Empire State Development

Mentoring New York’s entrepreneurs.

Web Platform Customization & Development

An existing platform. Customized.

Building on Dayspring’s work with previous client, Micromentor, we customized the Micromentor platform to serve the needs of Empire State Development, the economic development arm of the New York state government.


Empire State Development, the economic development arm of the New York state government.


In response to the negative economic impact on small businesses because of Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, the New York state government sought ways to help entrepreneurs rebuild their businesses.


The Deputy Commissioner of Empire State Development, Steve Cohen, saw the potential impact a web platform built to connect entrepreneurs with mentors could have in growing New York’s small business economy.

Technologies employed

PHP, CakePHP, MySQL, jQuery


  • Web applications
  • Web development


Empire State Development is the economic development arm of the New York state government. To support New York’s entrepreneurs, ESD works with existing networks such as Small Business Development Centers as well as through its own Entrepreneurial Assistance Program to provide high-quality small business counseling and training.

With the vision of furthering their economic development work, ESD approached Micromentor, another Dayspring client, about white-labeling their platform to enhance the support they could offer by connecting New York entrepreneurs and mentors with each other.

Connecting the 1.7 million New York small business owners with expert mentors from every field is no easy task. Micromentor had the platform to make it happen. And Dayspring was up to the web development task.

Our team led two days of onsite workshops bringing together SBDC counselors, ESD executives, representatives from the Governor’s office, and the Micromentor core team to flesh out the requirements and customizations that ESD wanted to best serve their target audience. Having built the Micromentor platform from scratch, we were keenly aware of how to tackle any technical problem that came up.

From there, our expert developers modified the platform infrastructure, changed functionality, and accommodated to ESD’s branding. The fruit of the work was Business Mentor NY, a platform built to connect New York’s entrepreneurs and mentors with each other.


Since launch, entrepreneurs and mentors have signed up, matches have been made, and Governor Cuomo announced Business Mentor NY in his State of the State address. It’s not every day a governor tweets about your work! The best part: New York’s small businesses are well on their way back to health and growth.

Governor Cuomo's Tweet

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