Scott Skodnek Business Development Center

The ‘underserved’ aim high, via Ascend Long Island

By GREGORY ZELLER // The rubber meets the roads Thursday at Hofstra University, when the innovative Ascend Long Island program holds its first-ever “procurement conference.” Combining small Nassau County businesses and buyers from bigger regional corporations and government agencies, the conference is built to bolster Ascend Long Island’s primary mission: to provide essential business resources, primarily capital, to early stage enterprises in underserved Nassau communities. Specifically, what Hofstra calls “The Corridor:” the villages of Hempstead…


Minority-owned businesses benefit as Hofstra ‘Ascends’

By GREGORY ZELLER // A new university/government/industry outreach program focused on minority entrepreneurs received an executive-grade kickoff Tuesday at Hofstra University. Funded by a $350,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, the Ascend Long Island program – what Hofstra called “the first suburban outpost” of Chase’s larger Ascend 2020 effort – launched with a half-day symposium and an impressive 24 regional businesses already in the fold. Ascend 2020 is a joint effort of JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business…


Lesko leaves, so Hofstra Entrepreneurship Sikes up

By GREGORY ZELLER // The student has become the master at Hofstra University, where Stacey Sikes is the new executive dean of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Sikes succeeds former Executive Dean Mark Lesko, the first-ever head of the innovation-heavy business-development center, who has left the university to return to the field of law. Lesko, whose long résumé includes years as a federal prosecutor, said Monday he’ll be making an official announcement about his new gig…