Richard Glaser - 2017 Community Catalyst Winner | Upstate Venture Connect

Rochester Startup Community Leader Celebrated

Richard Glaser wins 2017 Community Catalyst Award

September 28, 2017

ROCHESTER, NY (PRESS RELEASE) – Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) hosted the 3rd Annual Upstate Unleashed Conference and 2017 Venture Ecosystem Awards on September 19 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. 350 entrepreneurs, founders, mentors and investors from the startup community were in attendance from Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester and the Hudson Valley.

Richard Glaser | 2017 Community Catalyst WinnerThis year, Rochester-area business professional and startup activist, Richard Glaser, was honored for his contributions in shaping a healthy regional economy in the Finger Lakes through great collaboration and empowerment.

Richard is Sr. Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and co-creator of RochesterGrowth and RocGrowth (Candids and Coffee). He was presented with the Community Catalyst award for organizing programs that bring together diverse startup ecosystem players. This honor also recognizes Richard’s contributions towards increasing the amount of capital, and number of active early stage investment in the Finger Lakes.

“The big company era with its silos is obsolete,” commented Glaser. “The Community Catalyst award is recognition of RocGrowth’s impact upon our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are building a community in Rochester that empowers the new generation.”

RocGrowth events and online platform share inspirational stories about the great innovators in the Rochester area, which result in creative collisions among individuals. Microgrants also fund like-minded, organic initiatives that gather innovators from across the entrepreneurial spectrum. These efforts promote greater equality among race, gender, age and class. Hidden barriers in which Richard believes have historically stood in the way of the region’s progress.

Nasir Ali, UVC Cofounder and CEO remarked, “Richard has been a united force for Rochester area entrepreneurs for many years and is now creating a true platform for startup community conversations through RocGrowth. As a member of the UNY50 Leadership Network, he is also actively working with like-minded leaders in communities across Upstate NY, actively volunteering his time to assist founders of high-growth companies in  Upstate NY.”

“We’re a positive disrupter, catalyzing our region’s renaissance. One day, I know we will be viewed as a Boulder, Austin or Portland of the Northeast,” added Richard. “We have all the necessary ingredients:  smart people, leading universities, great work ethic, history of world class innovation and a magnificent quality of life. RocGrowth is in the vanguard, helping to realize this vision.”

Six awards were presented to ecosystem leaders who are building Upstate NY through entrepreneurship. View all winners and finalists here:


About UVC

UVC is a 501c3 public benefit non-profit creating an entrepreneur-led startup ecosystem for Upstate NY. Since 2010, UVC has helped launch six angel funds and three startup accelerators. UVC also hosts a region-wide events calendar, online startup map and a communications platform that reaches thousands. 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. In 2015, UVC received the Global Innovation Ecosystem Award. For more information on how you can help support UNY’s startup ecosystem, go to

Upstate Venture Connect
Kathryn Cartini


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