Tony DiMarco, Managing Director GCSEN / HV StartUp Fund

Importance of Social Entrepreneurship Education at College Level Emphasized

KINGSTON, NY, USA, January 22, 2020,/ -- GCSEN, The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) headquartered in Kingston NY, co-sponsored and participated in the first Hudson Valley Entrepreneur Educator Forum held at SUNY New Paltz College. The Forum was hosted by the Hudson Valley Venture Hub at SUNY New Paltz and was co-sponsored by the GCSEN Foundation, the Hudson Valley Startup Fund, the Upstate Capital Association of NY and the Schwartz Heslin Group, each major players in the business startup ecology of the region.

The Forum was well attended by local faculty and college administrators, business leaders and directors of regional non-profits who came together for an afternoon of panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking centering on topics related to college-level entrepreneurial education and business startup best practices.

Panel moderator Johnny LeHane, Hudson Valley Startup Fund’s co-founder and lecturer in entrepreneurism at SUNY New Paltz and for GCSEN said,

“Training, retaining and sustaining entrepreneurial students in this region is key. The objective is to pull students out of their comfort zones, have them activate their passion for business, and channel their energies toward preparing for business plan competitions, which could be a first step for them creating real startups. The region is totally ripe for this now.”
Johnny LeHane

Attendees from Bard College, Berkley College, the Culinary Institute of America, Iona College, Marist College, Mercy College, the SUNY Colleges of New Paltz, Orange, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester, the College of Westchester and Touro College NY participated in the event. The keynote panel topics were: Best Practices for Preparing Students for Regional Business Plan Competitions; Strategies to Increase Participation in Competitions Across the Region; and New Approaches for Mentoring Teams Participating in Competitions.

Participating in the keynote panel, moderated by Johnny LeHane, were Tony DiMarco of GCSEN and SUNY New Paltz, Scott Willment from SUNY Dutchess, Cameron Rabe from the Culinary Institute, Don Urmston of SUNY Orange and Ms. Pat Phelan from SUNY Ulster. Breakout sessions considered the topics of Innovative Curriculum Development for Entrepreneurship, facilitated by GCSEN Founder and President Mike Caslin; Supporting Student Entrepreneurs, facilitated by Iona College’s Christoph Winkler; and Engaging the Local Business Community in Entrepreneurship Education, facilitated by Johnny LeHane.

Tony DiMarco, facilitator of the event in his simultaneous roles with SUNY New Paltz Venture Hub's Entrepreneur in Residence, Hudson Valley Startup Fund Co-Founder and GCSEN Managing Director said, “Not long ago there were no classes in entrepreneurial education in the region. Now the idea has caught on, as more colleges are looking for innovative, practical courses that will attract and educate students who then can go out into the world and create businesses, jobs and wealth for their communities. It's an exciting time.” Mr. DiMarco was recently awarded the prestigious Community Catalyst Award by Upstate (NY) Venture Connect and is a co-author of GCSEN’s new book entitled “GET TO WOW! EXPLORING YOUR INNER SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR”, available on-line at, at retail bookstores and on Amazon. And with Fala Technologies in Kingston NY, he is developing GCSEN’s EvergreenGen space, which includes a FabLab, business incubator, digital media TV studio, and Regional Resilience Accelerator primarily for life-essential product manufacturing.

GCSEN is dedicated to spreading the vision of Social Entrepreneurship to students and adult learners across the world. Its credo is to “Make Meaning, Make Money, and Move the World to a Better Place” via Social Entrepreneurship education and activation. Social Entrepreneurs run economically sustainable businesses and non-profits with a “4 P” mission, addressing an entrenched social problem to benefit People, Profit, Planet & Place.

GCSEN continues to roll out a series of innovative Social Entrepreneurship offerings, including its highly regarded Social Venture Boot Camps for college students and adult learners; its accredited on-line blended-learning courses with personalized coaching; and its Social Venture Research Institute fellowships for Certification in SE for college administrators, faculty, non-profit and business leaders. GCSEN has certified over 500 Social Entrepreneurs via its college partners Wheaton College (Norton MA), SUNY New Paltz School of Business, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie NY) and Saint Peter’s University Business School (Jersey City), soon to be joined by Rutgers University School of Continuing Education.

GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin is an internationally recognized thought leader on Social Entrepreneurship, currently lecturing at SUNY New Paltz School of Business (NY), and Saint Peter’s University Business School (Jersey City NJ). He is a past faculty member of Babson College, CUNY-Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Marist College School of Business and Manhattanville College. He has spent the last three decades studying, lecturing and facilitating efforts to promote social entrepreneurship on a global scale. GCSEN’s leadership and influence in the field of Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education continues to build, as seen in its support of Wheaton College’s successful effort in 2017 to create enhanced social entrepreneur programming, facilitated by visionary grants of over $10M from Diana Davis Spencer Foundation.

The GCSEN Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c-3) not-for-profit organization, accelerating social entrepreneurship education and social venture formulation around the world.

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