D. Bernard Webster, an expert in business development, strategic planning, and digital marketing, joins NYIT as director of the School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In this role, he oversees the management and operation of the center’s Small Business Incubator based on NYIT’s Manhattan campus. Webster is also chief innovation officer at Vanguarde Consulting Group, a leading provider of entrepreneurial training, events, and strategy solutions for small business innovation in New York City.
“Leveraging my experience with small business communities across the tri-state area and my expertise as an entrepreneurship educator, I am committed to elevating the center’s profile as an important destination for innovation and technical assistance within New York City’s vibrant startup ecosystem,” says Webster.
NYIT’s Small Business Incubator provides support for developing new businesses. Students and alumni work closely with NYIT faculty members and business advisory board members—including Webster as an adjunct professor and the resources of his consultancy—to shape business plans, seek funding, and ultimately launch a product or service.
A new offering within the Small Business Incubator is the Minority Venture Partners (MVP) Accelerator, created to focus on commercializing digital, social, and mobile technologies pioneered by women and minority founders. It is a winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Growth Accelerator Competition and exemplifies the collaborative relationship between NYIT and external partners. Webster co-founded the MVP Accelerator to promote diversity and build meaningful access to the knowledge, networks, and capital supporting entrepreneurial innovation among underserved founders of technology startups.
Jess Boronico, Ph.D., dean of NYIT School of Management, notes the value of Webster’s skills as an entrepreneurship educator. “The ongoing evolution of the NYIT School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Small Business Incubator is part of our commitment to foster innovation and provide educational services that positively impact small business development across our community of stakeholders,” he says. In the coming months, the center will conduct meetups, training programs, demonstration days, business plan competitions, and monthly professional enrichment events, among other co-curricular networking opportunities for students.
Webster has trained more than 10,000 startup entrepreneurs and small business owners through the City of New York’s Business Solutions Centers and FastTrac programs. His accomplishments also include receiving two Congressional TEC Champion Awards for Pioneering Technology in Urban Communities, and raising nearly $6 million in funding from public and private sources.
Webster and his MVP co-founders are already working on initiatives with NYIT faculty members led by Joanne Scillitoe, Ph.D., associate professor of entrepreneurship. Together they’re exploring interdisciplinary research into how a business idea evolves into a sustainable company.
In addition, Webster’s broad responsibility as executive director involves overseeing the operation and execution of the center’s annual plan. An immediate priority is to coordinate a student leadership team to assist with the day-to-day management of the incubator and nourish student ventures through advisory and strategic partnerships with external firms. Professional advisors and investors will also help to expand business development opportunities on behalf of students and alumni.
For more information about the NYIT School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Studies or the Small Business Incubator, email Webster.