North Country companies partake in Point Positive pitch session

SARANAC LAKE — Point Positive Inc. held its bi-annual pitch session with North Country businesses DMax Plasma, Kilcoyne Farms and Northern Power and Light. 

Point Positive Inc. is the angel investing and mentoring group of seasoned business leaders in the greater Adirondacks. Over the past six years, the organization has vetted over 50 ventures from a wide range of industries, committing over $3.1 million in capital, fueling new jobs, and a stronger diversified economy in the Adirondacks. Since 2014, it has has been providing start-up and growth capital to promising, scalable ventures in the Greater Adirondack Region.

Despite the pandemic circumstances, Point Positive Coordinator Melinda Little, with the assistance of Maura Maguire from the Shipley Center at Clarkson, hosted the virtual event via Zoom from The Carry in Saranac Lake. 

The member investors will next complete pitch evaluation sheets and Point Positive will subsequently conduct an in-depth due diligence review of each company’s proposal and projected use of funds. If the outcome of that review is favorable, a deal will be structured and all of the Point Positive members/investors will have the chance to participate on an individual basis in the deal. Decisions to invest or not are up to the member investors and the time commitment is tailored to preference – members can lead, mentor, advise, or just monitor and invest on an individual basis in fully vetted, promising ventures across multiple industry sectors. The three companies that presented each had various areas of support needed and prior to the pitch event, all participated in Point Positive forums, mentoring sessions, workshops and completed an initial due diligence phase including a business plan and pitch checklist.

Along with the 10 member investors present, several potential new members joined. 


Twinstate releases cybersecurity solution

MORRISONVILLE — Twinstate Technologies is releasing its newest proactive managed cybersecurity solution, Secur8D (security).

The managed security services provider is a family-owned, certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise. Twinstate is an innovative and credentialed B2B company specializing in cybersecurity, communications and collaboration, IT services and infrastructure. Whether in the cloud or on premise, Twinstate says its services go beyond hardware and software.

The Secur8D model was designed to deliver a predictable IT spend and help organizations focus on running their mission-critical business operations. Secur8D allows organizations to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover to cybersecurity threats. The included vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) service provides clients with executive level IT guidance and strategy to support business goals. Twinstate's approach to IT and security identifies issues lurking beneath the surface. Its preemptive alerting process allows Twinstate to react on looming issues before they cause business disruptions. The Secur8D model is flexible allowing organizations to protect more of their team, or remove licenses depending on need.

"Cybersecurity can be complex if looked at in an a’la cart manner," CEO Devi Momot said. "With the current threats true cybersecurity is effective only when layers of technology are in place. Twinstate’s Secur8D™ helps organizations adopt a comprehensive security stack and associated services that achieve just this, and with the included vCIO service helps organizations manage their technology planning and strategy. All together, it helps organizations be secure, with a predicable IT spend, reduced risk for your business, top class support, and guidance for future investments. We are very excited to be able to offer this service."


Norfolk Law expands practice

LAKE PLACID — Norfolk Law PLLC announced recent law school graduate Ayah Badran has joined the firm as an attorney. 

Badran recently received her JD from Vermont Law School, where she was a student in the accelerated honors program, and focused on environmental law. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science at the University of Vermont, and her M.A. in Environmental Policy and Urban Planning, with a graduate certificate in water systems and policy, from Tufts University. Prior to attending law school she worked at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. There, she designed and conducted climate sustainability and resilience research, aimed at advising policy makers across the Middle East and North Africa Region. 

Badran also has experience working on a wide range of environmental policy issues for both U.S. and international nonprofits and intergovernmental organizations. She interned for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia where she participated in several climate sustainability and water security regional initiatives. Most recently, she was a clinician at Vermont Law School’s Environmental Advocacy Clinic, where she worked on environmental justice issues, including Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act litigation. She also has private practice experience. 

In addition to Lisette Cimaglia and Kate Mazdzer, Lori Fitzgerald has joined Norfolk Law and provides legal support. Jill Beier is Of Counsel and offers current and prospective clients trust and estate expertise.


UFirst to serve five counties in Northern New York and Vermont  

PLATTSBURGH — UFirst Federal Credit Union received approval of its community charter expansion application by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which will allow the credit union to grow its services beyond its original community charter of Clinton County to include neighboring Essex and Franklin counties of New York as well as Grand Isle and Franklin counties of Vermont. 

UFirst FCU offers traditional banking products and services as well as a wide selection of eServices and educational resources to guide members through their financial journeys. The credit union currently has four branch locations and three ATMs and is also part of the COOP Shared Branch & ATM Networks, which allows UFirst members to access their accounts, no matter where they are in the United States. 

Founded in 1971 as SUNY Plattsburgh Federal Credit Union by the SUNY Business & Economic Department, the United University Professions and Civil Service Employees, the credit union originally served the faculty and staff of SUNY Plattsburgh, before receiving its first community charter in 2004.

“We are very excited to begin this new chapter,” UFirst President and CEO Linda Bourgeois said. “Every credit union has a story and UFirst FCU is no different. For nearly 50 years, we have served our neighbors in Clinton County and it’s because of their support and that of our members and community partners, that we are able to take this next step. We pride ourselves on being an all-inclusive credit union. A place where everyone is treated like family and financial advice or support can be found when it’s needed most. This expansion will allow our services to reach more of our neighbors in surrounding communities and also provide us the opportunity to provide even more services to our existing members.”

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