Upstate Capital Annual Event

2022 Venture NY

WHEN: April 27, 2022

WHERE: WCNY, 415 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY


Seth Levine

Seth Levine

Elizabeth MacBride

Elizabeth MacBride


Nicholas Querques

Venture NY is New York’s premier event for the innovation community across New York. The event will feature:

  • High-growth startup pitches and investor networking
  • Panels on early stage investing and funding for companies
  • Syracuse Innovation Tour featuring TCG Player, lunch at the Salt City Market, the Tech Garden, and more
  • Grand prize NYBPC finals with $50,000 in cash prizes awarded
  • Keynote conversation with Seth Levine from the Foundry Group, and Elizabeth MacBride about their book, “The New Builders”, presented by Grasshopper Bank


General Admission: $200 in-person, $100 online
Upstate Capital members: $150 in-person, $100 online
Students: $20 in-person, free online
Campus Professionals: $50 in-person, free online
Judges & Mentors: $100 in-person, free online

Membership: Not an Upstate Capital member? Join today.



  • Get access to unique deal flow
  • Make great connections in Upstate NY


  • Pitch your company
  • Meet investors
  • Find ecosystem resources

Ecosystem partners:

  • Showcase your services supporting investors, startups and innovation in NY



Roundtable Participants Welcome & Exhibitors Set Up



Invite-Only CEO Roundtable
with Seth Levine and Elizabeth MacBride.


General registration opens


Conversation: Venture Capital & Philanthropy with the Allyn Family

Current challenges and areas for growth, a discussion on innovative solutions and how the Foundation’s thinking about investing is evolving.


Panel: Sources of Capital for Startups (all attendees welcome)

Participate in an open question-and-answer session to learn more about the ins and outs of different types of capital available for early-stage startups.


Syracuse Innovation Tour + Lunch (invitation only)
Walking tour of some of Syracuse’s innovation hot spots.


Lunch + Networking @ WCNY


The New York Business Plan Competition Grand Prize Finals
The NYBPC Grand Prize Finals: the top 6 teams from our statewide entrepreneurship competition will compete for the Grand Prize.


High Growth Startup Showcase

3-minute pitches from over a dozen seed-stage startups raising $500k-$2M, primarily SaaS companies, from across New York. Pitches will be followed by networking with early stage investors.


Open Networking 


Conversation with Seth Levine and Elizabeth MacBride
Meet the authors of The New Builders: Face to Face with the True Future of Business, presented by Grasshopper Bank.

Moderated by Noa Simons and Jeremy Shure.


NYBPC Prize Awards
Grand Prize + special prizes awarded to NYBPC teams. A total of $50,000 in cash prizes will be awarded!


Venture NY Reception + Networking


3-minute pitches from more than a dozen seed-stage startups raising $500k-$2M, primarily SaaS companies, from across New York. Pitches will be followed by networking with early stage investors.

Criteria for selection:

  • Seed-stage with MVP in market and early revenue
  • SaaS businesses preferred, sector agnostic

Matthew Fisch, FortMesa

FortMesa is a Saas cybersecurity platform that assesses, governs, and orchestrates best in class (according to frameworks such as NIST, CIS, SOC2, CMMC, HIPAA) security programs for your organization.

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Alejandro Crawford, RebelBase, Inc.

With its library of “project builder” modules and dedicated cohort and event functionality, RebelBase powers everything from innovation programs to mentorship and competitions.

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Duff Archie, OffWeGo

OffWeGo transforms needed travel safety behaviors through social connection, comparison of resources, and proven gamification techniques.

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Jay Schiff, Addinex Technologies, Inc.

Addinex Technologies, Inc. is a healthcare company using patented medication management system to reduce the risk of addiction, overdose, and death from prescription medications, including opioids, stimulants, and sedatives.

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Jake Cutler,

A new Fintech platform aimed at equipment resellers to help make their job of quoting finance options faster and easier. Automations, analytics and a connections to a wide variety of finance options for your customers.

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Herbert Dwyer, Empower Equity, Inc.

Empower Equity, Inc. (EMPEQ) provides automated building equipment site surveys, energy audits, proposals, and financing solutions for the engineering and HVAC industries – resulting in more efficient and shorter project and sales cycles and greatly increased gross profit and accuracy.

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Calandra Cruickshank, StateBook International

StateBook International is the premier provider of comprehensive location intelligence. Through our platform and APIs, StateBook provides real-time and historical standardized data at every geography level in the U.S. around workforce, taxes, utility rates, infrastructure, supply chain, wages, quality of life, available incentives, and more.

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Sean De Clercq, Kickfurther

Kickfurther is the premier inventory funding platform that helps growing brands fund faster growth by enabling larger, more cost-effective inventory production.

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PJ Bellomo, P1ston, Inc.

The P1ston supply chain platform makes life easier for both customers and suppliers. Think better communication, better information, and better decisions while eliminating menial and time-consuming spreadsheet and email tasks.

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Yamillet Payano, Sign-Speak, Inc.

Sign-Speak’s mission is to facilitate communication between the Hearing and Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Sign-Speak provides automatic, real-time captioning and ASL to English interpreting services via an online platform and mobile application.

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Sam Eder, Big Wheelbarrow, Inc.

Big Wheelbarrow is supply chain software for the local market. We help grocers work with nearby farms and producers, therefore creating more sustainable cities.

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David Schropfer, SAFE, Inc.

SAFE is a private, convenient alternative to ‘Sign-In with Facebook,’ ‘Sign in with Google,’ and other social sign-in buttons which widely share and sell your personal data.

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Louis Bookoff, Busie

Busie provides the most comprehensive cloud-based charter quoting and booking software on the market. Digitize your entire charter process by offering instant quotes and online bookings directly on your website.

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Christine Tate, Vara Safety

Vara Safety is advancing firearm safety with biometric authentication. Reach 2 by Vara Safety is a handgun safe that provides immediate access to your firearm while keeping it secure. Using an advanced fingerprint sensor, the safe unlocks in 0.3 seconds for authorized users.

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Khadesha Okwudili, Agape

As the #1 relationship wellness app for couples, Agapé makes it easy for you to feel + show love. Agapé is the new way to say, “I love you” that will make + keep billions happy. With just 1 question a day, you can nurture a happy, mindful, beautiful life.

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William Testa, Direct Mail 2020

Located in Rochester, New York, Direct Mail 2020 has a patented process for connecting consumers looking for specific products and services with advertisers of those same products and services, and accumulating related information in a database.

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