Monday, July 20, 2015

The Tech Garden's 10th Anniversary!

Last week I had the honor to travel to the Tech Garden in Syracuse for their 10th Anniversary. 
It is Central NY's place for Entrepreneurs, Mentors, Investors and Service Providers, ran by some really awesome, forward thinking people! For the day, they provided lunch from local food trucks, and lots of time to pitch ideas, along with tons of great networking and even a walking tour of  Downtown Syracuse! After all that they had over 30 tables of local startups, companies and services along with some awesome food and drinks!  

The Tech Garden

I say the honor, as I was asked to tag along with the WNY Innovation hot spot an innovative, incubator designed to help students with startup ideas, to accelerate the idea into something more! I will have more on the WNY Innovation Hotspot in the next week or so.

WNY Innovation Hot Spot

So first off the Tech Garden could not have picked a better day to do this, sunny and warm and a nice breeze all day. For an outdoor venue it was really nice!

I travelled with a few members from one team and the manager of the WNY Innovation Hot Spot Thomas Murdock.

When we arrived we were greeted nicely and we grabbed some food from the food trucks and we headed right into the Tech Garden's theater. We were treated to 8 pitches from local folks with some pretty unique ideas. Some of the ideas were cool and others very interesting. They had mentors from Launch NY and a prize of $1000 to the best idea! 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes of Q&A from the judges. I tweeted a lot during the pitches so if you want to know who was pitching and who won jump on Twitter and search the Hashtag - #TTG10 

After the pitches were done the judges had to go and judge so I jumped on the tour, that showed some really cool spaces in downtown Syracuse. 

This hotel is modeled after the Statler Hotel in Buffalo, it looks like it!

Some great office space for $275 per month with internet connections included!

My favorite place was the CoWork Space just up the street from the Tech Garden. Just check out the place! It even came with a clone of  Buffalo D!G's Jessica Edwards our very own CoWork Queen!

From there we headed over to State Tower to meet a gaming company TCGPlayer and we saw their entire operation. 

Here is Thomas Murdock the Manager of the WNY Innovation Hotspot! This guy knew more about Syracuse then some of the guides! Thanks Thomas!

Then it was on to the party and hanging out in the plaza! Great food, networking and everyone had a great time!

Here is our group from Buffalo and we were lucky to be asked to be a part of this special day! Special Thanks to Seth Mulligan and Tony Kershaw of the Tech Garden for hosting this amazing event! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

UK Deputy Consul General visit to Buffalo NY - June 25, 2015

Another great opportunity for Western NY entrepreneurs as Deputy Consul General Nick Astbury came to Buffalo to talk about the 2015 Great Tech Awards. This is the 3rd annual Tech Awards and its a little like the 43North Competition in certain ways. The biggest difference is that there is no money for winning, but what the winners get is a way to expand their business into the UK and beyond.

First let me introduce you to Nick Astbury the Deputy Consul General of the UK based in New York City. He was in town to promote this great competition, with one of his media consultants Tricia Edwards. 

How did this happen you ask? Well one of Nick's colleagues found Infotech WNY and asked if we could meet with media and interested companies so he could explain how the Tech Awards works. Peter Ronca our Chairman got right to work on it and contacted the BNMC and DIG to meet up there to show Nick how innovation is driving Buffalo's growth. 

Last year the Tech Awards received 150 Entries for the following categories:
 CleanTech, EdTech, FinTech, Health, Lifestyle, and Media.
With 3 Winners in each category, there is a lot of opportunity to take your business global!

You can find out more about the full competition at the link below (their main website) for the 2015 Tech Awards. If you are a winner the prize is a trip to London to meet and learn all the aspects of growing your business in the UK. Financial, Legal, and other support services will be made available to help get your business up and running. Check the website for all the details.


Dave Bertola of Buffalo Business First came to interview Nick and lots of photos were taken. Let me tell you that he loved the BNMC Space and was very impressed by how quickly Buffalo has grown. He was here last year promoting this event, in just one year he has seen so much change, which is very exciting!

Pat Whalen and Jessica Edwards gave a quick tour of the Innovation Center and they made the tour shine, here they are with my friend Steve Raines!

Nick was able to tour 43North and Z80 Labs and could see how busy the innovation center is and it acts as a hub of activity!

After the tour we sat with Nick and Tricia and they explained in more detail about the contest.

The contest is looking for companies that are established and are looking to expand beyond the US. New companies or companies that are just starting up aren't ready for this contest but the best way to look at it is that every new company must be thinking that their product is Global worthy, so this competition will help you propel your company to the next level!

Brandon Dever of HeadsUp Display had applied last year to the Tech Awards and gave great insight into the opportunities that they gained from being apart of it. He explained that being a part of this event helped open doors to other markets including the UK and Mexico and the connections he made throughout were invaluable. He strongly urged anyone that has a company and is thinking about expanding outside of the US to apply this year.

Here was a prototype of the Heads Up Display.

A great competition with unlimited potential, and Buffalo looking great on a global level. With the opportunity to grow your business to an International company, this is another way to show that Buffalo continues to move in the right direction. 

If you need to know more, send me an email at