Lally School of Management Set to Host Startup Business Model Day Program

The Lally School of Management


Media Relations

October 31, 2014

Lally School of Management Set to Host Startup Business Model Day Program

Day-Long Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Is Part of Capital Region Startup Series

Troy, N.Y. — For many aspiring entrepreneurs, transforming an idea into an actual product is a difficult hurdle to surmount.  To help area college students move their business ideas from printed page to the global marketplace, the Lally School of Management, the business school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will host a Startup Business Model Day event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Heffner Alumni House on the Rensselaer campus.

“We are excited to host this day-long Startup Business Model Day event at Rensselaer, as part of the Capital Region’s Startup Series workshops held by local colleges and universities,” said Thomas Begley, dean of the Lally School.  “It provides a great opportunity for the Lally School to introduce students to the growing popularity of the lean startup methodology, an important and powerful tool startups can use to reduce uncertainty, promote team formation, and increase networking opportunities.”

The lean startup is a method for improving the success rate in developing businesses and products. It has been developed by several veteran entrepreneurs and authors, including Steve Blank, Bob Dorf, Eric Ries, and Bill Aulet. Based on their previous experience working in several U.S. startups, these authors demonstrated that startups can avoid common pitfalls, improve their odds of success, and shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation.

Today, the lean startup’s popularity has grown outside of its Silicon Valley birthplace and has spread throughout the world, and many business schools have already begun adapting their curricula to teach it.

For the 2014-15 academic year, several area colleges have formed Accelerate518 to offer a series of programs focused on startups. Participating organizations include: Albany Law School, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Siena College, Skidmore College, the University at Albany, Hudson Valley Community College, and the Center for Economic Growth.

This Startup Business Model Day event is the second workshop in the Startup Series from Accelerate518 designed to help students, faculty, alumni/ae, the business community, and area colleges and universities find ways to connect and collaborate to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. The ongoing series also provides individuals with an opportunity to network and learn how to build their innovations and companies within the Capital Region and beyond.

Additional participants contributing to the Startup Business Model Day program include: VentureWell, formerly NCIIA, a higher education network that cultivates revolutionary ideas and promising inventions; and LaunchPad Central, an evidence-based entrepreneurship platform.

“There are many ways that we encourage students to work together on projects that can truly change the world,” said Matt Cusack ’02, who serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence in the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. “Lean innovation and entrepreneurship is an incredibly useful tool for teaching students to work together for a common goal in an academic setting that can also be very useful in their future professional life. Accelerate518 is a powerful collaboration for the common goal to increase opportunities for our students in the Capital Region.”

Recently, the Lally School celebrated its 50th anniversary. “The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Lally School was part of an ongoing effort to highlight how the world has been transformed by the achievements of the Rensselaer community—past and present—as a bridge to the bicentennial of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2024,” Begley said. “Significant milestones give us pause to reflect on what has transpired previously, to acknowledge accomplishments, and to look ahead to the future.” 

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer was the first technological research university in the United States. For nearly two centuries, the Institute has been a driving force behind breakthroughs in engineering and science in virtually every arena—from transportation and infrastructure, to business and medicine, outer space and cyberspace.

As it approaches its bicentennial anniversary, the Institute continues to define The New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research that uses advanced technologies to enable fresh collaborations across disciplines, sectors, and regions, in order to answer the global challenges of our day. For more information, visit:



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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit