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East side incubator providing business opportunities

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

While the area's largest business incubator is in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,there's another some blocks away. The Foundry on Northampton Street is experiencing its own level of success.

The Thomas R. Beecher Junior Innovation Center in the old Trico complex is filled with high-tech companies looking for a booming future.

The Foundry is in an old healthcare laundry and is filled with small entrepreneurs who see a future in less glamorous business ventures, like custom-made bicycles or furniture made from the giant beams of demolished buildings.

"It's a business incubator for anybody who wants to start a business. Most of it ends up being some kind of craft," said Education Director Megan McNally.

"So there's woodworkers, metal workers, people who work with glass, people who work with paper, all different kinds of people who feel inspired that they can run their own business and be economically sustainable."

McNally said there are more than a dozen tenants and they help each other and are required to offer classes in their skills for people who want to come in from the community.

Volunteers were there recently helping hook up a heating system using old cooking oil as fuel, leaving a slight aroma of French fries.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.