Recap: Building a Venture-Backable Business

On October 10, Upstate Capital hosted an event to bring together the Upstate New York entrepreneurial and investment communities at Three Heads Brewing in Rochester. In the program line up were seasoned CEOs and venture capital investors to shed light on what it takes build a venture-backable business.

We invited guests to come early and meet with others using our new networking solution. Before the event, attendees use the technology to book meetings with specific people they wanted to meet.

Guests also had the chance to meet with local startups. Leep Foods' CEO, Scott Valpey sauteed cultivated gourmet mushrooms for everyone to sample. The founders of ThermApparel, ViggiKids and GRYT Health were also on hand to discuss their companies and give a one-minute introduction once the program started.

Following the pitches, Amanda Dwyer, a corporate securities attorney from Harris Beach, talked about what to do right from the start if you’re trying to build a business that is venture-backable. Email us if you’d like a copy of her presentation.

Our venture investor panel included Brian Model, Managing Partner at Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners, Alan Bernstein, President of Investors’ Circle-Social Venture NY Local Network, and Brian Keil, Managing Director of NY Ventures. Alan answered a question about the best way to approach investors. He said that besides online submission, the best way is to make connections through networking. Brian Model talked about crowdfunding, noting it is good to prove initial traction, but not good if you’re looking for a capital round from an investor who may think of your initial round as not having one voice. Brian Keil said his firm relies on co-investments to leverage other investors’ skills and experience while supporting startups in New York.

Last, we heard from two local, successful CEOs that have the experience of raising venture capital. Marty “Lazerchicken” is the President and CEO of Splyce, a fast-growing esports company headquartered in Rochester. Duane Peterson is the Co-Founder of SunCommon

SunCommon quickly grew into Vermont’s largest provider of residential, community and commercial solar. It acquired the market-leading solar business in the Hudson Valley and is expanding across the Northeast.

Our charity raffle winner is Kevin Phelps, CFO of EZaccessMD. A $100 donation was made in his name to the The Rochester Friendly Home.

Check out all the photos here

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