Before joining Hofstra, Mark Lesko was Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island, a collaboration of Long Island research institutions to accelerate the formation of a regional innovation-based economy. As Executive Director, Mark oversaw the $1 million Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund/Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund that invested in nine technology-based startup companies. Under Lesko’s leadership, Accelerate Long Island also offered mentorship support for startup companies and engaged in a variety of activities that supported the growth of Long Island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Prior to joining Accelerate Long Island, Mark Lesko was the Supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven – New York State’s second-largest Town with 486,000 residents – for over three years. As Supervisor, Mark became a regional leader on the issue of economic development and served on Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council for Long Island. Prior to serving as Brookhaven Town Supervisor, Mark was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice for ten years in Washington D.C., Brooklyn and Long Island. Mark served as Deputy Chief of the Long Island Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. As Deputy Chief, he oversaw all federal criminal prosecutions on Long Island and was the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) crimes coordinator. Mark also personally prosecuted some of Long Island’s most noteworthy federal cases, including the Muttontown “slave” case and the Symbol Technologies corporate accounting case. Mark also served as a prosecutor in the homicide/major crimes section in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Mark was a corporate litigator with large law firms in Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, D.C. In Pittsburgh, Mark helped establish the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Advisory Committee, an organization formed to assist economically depressed communities affected by the closure of steel mills. Mark is a graduate of Yale University, where he was a quarterback on the football team, and he received his law degree from Georgetown University Law School.
Industry Expertise (4)
Areas of Expertise (5)
Georgetown University: J.D. 1994
Yale Unversity: B.A., History 1989
Media Appearances (7)
LI firms raise nearly $39M in VC funding, running ahead of 2016
Mark Lesko, executive dean at the Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship, said venture funding for Long Island companies is building even though the region remains a backwater compared to the top venture capital magnets.
“We’re far behind New York City, Boston and Silicon Valley in the aggregate,” he said. Still, “at the end of the day, it seems like the interest among venture capital firms in Long Island is steadily increasing, and that’s something the region can build on.”
Venture Challenge: Innovators Dazzle
Innovate Long Island online
Mark Lesko, executive dean of the Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship, noted “the most competitive competition, by far, we’ve ever had."
"The quality level was extraordinarily high,” the executive dean said. “The business ideas were well-conceived. The pitches were polished. It was a tough decision, and the judges spent considerable time debating who should win.
“The thing that made me proudest was how our Hofstra students rose to the challenge,” Lesko added. “They showcased ideas and presentation skills that really were amazing for college students.”
Mark Lesko Tapped as VP of Economic Development
News @ Hofstra online
'Mark J. Lesko, who joined Hofstra in 2015 to launch the Center for Entrepreneurship, has been named vice president for economic development, President Stuart Rabinowitz announced.'
Hofstra, NYIT Join Start-Up NY Family
Innovate Long Island online
Mark Lesko interviewed on Hofstra recently joining the Start-Up NY program.
The Debrief: Seeds Planted, Now On To Cultivation
Innovate Long Island
An interview with Mark Lesko.
Hofstra Launches IdeaHUb to Foster Startups
“It’s a place for students to work on their startup ideas,” said Mark Lesko, former director of Accelerate Long Island, a promoter of Island tech growth. While ideaHUb will primarily be a resource and event space for undergraduate and graduate students wanting to start their own businesses, it will be open to startups from outside the university, too, he said.
Accelerate LI's Lesko leaves for Hofstra
'Mark Lesko, who as director of Accelerate Long Island has led the region's effort to develop a high-tech economy over the last three years, is leaving the organization for a job at Hofstra University, the school announced Thursday.'