis. With the goal of identifying how the physical layout of such workspaces influence social behavior and build social capital, her plans include a post-occupancy evaluation six months after opening to assess how the space is being used and identify ways to improve it.