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09-18-2007

I Live New York Summit Recognizes Recent Clarkson Grads Who Stayed in Potsdam

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/i-live-ny.jpg ]

Two recent Clarkson University graduates were recognized by Dan Gundersen, co-chair of the Empire State Development Corporation, during First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer's "I Live New York" Summit in Cortland on Tuesday. The summit was convened to find ways of stemming the loss of young people from New York State, especially the upstate region. I Live New York Summit Recognizes Recent Clarkson Grads Who Stayed in Potsdam

The three work for Golden Technology Management, LLC, which manages Potsdam start-up company ZeroPoint Clean Tech, Inc., a renewable energy technology project development company headquartered in Potsdam, with offices in New York City and London.

"The I Live New York Summit is aimed at taking a hard look at one of the most serious economic problems facing the state," said Spitzer. "By bringing together key stakeholders, I hope to initiate a comprehensive and coordinated examination of the factors driving young people out of New York and explore the public and private initiatives that may help reverse this troubling trend."

Jobs for recent area college graduates is a benefit of Clarkson University's increasing role in the economic development of the North Country. Utilizing collaborations with government, private industry and with other university's, that goal is beginning to be realized.

"Fostering the start-up of high tech businesses is a high priority for the University because it provides our students, as well as those from the other colleges and universities in the area, an educational environment to apply all that they have learned, as well as the opportunity to find challenging and rewarding jobs upon graduation and remain in the area," said Clarkson President Tony Collins. "The transfer of technology from Clarkson's laboratories spurs the development or commercialization of new technologies and creates exciting new entrepreneurial and employment opportunities."

"It has been a great experience to be involved with such a forward thinking company working toward solving worldwide environmental and energy problems right here in Potsdam, New York," said Parry. "Clarkson provided me with an opportunity to work with accomplished alumni, innovative researchers and cutting edge renewable energy technology. It is important for New York to become the center for a knowledge-based economy and I appreciate the efforts made by local and state government to support employment opportunities for a new generation of working professionals."

Kurt West, a native of New Portland, Maine, is also a 2007 graduate of Clarkson with a B.S. in financial information and analysis, who joined ZeroPoint in 2006 as an intern, and started full-time upon graduation in May. He as been working primarily on financial projections for ZeroPoint projects. The economic analysis that ZeroPoint conducts when evaluating potential projects is extensive, and West works with various stakeholders to conduct this diligence.

"The opportunity to become involved with a company that could potentially impact rural America in a positive and meaningful way was too great to pass up," said West. "Both Clarkson and the State of New York are taking the right steps to innovate the way business is conducted, and I could not have asked for a better opportunity to start my career."

Abigail Nugent, a Watertown native, graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Potsdam in 2005 with a degree in psychology and outdoor education. Since fall 2006 she has been employed at ZeroPoint working on business development and helping to establish a strong foundation of positive relationships.

ZeroPoint Clean Tech, which has developed a highly efficient biomass gasification process capable of converting many forms of biomass into renewable synthesis gas, electricity, or liquid fuels, is building prototype equipment in Potsdam's Commerce Park location. The company's renewable energy and water treatment equipment was constructed at "bench scale" in a Clarkson laboratory. The technology was invented by ZeroPoint and Clarkson Senior Research Scientist Philip D. Leveson, who serves as chief scientist for ZeroPoint.

The company's biomass to energy and clean water technologies will provide sustainable and carbon neutral electricity, transportation fuel and water purification solutions to communities around the globe. ZeroPoint Clean Tech currently has six full-time employees, and one Clarkson student intern, and is managed by Golden Technology Management, LLC, founded by Clarkson alumnus and entrepreneur John Gaus.

Find out more about the I Live New York Summit at http://www.ny.gov/governor/firstlady/iliveny .

Photo caption: Recent Clarkson University graduates Kurt West and Jonathan Parry were recognized Tuesday at First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer's "I Live New York" Summit. Recent SUNY Potsdam graduate Abigail Nugent also attended the summit. The three work for Golden Technology Management, LLC, which manages Potsdam start-up company ZeroPoint Clean Tech, Inc.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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