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The Foundry incubator expanding to house more startups

The Foundry, a business incubator and creative space for entrepreneurs, will begin work Wednesday on the renovation of its second floor.

The renovation will provide 12 new spots to startups working in the building at 298 Northampton St. The project was made possible through a $100,000 grant donated last fall from First Niagara Financial Group and $35,000 raised at The Foundry’s annual fundraiser.

The second floor is an expansion of the incubator space housed in an old commercial laundry building that offers workspace and resources for small businesses. A ceremony for the start of the project will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the incubator.

Elizabeth Gurney, executive director of the First Niagara Foundation, said the second floor of the building has been cleaned up and is getting ready for tenants.

“I walked up the stairway a year or two ago and at that point it was an uninhabitable space,” Gurney said. “So it’s great to see it transformed now to where it can expand opportunities.”

In addition to the financial contribution, Gurney said First Niagara employees have volunteered at the incubator and helped to clean up the space. She said the company was attracted to The Foundry project because of the potential of the surrounding neighborhood and the fact that the incubator works with area youth programs. She said she has seen positive growth in the businesses that started in The Foundry.

“Allowing more businesses to come in and have the same experience was really something we wanted to get behind,” Gurney said.

Spicer Group, a local MWBE firm, will serve as the general contractor for the renovation project.