Rochester Upstate Venture Leaders

Democrat & Chronicle: Rochester Has Solid Showing in Upstate Venture Contest

Some of Rochester’s biggest names in entrepreneurship have been nominated for the Upstate Venture Connect Venture Ecosystem Awards.

By: Kristopher J Brooks | Democrat & Chronicle

The awards honor people and companies that are trying to use entrepreneurship to boost upstate New York’s economy. The awards are broken into 5 categories: Campus Connector, Magical Mentor, Community Catalyst, Ecosystem Champion and Deal of the Year.

In Campus Connector, Scott Catlin, Bob Spinelli and Rich Notargiacomo are nominees. Catlin is the associate vice president for the University of Rochester’s technology transfer office. Spinelli is an adjunct professor at Monroe Community College and St. John Fisher. Notargiacomo is the director of new ventures at Rochester Institute of Technology’s startup incubator Venture Creations.

In Magical Mentor, Bill Jones, Steve Nicosia, Rick Richmond and Mike Riedlinger are nominees. Jones is Venture Creations’ business development manager. Nicosia is president of startup mentoring firm Zen Advisory Partners. Richmond is a mentor for High Tech Rochester and Riedlinger is director of HTR’s Rochester Bioventure Center.

For Community Catalyst, Judy Albers, Richard Glaser, James Senall and Christine Whitman are nominees. Albers runs the student-led startup incubator at SUNY Geneseo. Glaser is a RIT adjunct professor and senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. Senall is the president of HTR and Whitman is CEO of Complemar Partners.

For Ecosystem Champion, Doug Buerkle, Doug Crescenzi, Glaser and Theresa Mazzullo are nominees. Buerkle founded a business accelerator for clean energy startups called NEXUS-NY. Crescenzi co-founded an upstate New York techie network called Hack Upstate. Mazzullo is CEO of venture capital firm Excell Partners.

The Rochester area has two nominees for the Deal of the Year category, which recognizes the best business deal from a startup that created wealth for its investors and founders. One nominee is TouchStream Solutions, which was acquired by a health care software company in June. The company’s name or amount of the acquisition haven’t been revealed. The other nominee is Lightower Fiber Networks, which merged with Rochester-based Fibertech Networks in a deal valued at $1.9 billion.

Upstate Venture Connect plans to announce the winners during a luncheon on Sept. 16 at Turning Stone Resort in Verona.

KJBROOKS@Gannett.com

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