We empower entrepreneurs to pursue innovation to advance the resiliency and sustainability of local economies.

We believe that by fostering community, team, and well-being through our programs and services, entrepreneurs will grow to be more mindful and masterful leaders in industry and beyond. Everyday, we connect, launch, and train startups, small businesses, researchers, and students to positively impact local communities and create meaningful growth for economies transitioning beyond one of the most challenging economic environments in history.

Our story

In 2019, we hosted our first startup accelerator program, helping five pre-seed founders build and launch their ventures. Throughout 2019 and early 2020, our team worked with 15+ startups to enable their transition from “zero to first” product, customer(s), team, and investor(s), and opened two office locations in the Greater Hudson Valley to advance the growth of these ventures and new clients.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expanded our perspective helping early businesses and launched new partnerships, programs, services, and tools to connect, launch, and train hundreds of entrepreneurs, including startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. While helping these teams survive and grow, we launched our Innovation Labs program to fill the gap in research and commercialization in partnership with institutions and research centers based in our local economies.

Recognizing a transformation in our vision and mission, we launched the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation (HVCI aka The Center) anew in 2021, with a focus on leveraging the proven design thinking and growth methods we have seen impact emerging and experienced entrepreneurs in our region and beyond.

Today, The Center is building the entrepreneur community with a focus on advancing the mindset and toolset of startups, small businesses, researchers, and students to foster a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable ecosystem in the Greater Hudson Valley and beyond. Moreover, as we lead innovation research with our partners, we believe we will create lasting impact for generations of entrepreneurs and their families, our communities and local economies, and the world.

Join our community to connect, launch, and train with the next generation of entrepreneurs!

Daniel E. Potocki aka Danny
CEO & Managing Director

Meet the team

Together, we foster mindful and masterful entrepreneurial leadership in a challenged world. As a team of operators, designers, creatives, technologists, investors, and more, we carry our stories, experiences, and expertise with us to drive transformational growth in local economies.

Danny Potocki

Danny Potocki

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director

Danny leads the vision and growth of HVCI with the Board, teammates, partners, and clients. He is a two-time entrepreneur with experience leading business development and strategy. Danny serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at companies and local college. A former baseball player, he enjoys swimming and biking.

Johnny LeHane

Johnny LeHane

Head of Research & Development

Johnny leads innovation and incubation across programs. The co-founder of a coworking space and three-time entrepreneur, he launches and leads angel funds investing in early companies. Johnny previously was the co-founder of a national sports community business. Watch out - he loves making and testing hot sauces!

Brinn Flagg

Brinn Flagg

Head of Community

Brinn leads team, partner, and entrepreneur engagement. She is the founder of Awen, a support community for loved ones of substance users. Formerly, Brinn was the Head of People at a tech startup, and previously managed an art studio. She routinely creates as a classically-trained painter.

Paul Munguia

Paul Munguia

Head of Programs

Paul leads program planning and execution with partners and entrepreneurs. He is a three-time company builder, serving as both a founder and an executive to grow funding, revenue, and team. Additionally, Paul is the founder of a retail product company, and pursues endurance sports training in the Hudson Valley.

Colin Logsdon

Colin Logsdon

Program Coordinator

Colin manages outreach across programs and initiatives. He is an experienced business development and M&A analyst with startup companies, focusing on investment models. As a Division I cross-country runner, Colin has competed at a national level. He is typically found in a safe testing new beans and pour overs.

Stephanie Kennedy

Stephanie Kennedy

Community Coordinator

Stephanie manages engagement planning across programs and events. She is the founder of a digital media startup, spearheading brand and content with startups and small businesses. Stephanie has been the leader of NY Women in Business. You might bump into her at a musical or singing karaoke at a local spot.

Beth Hoad

Beth Hoad

Content Coordinator

Beth creates and executes engagement campaigns with to share the stories of entrepreneurs. She is the founder of a digital consultancy, co-leading content and story with entrepreneurs. Beth is inspired by her experiences as an avid world traveler, and loves sharing her photography with others.

Juan Cadile

Juan Cadile

Digital Developer

Juan coordinates company and program creative. He is the founder of a digital consulting agency, working with Fortune 500, SME, and startup companies. Additionally, Juan has served as a University Innovation Fellow as part of a global startup initiative. He enjoys reading philosophy and playing his electric guitar with friends.

Robert Kissner

Robert Kissner

Systems Designer

Rob coordinates company and program design thinking. He is the founder of a digital arts education company, leading STEAM programs to empower students. Rob serves as a board member of a children’s foundation. You can catch him riding his motorcycle on the backroads in the northeast, or hiking the Devil’s Path in the Catskills.

Meet the board

Each member leverages their own unique ideas, perspectives, networks, and more to enhance our shared values for empowering entrepreneurs. As a collective of experienced and energizing leaders, the Board of Directors oversees the execution and evolution of our vision, mission, and health.

Hugh Schwartz

Hugh Schwartz

Executive Chairman

Hugh is a former Fortune 500 executive, government leader & startup business consultant. Presently, he serves as Vice Chair of the Planning Board in the Town of Greenburgh and as the Principal Consultant to a portfolio of Israeli high-tech startup companies.

Chet Watson

Chet Watson

Treasurer & Member of the Board

Chet is an accomplished financial executive and governance leader with strong board room experience. He serves on the Rochester Institute of Technology Board of Trustees and Advisory Committee of the RIT Venture Fund, and is a board member of the Manning and Napier Fund.

Jim Cranston

Jim Cranston

Secretary & Member of the Board

Jim is a management executive, ESG industry leader, and Principal Engineer with industry-proven experience across energy, agriculture, health, and other sectors. As a three-time business owner, he is a senior executive and at an engineering firm spearheading national projects.

Meet the partners

Our partners are activators who accelerate our initiatives to advance the resiliency and sustainability of local economies. As a collective of subject matter experts, innovators, investors, institutions, foundations, governments, and more, we work side-by-side to design and execute programs to positively impact the quality of life and growth path of entrepreneurs.

Our programs

VIEW PROGRAMS →