On Wednesday, March 5, entrepreneurs from across the Capital Region flocked to Troy and congregated within the Revolution Hall of Brown’s Brewing Co., enjoying tasteful hor d’oeuvres and a complimentary brew from Brown’s famous selection. The doors opened at 5:30 pm, and by 6 pm, the setting had culminated into an entrepreneur’s dream: no matter where one stood, at least three business pitches could be heard, as ambitious students and experienced veterans traded stories, ideas, and business cards.
At 6:30 pm, the networking paused for the main event as four startup founders were ushered to the stage to discuss their creations in detail. Armed only with their microphones, PowerPoints, and a never-ending supply of passion, each guest speaker was given five minutes to present their concept, story, and future plans, followed by another five minutes to answer audience questions. The diverse lineup included:
Zimilate – a powerful internet add-on for personal knowledge management that reinvents the bookmark for increased functionality and ease of use.
Tumalow – an energy storage system that regulates energy supply and demand for maximum efficiency and profit potential.
Workorder.es – a real estate software to simplify and expedite the process of submitting, tracking, and fulfilling maintenance requests.
Clickit Digital – an ad campaign application providing budgeting tools and performance metrics across the full range of media channels.
Listening to the founders of these ventures discuss their vision and progress was truly motivating. Hearing of the ups and downs encountered by each provided audience members with an authentic perspective of the entrepreneurial process, delivered straight from the source. The Severino Center created the StartUp Tech Valley event in August 2013 with exactly this purpose in mind. The goal is to provide both more visibility into the startup ecosystem of the capital district and to provide a place for any entrepreneur to find a first customer, partner, mentor, or even co-founder.
StartUp Tech Valley serves as a casual nurturing environment for student entrepreneurs, a promotional tool for startups still in their early stages, and a networking event for all who attend. All are welcome at this monthly meet-up: first-time entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, startup employees, service providers, and anyone else looking to get involved. To secure initial sponsorship and a regular venue, the Severino Center partnered with Brown’s Brewing Co. in downtown Troy, providing an ideal environment to relax, meet new people, and forge new connections. Other sponsors include Apprenda (founded by RPI entrepreneurs), Rapid Application developers, Transfinder, and Phillips Lyte LLP.
Mark your calendars for upcoming meetings of the StartUp Tech Valley on April 2 and May 7, 5:30–7:30 pm, at Brown’s Brewing Co. Learn more online at www.StartUpTechValley.org. Also look out for meetings of the RPI Foundry, a sister organization of the Severino Center, which take place Tuesdays (3/18, 3/25, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29) 6–7:30 pm in the Games Room of the Rensselaer Union. This gathering welcomes all entrepreneurs on campus, providing feedback, mentorship, and free food! Details can be found at http://scte.rpi.edu