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In 2015, Upstate Venture Connect and the Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY) celebrated the leaders and companies who are building the UNY ecosystem. Over 250 startup founders, college entrepreneurs and investors, as well as leaders of prominent business advisory firms, Upstate universities, economic development agencies and business organizations were in attendance. Our keynote speaker was Jeff Hoffman, serial entrepreneur, community builder and former CEO of Priceline Yardsale. Here is a recap of the winners from the 2015 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards and a complete list of all the leaders nominated.

2015 Winners

Community Catalyst Award – For individuals who organize programs to bring together diverse startup ecosystem players in a local community and/or increase the amount of capital and number of active early stage investors in that community.

David Colligan | 2015 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Award WinnerDAVID COLLIGAN – Buffalo, NY
Board, WNY Ventures Association
Board, Erie Canal Harbor Dev Corp
Founder, WNY Angel Fund
Ex-Chairman, Launch NY
Founder/Partner, Colligan Law

Campus Connector Award – For individuals affiliated with an educational institution (could be an administrator, student, alumnus or faculty member) who are leveraging on and off-campus resources and connections to spinout research startups and/or create opportunities to retain entrepreneurial students.

John Liddy | 2015 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Award WinnerJOHN LIDDY – Syracuse, NY
Director, Syracuse Student Sandbox
Entrepreneur in Residence, The Tech Garden
Entrepreneur in Residence, Le Moyne College – Madden School
Entrepreneur in Residence, ThINCubator – MVCC

Magical Mentor Award – For individuals who have had a transformative impact on the trajectory of one or more startup companies.

Chuck Stormon | 2015 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Award WinnerCHUCK STORMON – Syracuse, NY
Serial Entrepreneur with multiple venture backed companies
Angel investor, Seed Capital Fund of CNY
Co­founder & Director, StartFast Venture Accelerator
CEO, RushTera

Ecosystem Champion Award – For individuals who are catalyzing and supporting startup activity across multiple Upstate communities.

Zach Shulman | 2015 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Award WinnerZACH SHULMAN – Ithaca, NY
Managing Partner, Cayuga Venture Fund
Director, Entrepreneurship @ Cornell
Professor, Johnson School, Cornell University
Board Member, Upstate Venture Connect
Mentor, StartFast Venture Accelerator
Board Member, Launch NY

Deal of the Year Award – For a company whose exit created wealth for investors and founders/employees, as well as making the company a stronger contributor to the local economy.

Binoptics | 2015 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Award WinnerBINOPTICS – Ithaca, NY
Manufacturing of monolithically integrated optoelectronic components for datacom and telecommunications applications
Acquired by M/A-COM Technology Solutions in November, 2014
$38.81M in funding; Sold for $230M in cash

2015 Sponsors

Powered by UVC
UVANY | UVC Sponsor
IgniteU NY | Campus Ventures
2016 Awards

2015 Nominees

Jeff Hoffman's Keynote Address