Event Recap – Accelerate Hudson Valley

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, Upstate Capital partnered with Think Dutchess to host Accelerate Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie, NY. This event featured conversations with local real estate investors building places to foster innovation, pitches from investor-ready startups raising capital, along with insights from investors, business leaders, and professionals supporting the innovation economy.

The day began with a keynote presentation from Geraldine Laybourne, Media Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of DAY ONE Early Learning Community.

Following the keynote conversation, registrants were invited to take a walking tour of the transformative businesses in the area and have lunch at the Academy Food Hall. The tour included Uncharted, MASS Design Group and The Academy, with a representative at each stop providing insight into the company and their local projects.

Those in attendance were invited to partake in roundtable discussions facilitated by Hudson Valley industry experts. Dr. Annette Graham, Dean of the School of Business and Management Studies at the Culinary Institute of America, and Brandon Walker, Executive Chef and Owner of Essie’s Restaurant led the discussion for entrepreneurs working on business plans for food-based startup companies. Noa Simons, Upstate Capital President, and CEO, hosted a separate roundtable discussion about Funding Fundamentals for anyone looking to learn the basics about obtaining funding for their company.

The day continued with 8 high-growth startups pitching to an investor panel including Leon Greene, Managing Partner at the Hudson Valley Startup Fund; Debi Jantzen, Senior Associate at Decisive Point; and Marcia Mitchell, Director at New York Ventures.

The day’s final panel, Placemaking and Entrepreneurship, brought together business leaders with firsthand experience building and investing in the local community. This panel featured Eric Baxter, Vice President of Baxter; Joseph T. Kirchoff, Principal, and CEO of Kirchoff Companies; Jacob Reckess, President of PAZ Management; and Lynne M. Ward, Executive Vice President of Natural Resources.

The event concluded with networking among the attendees. 

Click here to see all event photos.

For more information on annual sponsorship opportunities, please contact Upstate Capital’s President and CEO, Noa Simons at