UVC Survey Shows Opportunities Across Upstate NY Communities

2017 Venture CEO Survey

Fast growing companies offer high pay and need college graduates; Private investment needs to grow across the region

February 22, 2018

UPSTATE, NY – (PRESS RELEASE) – Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) has completed its second annual Upstate Venture CEO Survey in partnership with John Zogby Strategies, LLC. The Survey assesses the economic impact of Upstate NY’s emerging high-growth companies, and asks CEOs what they need to continue growing Upstate NY through entrepreneurship.

Pollster, author, and trend-spotter John Zogby, Cofounder of John Zogby Strategies, LLC., an independent firm in Utica, NY, joined with his sons, Benjamin and Jeremy, to uncover trends in the Survey.  “Every major metro region in Upstate New York was represented by a wide array of business sectors,” reports John Zogby. “The technologies and market sectors represented were extremely diverse, as were the size, location and age of the respondents.”

“UVC is committed to rebuilding our economy by connecting founders across Upstate with necessary resources to succeed,” said Nasir Ali, Co-founder & CEO of Upstate Venture Connect. “The Venture CEO Survey supports our efforts by defining the economic impact of high-growth companies and shines a spotlight on their need for better connectivity to talent and equity financing.

2017 Upstate Venture CEO Survey Highlights

The 2017 CEO Survey portrays a picture of strong, innovative firms that are growing the region’s middle class. 140 Upstate CEOs responded to the survey; 101 of them indicated they were building scalable companies targeting national/global customers.

The data revealed several key trends, including:

• Average pay for scalable firms was $66,000 per full time employee (compared to $38,000 for firms with a local customer base)

• Scalable firms overall planned to more than triple their workforce in the next five years

• 83% of CEOs reported that 8 out of every 10 positions required a college degree

• Only half of the companies are recruiting on, at most, two campuses

• Scalable firms identified $624 million in equity capital requirements for creating over 6,000 new jobs in NYS

2017 Upstate Venture CEO Survey - DownloadAccording to UVC founder and Chairman, Martin Babinec, “This survey shows that Upstate NY’s scalable firms are missing out on opportunities to recruit the region’s college grads, and need significant investment capital to achieve their growth plans. That is why we have included concrete recommendations for Upstate entrepreneurs, academic leaders and elected officials to rethink the way in which resources can be allocated to this sector of the economy.”

Download: uvcdevelopment.wpengine.com/2017-upstate-venture-ceo-survey

The 2017 Upstate Venture CEO Survey has once again confirmed and quantified the thesis UVC was built on. Amazing companies in Upstate NY are disrupting global markets, creating jobs and paying their employees well. These companies need better access to local, college educated talent and private investment capital. Upstate Venture Connect is dedicated to connecting these entrepreneurs to the right resources.  


About UVC
UVC is a 501c3 public benefit non-profit creating an entrepreneur-led startup ecosystem for Upstate NY. Since 2010, UVC has assisted in the creation of multiple early stage / angel investment funds and startup accelerators from Buffalo to Albany and the Hudson Valley. UVC also hosts a region-wide Event Calendar, online Resource Map, and a communications platform that reaches over 16,000 founders and startup supporters. In 2014, UVC launched UNY50, and invitation-only network of individuals who have experienced the startup world roller coaster. These leaders are committed to helping build the next great Upstate company. And in 2017, UVC exceeded expectations with over 350 guests in attendance at our fourth annual Upstate Unleashed Conference and Venture Ecosystem Awards featuring top CEOs from across UNY and honoring our ecosystem leaders for their achievements in growing Upstate’s new economy. For more information on how you can help support Upstate’s startup ecosystem, go to UVC.org/Ecosystem-Growth.  

Kathryn Cartini
Upstate Venture Connect


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