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Nominations Are Open for 2016 Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards

Nominations Are Open – Celebrate the Leaders and Companies Building UNY’s Ecosystem

June 14, 2016

UPSTATE, NY – (PRESS RELEASE) – Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) announced that nominations are now open for the 2016  Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards. This year’s Awards Luncheon will be preceded by a morning conference titled Upstate Unleashed. Nominate members of Upstate’s startup community online at http://uvc.org/Awards-Nominations. Early Bird registration is also open at 2016-Upstate-Unleashed-Awards.Eventbrite.com.

According to UVC cofounder and CEO, Nasir Ali, “Upstate’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has witnessed tremendous growth over the past decade. Last year’s awards guests asked for more opportunities to learn and network with each other and so we added the Upstate Unleashed mini-conference to the Awards Luncheon.  The 2016 conference theme is Discover | Connect | Celebrate. We will showcase Upstate business and technology leaders who are building the future today. There will also be lots of opportunities for guests to interact with each other and the speakers.”

Following the conference sessions, the Luncheon will celebrate the achievements of  ecosystem leaders in five categories:

  • 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.


  • 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 spin-out research startups and/or create opportunities to retain entrepreneurial students.


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


  • 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.


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


Nominate leaders for each of these awards online at UVC.org/Awards-Nominations. The last day for nominations is July 31, 2016. An independent panel of judges will review nominations. The finalists in each category will be announced in early September and the winners will be revealed at the September 16 Awards Luncheon at Turning Stone.


About UVC

UVC is a 501c3 public nonprofit creating an entrepreneur-led startup ecosystem for Upstate NY. Our mission is to connect and empower Upstate NY entrepreneurs with the resources for building high-growth companies. Since 2010, UVC has helped launch six angel funds and four startup accelerators. UVC also hosts a region-wide events calendar, online startup map and a communications platform that reaches over 10,000 founders and startup supporters. In 2014, UVC launched UNY50, an invitation only network of individuals who have experienced the startup world roller coaster and are committed to helping build the next great Upstate company. UVC was awarded the 2015 Global Innovation Ecosystem Award. More information at http://uvc.org and here’s how the community can help support our mission http://uvc.org/Ecosystem-Growth.

Upstate Venture Connect
Nasir Ali

Kathryn Cartini


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