Mark Oney - Rochester Business Journel

Coastal Tech Hubs Discover Upstate NY

At UVC, we spend a lot of our time helping emerging entrepreneurs in Upstate communities find the people that can help them succeed. For the past year, however, a new trend seems to be coming together–experienced entrepreneurs from major tech hubs are rediscovering what a great place Upstate is to build out their teams!

Rochester became ground zero for this new trend with its nearly 100,000 college students and top notch universities like Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester. First on our radar was Datto founder Austin McChord when he decided to move his operations to Rochester. Other examples are NYC-based LiveTiles founder Dan Diefendorf and more recently Silicon Valley veteran entrepreneur Mark Oney (pictured) of EmployeeChannel. Both Dan and Mark explained why the move was a no-brainer in this RocGrowth Candids conversation

But Rochester is not alone. There are more than 100 colleges and universities across Upstate NY educating over half a million students each year. Buffalo has a growing number of entrepreneurs returning to build locally like Torch Labs, GritSeed and CloudInsyte. Syracuse is also home to venture backed startups with distributed teams like SpinCar (NYC and Syracuse) and Density (SV and Syracuse). Similar stories are also coming out of the Hudson Valley, Capital Region and Ithaca. These founders all know how amazing the math is when it comes to running operations in Upstate NY.

Consider just these two facts:


  1. The average home price in Rochester NY is $138,000 and that is towards the high end of upstate cities; for comparison, that is one third of what an owner occupied home costs in NYC metro
  2. UVC’s CEO Survey results showed average salary at scalable firms in Upstate NY was approximately $78,000 last year. This means that a developer making $80,000 on a first job after college can also own their own home. Now one can build equity in the company as well as one’s home!

From the employer side, these same stats mean that every dollar of your raise goes much further AND you don’t have to worry about having your best talent poached by the highest bidder on a weekly basis!

An abundance of college grads and lower cost of living are claims that could be made by many communities across middle America. What differentiates us is the momentum our communities are building connecting these incoming entrepreneurs to the resources they need to move fast. Whether it’s finding the right space, tapping into the talent pool or plugging in local supply chains, UVC and its partners are available to assist.

Enough said. If you have a recently funded company in NYC, Boston, Silicon Valley or other high cost location, drop us an email and we can help you get launched in Upstate!

  • Richard Glaser
    Posted at 1:31 pm, September 4, 2019

    Plus, we are awfully nice here. 🙂

  • Posted at 1:35 pm, September 4, 2019

    Upstate NY is also a destination for remote workers! I’ve always worked for coastal tech companies and lived here because of the amazing quality of life!

  • Ken Rando
    Posted at 1:48 pm, September 4, 2019

    Could not agree more!!!

  • Posted at 2:48 pm, September 4, 2019

    Great article and thank you for the CloudInsyte mention. We couldn’t be happier with our decision. To add another important reason we made the decision to move our lives and business was to be a part of something bigger. Cities like Buffalo welcome you to play a vital role in their renascence and if you embrace that invitation with action, they will support you and your business as much as they can.

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