Rochester’s bedrock of entrepreneurship and innovation has enabled its transition from a manufacturing-based economy dominated by the Big Three to a knowledge-based economy with a highly-educated workforce and research centers of excellence.
Our community also has long had an affordability edge. Now, with the migration of tech workers away from the nation’s largest cities—which began before the pandemic but has been accelerated by the pivot to remote work—Rochester may have a unique opportunity to become a tech and entrepreneurship hub.
In addition to supporting homegrown startups, the region can attract and retain tech startups and growth companies. What are some models that work? How can Rochester encourage entrepreneurs from other parts of the country, and abroad, to view our area as their home?
Hear from three experts on June 24 from noon to 1 p.m. on Zoom:
Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of Luminate NY, a global accelerator for startups in optics, photonics and imaging technologies. Luminate has successfully attracted attention from fledgling companies from around the globe, who spend time in Rochester and establish relationships with local companies.
Rami Katz, chief operating officer of Excell Ventures, has been promoting the strengths of the region for several years. Most recently through a multi-stakeholder initiative called R2i, Katz and others worked to connect Israeli startups and local organizations. The virtual exchange was an effort to marry Israel’s strengths in digital health with Rochester’s expertise in health care.
Nish Sonwalkar, CEO of SunDensity, which relocated to Rochester to expand manufacturing and operations. The photonics startup won the top prize—$1 million—and was named Company of the Year at the culminating event for Luminate NY’s third cohort.
The discussion will be moderated by Alex Zapesochny, Rochester Beacon publisher, who co-founded iCardiac Technologies and Clerio Vision.
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