Rochester Nominees Announced for 2017 Venture Ecosystem Awards

Rochester Nominees for 2017 Venture Ecosystem Awards

by Kerry Feltner | Rochester Business Journal

Community members across Rochester have been nominated for the 2017 Ecosystem Awards, Upstate Venture Connect said.

Upstate Venture Connect is a non-profit that aims to create a startup ecosystem for Upstate New York led by entrepreneurs. The organization received 120 submissions across the five awards categories this year.

“We’re ready for another year of connecting entrepreneurs to investors and community builders. We’ll showcase the top CEOs creating the future today, and celebrate those for their efforts in making Upstate NY the go-to destination for entrepreneurs,” said Martin Babinec, UVC founder.

An independent panel of judges will review the nominations and select the winners for each category.

The nominees in the Finger Lakes region include:

Campus Connector: The award is given to individuals affiliated with an educational institution who are leveraging on and off-campus resources and connections to spin out research startups and/or create opportunities to retain entrepreneurial students.

  • Todd Bernhard, product marketing manager, CloudCheckr Inc.; adjunct, Rochester Institute of Technology; cofounder, AppRochester;
  • Scott Catlin, associate vice president for Technology Ventures LLC, University of Rochester/UR Ventures;
  • Rich Notargiacomo, director, Venture Creations Incubator, RIT; and
  • Mike Riedlinger, LaunchPad program manager, High Tech Rochester Inc.; director, Rochester Bioventure Center Inc.; cofounder/board member, Diffinity Genomics;

Magical Mentor: The award is given to individuals who have had a transformative impact on the trajectory of one or more startup companies.

  • Doug Buerkle, founding executive director, NEXUS-NY/High Tech Rochester;
  • Myneco Ramirez, owner, MBR Concepts LLC; founder, Tech Startup Expo; community connector, UVC; and
  • Riedlinger.

Community Catalyst: The award is given to 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.

  • Dennis DeLeo, president/director, Venture Jobs Foundation Inc.; senior partner, Trillium Group LLC;
  • Bernhard;
  • Montieth Estes, general counsel, Direct Mail 2020 LLC; chairman, SensiVisa Medical Technologies; chief legal counsel, TVT BIO; board of directors, National Alliance for Mental Illness Rochester, board member, Excell Partners Inc., UNYTECH, UVANY, Med Graph & SmartStart Venture Forum;
  • Richard Glaser, senior financial adviser, First VP Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch; cofounder, RocGrowth, RocGrowth Coffee, and RocGrowth Candids; board member, Upstate Venture Connect and UNY50 Leadership Network;
  • James Goff. president/CEO, Landsman Development Corp.;
  • Jean Kase, executive director, the Entrepreneurs Network; planning committee, Rochester Regional Business Plan Competition;
  • Dan Keeley, director, Startup Community Development, High Tech Rochester; licensing manager, UR Ventures;
  • Ramirez;
  • James Senall, president, HTR; managing director, Rochester Angel Network; and
  • Jennifer Sertl, founder/president, Agility3R; board member, Mental Health Association

Ecosystem Champion:  This award is given to individuals who are catalyzing and supporting startup activity across multiple Upstate communities, according to UVC.

  • Buerkle;
  • Estes; and
  • Theresa Mazzullo, CEO, Excell Partners; founding partner, Impact Capital Inc.

The award luncheon is slated for Sep. 19 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

Additional information is available at:

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

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