startups

1:12pm

Thu June 19, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Haitian connection integral to upstate couple's business model

Stephane Jean-Baptiste and Yve-Car Momperousse at home in Ithaca, New York.
Jim Day WXXI

Many new startup companies end up running their new business out of their homes, and that's the case for Stephane Jean-Baptiste and Yve-Car Momperousse who live and work in Ithaca, New York.

Their sustaining business model relies heavily on their relationship with the land and people of Haiti.

As you’ll see, they’re aiming to be both successful and socially-responsible entrepreneurs, and help in the re-building of the island nation devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

3:07pm

Fri February 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Investment dollars for upstate New York startups on the rise

NathanaelB / Via Flickr

The amount of money being invested in startup businesses in upstate New York is increasing, but that doesn’t mean starting a business here is suddenly easy.

Upstate Venture Associates of New York, or UVANY, a startup business investment firm, found that nearly twice as much money came into upstate New York in the third quarter of last year, in comparison to the year before. There were 29 deals that quarter, worth $75.86 million. That's up from 16 deals worth $40.56 in the fourth quarter of 2012, UVANY found.

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8:38am

Sat January 11, 2014
Startups

Startup Labs starts second year with more physical products

Nasir Ali, left, and Clint Nelson discuss the startup scene in Syracuse at the launch of Startup Labs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A product that could be straight out of a science fiction movie is one of the projects going through the Startup Labs business competition in Syracuse this winter.

The guys behind Crowsnest Labs, Mike Kruk and Ian Wilson from Rochester, are working to develop technology that will allow them to put tiny cameras inside, say, an ad in a subway station. Those cameras would analyze who stops to look at an ad and how interested they seem.

Remember that scene from the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report?

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4:04pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

SUNY Oswego making plans to START-UP NY

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

SUNY Oswego is embracing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's START-UP New York program, selecting three areas on the college's main campus as possible future business sites.

Cuomo formally launched START-UP New York in October, which offers new and expanding businesses the chance to operate on SUNY campuses tax free for ten years. The only requirements are that the company has to be able to create jobs, provide an economic boost for the community and not hurt other local companies.

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8:35am

Sat April 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Canada woos entrepreneurs with visa program; should U.S. follow?

Veronica200626

Canada is aiming to woo bright young entrepreneurs with a startup visa program. The plan offers immediate permanent residence to foreign nationals who are able to secure business funding from Canadian investors. But, there are mixed feelings in the U.S. about the benefits of following suit.

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4:44pm

Mon April 8, 2013
Business

Finger Lakes tops the class for business friendliness in New York

Thumbtack.com

The grades are in and the Finger Lakes region is top-of-the-class for business friendliness in New York state. That’s the conclusion of a new small businesses survey conducted by Thumbtack.com. But the survey also shows that the state still lags in a national comparison.

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10:54am

Wed February 13, 2013
Business

Startups awaiting permission to "crowdfund" for new investors

Startup businesses in upstate New York, a region that sometimes struggles to attract big investors, are anxiously awaiting permission to begin soliciting funding from a new type of investor.

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9:26am

Fri February 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Inaugural Startup Labs teams show off their work

Nick Nickitas, center, CEO of Rosie, goes over his presentation with co-workers.
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

In the lobby of the historic Syracuse Trust Building in downtown - currently under renovation - a bunch of people gathered on Thursday afternoon to hear the ideas of some startup businesses. The location was picked to show off two parts of Syracuse on the up-and-up: its downtown and its startup scene.

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8:31am

Tue January 15, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New startup competition underway in Syracuse

Bea Arthur, founder of Pretty Padded Room, introduces herself on the first day of Startup Labs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

9:03am

Mon December 3, 2012
Startups

60 seconds on the clock, a pitch for co-founders

Participants pitch their ideas for startups with the hope of gaining teammates at Startup Weekend.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Microphone in hand, hopeful entrepreneurs began their pitches: a way to track when the next bus is coming, a more portable sailboat, a social network for food lovers.

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6:01am

Wed November 21, 2012
Startups

Syracuse working to hit critical mass to grow startup community

Eric Hinman, a co-founder of Rounded Development, listens to presentations during the company's regular Friday Sparkbook session.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

It’s a Friday afternoon at the Technology Garden, a business incubator in Syracuse. The dozen or so staff members of software design company Rounded Development are sitting around on couches, chowing on Dinosaur Barbeque take-out and chatting up ideas for new products.

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9:16am

Thu November 8, 2012
The Upstate Economy

RIT to invest in local start-up businesses

The Rochester Institute of Technology has launched a venture fund to help boost economic development in the region. Businesses with ties to the university will be eligible for funding through the fund.

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10:09am

Sat November 3, 2012
The Upstate Economy

How upstate New York could build strong startup communities

The scene at a Startup Weekend in Pheonix, Ariz.
curtm95 via Flickr

It's not hard to think of the Silicon Valley, or maybe Boston and more recently New York City, when pondering the best place to be as a young entrepreneur. But cities all over the country are trying to become just as popular. Some are doing better than others.

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12:27pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Startups

Professor looks to brackets for new student startup competition

A Syracuse University professor is designing a national startup tournament for college students.
OnTask Flickr

Sean Branagan doesn't want to get any angry phone calls from the NCAA's lawyers for ripping off their idea, but he took inspiration from a certain national college basketball tournament, held every March, for a new student startup competition.

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10:47am

Fri August 17, 2012
Startups

100 days in the books, startups emerge from Syracuse accelerator

Jason Scherr, CEO of Tivity, pitches his company's website at StartFast's Demo Day.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

One-hundred long days full of presentations, meetings with mentors and practicing investor pitches is all done.

The first-ever StartFast Venture Accelerator concluded Thursday morning with its Demo Day.

"Saying it was all hard would be an understatement," said Timothy Beckford, a founder of PadProof, a program to help professional photographers sell their pictures more easily. "It was a tremendous undertaking. We worked like crazy."

Nine companies entered StartFast back in May, but only eight made it through. The teams were given seed money, workspace and access to dozens of mentors.

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4:14pm

Thu August 16, 2012
Startups

Young entrepreneurs show off what they made in the "Sandbox"

Joshua Anderson, founder Uvalue, pitches his startup at the Student Sandbox Demo Day.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Thirty-four teams got coaching from 115 mentors for three months in the Student Sandbox. Fifteen of those teams made it to Demo Day.

The Sandbox, a startup business accelerator for college students and recent graduates, wrapped up for the summer on Thursday.

Company founders presented their ideas and business platforms to a packed room of fellow startups and potential investors.

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9:56am

Fri August 10, 2012
Politics and Government

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to fund business incubators and startups

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making a renewed push for legislation that would create a $200 million fund to help business incubators and startup companies, but the bill could fall victim to politics.

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4:04pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Technology

Buffalo's roster of incubators grows by one

Z80 Labs, Buffalo's first "Internet-focused" incubator, is named as an homage to the 1970's microprocessor. The chip helped form the foundation of the Z80 founders' early tech work.
G.G. Italy Flickr

Buffalo’s latest business incubator is on the hunt for small tech companies who are long on ideas, but perhaps short on cash, office space and personnel. 

Calling itself Buffalo’s first Internet-focused incubator, Z80 Labs launched Monday with a well-orchestrated launch party featuring the region’s tech elite, as well as Forbes CEO Mike Perlis, and prominent venture capitalist Fred Wilson.

Z80 is the brainchild of some of Buffalo’s richest entrepreneurs who are promising to use their business connections and access to capital to nurture hand-selected startups.

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7:45am

Tue July 17, 2012
Startups

Drawing up their business was harder than they thought

GraFighters co-founder Eric Cleckner, right, shares a laugh with fellow entrepreneur and BrandYourself co-founder Patrick Ambron, left.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Four years ago, Erick Cleckner was sitting next to his friend, Dave Chenell, in a class at Syracuse University. But they weren't exactly paying attention.

"[We were] just drawing in our notebooks instead of taking notes," remembers Cleckner. "And we were arguing about whose drawing would win a fight."

Their debate about whose character would triumph didn't end when class was dismissed. Cleckner and Chenell started working on a digital battlefield where their sketches could actually engage in battle.

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2:49pm

Tue June 12, 2012
Entrepreneurship

Young entrepreneurs: Out of the dorm room and into the incubator

Ariel Norling, the 20-year-old CEO of YouShouldDate.me, talks over ideas for her new online dating site.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Ariel Norling, 20, is from San Antonio, Texas. She has a lip ring and a spunky attitude to match. She majored in policy studies at Syracuse University.

Oh, and she's the CEO of her own online dating site called YouShouldDate.me. Tagline: "Online dating sucks, but it doesn't have to."

"We're trying to find the middle ground between 'casual whatever,' which generally just means people hooking up, and marriage," says Norling, describing her site.

She says she didn't really expect to become an entrepreneur - hence the social sciences degree. But last fall, after some convincing by a friend, Norling decided to pitch her idea at a local startup weekend.

The pitch worked. Folks liked it. And now she's spending the summer in Syracuse along with her two business partners in a startup incubator called the Student Sandbox.

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2:15pm

Tue June 5, 2012
Startups

Student entrepreneurs spending summer in Syracuse "Sandbox"

Entrepreneur-in-Residence John Liddy, right, meets with one of the teams participating in the Syracuse Student Sandbox.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Instead of painting houses or mowing lawns, a group of college students in Syracuse is spending the summer launching companies.

The Student Sandbox incubator just got underway at the Syracuse Tech Garden. And participation is ballooning.

When the program started four years ago, just five teams took part. This year, there are 34 teams. The Tech Garden had to find overflow space to fit everybody.

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3:51pm

Thu May 17, 2012
Startups

Israeli startup comes to Syracuse in chase of a dream, and funding

A version of the Guard My Angel app is currently available on Android phones.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

It was his 22-year-old niece that gave Amir Cohen the inspiration to quit his job working in Israel's tech sector and start his own company.

Every time she gets in a taxicab in Israel she has her cell phone in-hand, ready to call her father in case of an emergency.

"This was the original trigger," Cohen recalls. "Letting people feel safer and be safer on their daily routine - when they're going to a party, getting in a taxi, whatever."

The end product: a smartphone app called Guard My Angel that allows users to pre-program a list of emergency contacts. If you feel threatened or are in an accident, an alert is sent out with your location.

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11:50am

Mon May 14, 2012
The Upstate Economy

For 9 companies, 100 days to get off the ground starts now

Chuck Stormon, left, checks on last-minute preperations before the StartFast Venture Accelerator starts Monday in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

When the first StartFast Venture Accelerator begins this morning in Syracuse, the clock will start ticking for nine startups hoping to turn their big idea into a profit maker.

Modeled off of similar accelerators around the country, the teams have 100 days to soak up as much advice and support as they can. They're also given seed money and workspace.

StartFast is the creation of two local entrepreneurs, Chuck Stormon and Nasir Ali. In return for the investment and admittance into the program, Stormon and Ali get a small stake in the company.

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1:00pm

Mon April 2, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Young entrepreneurs pitch projects, for money and advice

Neil Lewis and his partner won $2,000 to develop their idea for a better camera mount for outdoor sports equipment.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Brian Page and Benjamin Onyejuruwa stood in front of the panel of judges with their hands full of groceries in an attempt to show how much easier their invention - an electronic ID and key programmed into a bracelet - could be.

The duo are roommates and freshman at Clarkson University. They made the trip down to Syracuse University on Friday to pitch QuickWhrist for a chance to win seed money from the university's Emerging Talk program.

Even as a freshman, Onyejuruwa already holds a patent for the technology.

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