The Business Council of Westchester’s Business Expo attracted more than 1,500 people and over 150 vendors to Hilton Westchester yesterday where Westchester County Executive George Latimer made an announcement about Element 46, the county’s new business incubator program.

The largest business-to-business trade show in the Hudson Valley, The BCW Expo demonstrated the vibrancy of business in Westchester. The EXPO provided an opportunity for visitors to mingle with representatives of leading brands in education, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, real estate, banking, not-for-profits, law, marketing and more.

Latimer said the Expo provided the perfect location to announce the county’s newest economic development initiative, Element 46, a small business incubator designed to provide entrepreneurs whose businesses are in the early stages of development with viable business ideas with free workspace, free mentoring from experts, free professional services and team-building and skills sessions.

The Expo, said Latimer, showcases many of the small businesses Westchester County will be supporting with the new incubator program.

“Our Director of Economic Development Bridget Gibbons will make a significant announcement about economic development here today,’’ said Latimer. “I could not think of a better place to do this than with the BCW at their annual Expo with a larger than ever turnout of both exhibitors and attendees.’’

Gibbons said the first 15 entrepreneurs for the program will be selected based on applications, which are due by April 26 and can be made th

rough the Element 46 website, element46.org.The launch of activities for the first group is planned for the end of June and the first round of the program is expected to run until October.

Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the BCW, said in its 16th year the event has grown from a small gathering to the largest business trade show in the region. She thanked everyone who worked to make the day possible, saying there was a wide variety of vendors and special exhibits.

“Today is really, really exciting and we have some special surprises. We have a green business aisle, we have a health and wellness aisle. We have professional services and technology. We have great sectors represented here that are growing, and we have great, great food,” she said, pointing out that Westchester is home to a large hospitality sector. “I want to thank this year’s sponsors for their tremendous support.’’

This year’s sponsors were: MasterCard Worldwide, Entergy, Empire City Casino, The College of Westchester, The Westchester County Business Journal, GDC Rentals, New York Hospitality Group,: MSM DesignZ, Heineken; Madison Approach Staffing, Marks Paneth Accountants & Advisors, The Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, Robison, CB Private & Commercial Banking, Optimum, Chazen, Forme` Medical Center and Urgent Care, Inspiria Outdoor Advertising, Corporate AV, Genesis Exhibits, VeeKast, Red Oak Transportation, Video SEO Pro, U.S. Coffee, Video SEO Pro, Clancy Relocation & Logistics and Buzz Potential.