Posted by: Ray Brescia | October 22, 2015

Albany Law School and Community Loan Fund Team Up to Form the Regional Innovation Lab


A joint project of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region (the Loan Fund) and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School (Albany Law), the Regional Innovation Lab will work with county, municipal and local governments from the eleven counties of the Greater Capital Region in New York State to provide technical assistance and strategic support on critical housing, economic development, infrastructure, sustainability and transportation initiatives throughout the region.  This technical assistance and support will work with governments to plan, create, and execute innovative initiatives that will help foster sustainable and regional integrated housing and economic development throughout the Greater Capital Region.  Elements of this Regional innovation Lab will include the following:

  • Regional Innovation Generator.

 The Loan Fund and Albany Law will collaborate to assist county, municipal and local governments in the eleven counties of the Greater Capital Region to develop, create, and execute innovative initiatives that can help foster regional economic development throughout the Region.  Such projects can include initiatives to spur local economic development, regional cooperation around public transportation, increased availability of affordable housing, the initiation of projects to lower greenhouse gas emissions from public buildings, and initiatives to attract tourism and startup businesses to the Region.

  •  Land Bank Institute.

This program would provide ongoing technical legal assistance and training to land banks throughout the Greater Capital Region, with a particular focus on a range of financial and legal issues affecting the operation of land banks, including but not limited to: finance, formation, administrative law, open government law, human resources law, local and municipal zoning ordinances and other areas affecting the proper functioning of land banks as community development engines.

  • Vacant Properties Technical Assistance Initiative.

Similar to the Land Bank Law Institute, this initiative would provide technical financial and legal assistance and training to municipalities and other local governments that are interested in effective means of grappling with the oversupply of vacant and abandoned properties throughout the state, regardless of whether those communities have a land bank.

  • START-UP NY Advocacy Center

 The Loan Fund will collaborate with Albany Law to provide technical assistance to early stage start-up companies currently participating in the START-UP NY program or that are poised to do so but require assistance to get them ready to take advantage of the program. The Regional Innovation Lab will provide much needed technical assistance to entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own  companies in areas such as developing a viable business plan, choosing the type of entity and forming the business, addressing tax strategies, protecting intellectual property, managing labor and employment issues, licensing and securing venture capital. These free services could be offered throughout the Greater Capital Region to early-stage companies looking to benefit from the START-UP NY program, yet require critical technical to help them get ready to participate in and gain access to its many benefits.

The Partners: The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and Albany Law School are both not-for-profits organized under New York State law and recognized as tax exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.  The Community Loan Fund is a federally recognized Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

The Greater Capital Region: The eleven counties served by the Regional Innovation Lab shall include: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties.

Read More about the Regional Innovation Lab here.

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