StartRev and the Upstate New York Startup Community

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Chuck Stormon of the StartFast Venture Accelerator has an awesome post up today on Community. In it, he lists an awesome set of things that have happened in week 9 of the program in and around community building. I love his setup on the big picture:

“Silicon Valley is a special place. It’s entirely futile for Upstate New York to try to be “the next Silicon Valley”. Manhattan is a special place too, and likewise futile to try to replicate. Upstate New York is home to great colleges and universities with over 500,000 students. That is a lot of talent and creativity and that is one of our unique strengths. We also have a passionate, engaged and supportive entrepreneurial community, low cost of living and good quality of life factors, especially for families. This region will never be Silicon Valley or Manhattan, but we can still be a great entrepreneurial community in our own way, with our own strengths and perhaps avoiding some of the weaknesses that SV and Manhattan have.”

Chuck and his colleagues are working hard at making the startup community in Upstate New York expand. They are focused on the specific resources of Upstate New York and building on that, rather than trying to emulate – or become – the next Silicon Valley or New York City. Powerful stuff – worth a read of Chuck’s post Week 9 – Community.

Upstate New York A Year Later

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A year ago I spent two days in Upstate New York meeting with a bunch of folks working in and around the entrepreneurial community at the request of my long time friend Martin Babinec and his partner Nasir Ali. I wrote a summary post titled Two Days of Entrepreneurial Community Building In Upstate New York.

Today I noticed a post titled Early spring for Upstate NY entrepreneurs on the StartFast Venture Accelerator site (Martin and Nasir’s accelerator that is a member of the Global Accelerator Network.) I thought it was a good summary of what’s going on right now in the region and asked if I could republish it. The post follows!


2012 is shaping up to be a great year for our entrepreneurs with lots of events to attend and successes to celebrate.

EXITS:  Hot on the heels of recent exits for Sensis (Syracuse), Kionix (Ithaca), and Paetec(Rochester), Buffalo-based Synacor debuted on the NASDAQ this past week, creating liquidity for two of the region’s early stage investors: Rand Capital and Advantage Capital.

FINANCINGS:  The Seed Capital Fund of CNY (a StartFast investor) reports that four portfolio companies are expected to close about $7MM in new funding this quarter.  In addition to SCF, participating investors include Cayuga Venture Fund, Rand Capital, Eastern NY Angels and several out of state angels/VCs.

STARTUP WEEKENDS:  Last November’s sold out events in Ithaca and Syracuse showed just how much talent is locked up in our region and the many serial entrepreneurs who are ready to mentor a new generation of startups.  This year promises at least four to six more such events, beginning with Albany in March and Rochester in April.

MEETUPS: Just a year after its launch, the Syracuse Tech Meetup group continues to grow in size and popularity, drawing hundreds of attendees.  The next meetup is February 28 and offers startups a chance to meet organizers and mentors from the StartFast and Student Sandbox accelerators.

Subscribe to the Upstate Venture Connect calendar via RSS to stay in the loop on future events.