Young people are often the first to embrace new technologies. That’s why Nathalie Azoulay, president and CEO of Eye-In Média, decided to expand her company’s operations from Montreal, Quebec, onto the campus of SUNY Plattsburgh.
“On campus we’re surrounded by young, dynamic people who are constantly learning,” said Azoulay. “We’re in the technology business, and we chose to expand our operations at SUNY Plattsburgh so we could have access to the pool of student talent there.”
According to Azoulay, Eye-In Média is a marketing and technology company that specializes in digital signage, digital menu boards, and Wi-Fi network management for businesses, such as hospitals, restaurants, colleges, and shopping malls. The company develops and manages cutting-edge multimedia solutions that enable these businesses to broadcast dynamic content across unlimited locations on screens or on mobile devices, with particular emphasis on communicating with their customers once they are inside the establishment.
“We develop technologies to communicate more efficiently and more profitably with consumers, students, or patients once they are in the establishment,” she said. “Once these customers are inside, we need to make sure we know their needs, and that we respond and communicate with them quickly about what they want to know and in whatever way is most suitable for them.”
Eye-In Média’s move to SUNY Plattsburgh, which was completed in May 2015, was made possible by the START-UP NY program. Established in 2013, START-UP NY is Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to create tax-free zones for new and expanding businesses to operate on or near university campuses in New York.
As part of the program, companies partner with higher-education institutions in a mutually beneficial relationship that enables the companies to access higher education assets, including students and facilities, and the university to access industry experts and research opportunities for students and faculty members.
“Eye-In Média is in an industry aligned with programs at SUNY Plattsburgh, including art, computer science, public relations and journalism, and management information systems,” said Keith Tyo, campus coordinator for START-UP NY at SUNY Plattsburgh. “Once the company is up and fully operational, it will establish internships for students in graphic and dynamic content development as well as computer programming and software development. The internships will provide students with real-world work experiences that could eventually create a potential pool of future employees the company could hire as it expands.”
According to Azoulay, the company will accept as many talented student interns as it can find. “We have divisions in programming, multimedia design, journalism, writing, and marketing,” she said. “In all of those fields we can take interns, and we don’t really have a limit.”
In addition to helping SUNY Plattsburgh’s students, Eye-In Média’s move to Plattsburgh will help the greater community.
“Eye-In Média plans to hire employees from the immediate area, including alumni and students graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh,” said Tyo. “The expectation is that they also will show other companies—nationally and internationally—that they can do business in the local community.”
The company has set up shop on the second floor of Redcay Hall on Beekman Street.
“In just a short walk, our employees can be in the cafeteria surrounded by students,” said Azoulay. “We hope that will be an opportunity to learn from these people who are constantly in touch with the latest and greatest in technology, marketing, and media.”
Located about 20 miles south of the Canada-U.S. border and roughly an hour drive from Montreal, SUNY Plattsburgh has fielded inquiries about START-UP NY from a number of Canadian-based companies. Pointing out that the United States and Canada enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world, Tyo said, “It’s only natural that Canadian entrepreneurs would look to expand here.”