Building A Robust Community of Software and Tech Startups In Upstate NY

Welcome to the public site for the HTRLaunchPad Software Startup Accelerator. This is a brief overview of the program to date, now nearing completion of its third year of teaching new entrepreneurs.

First Some Stats:

  • Three years of programs
  • 36 startups to date (May 2015)
  • Over 100 applicant teams
  • Over 100 founding team members
  • Dozens of Mentors from the community
  • Presentations to hundreds of community members

There is momentum at work here. Have all the startup companies survived? No, but a significant number, much higher than average, have. Some have done major pivots, others have moved into community projects and at least one-third have raised early stage funding. Perhaps most important, the program has galvanized the startup model in the Greater Rochester area with the Launchpad methodology being adopted by other programs around the state, in other business categories.

Highly Efficient Use of Funding

The HTRLaunchPad program was made possible by a generous three year grant from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, a Rochester-based foundation dedicated to supporting the arts, Jewish culture and entrepreneurship. This made it possible to offer the program at no charge to those selected from a large and varied pool of applicants. Over 100 entrepreneurs have now been trained in a system proven to create effective business models and teams skilled in implementing them. We are planning the next generation of the HTRLaunchPad Program to build on these success.

Both Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

In both 2013 and 2014 cohorts, the LaunchPad has incorporated a team from an existing successful company in the Rochester region. They were required to work in the same manner as the entrepreneurs. These ‘intrapreneurs’ were tasked by their companies with using the LaunchPad experience to do product and service innovation outside of their normal working environments. This offers another model for extending the LaunchPad model in our community while creating jobs in growth businesses.

The Future

When entrepreneurs are in an environment where they can develop and thrive it benefits the entire community. New ventures that effectively meet market needs strengthen our local economy and can provide new sources of jobs. The methods and teachings in the HTRLaunchPad program enables entrepreneurs to adapt to changing markets—giving us the potential to make our economy more resilient in the face of economic downturns. And by building on the skills and capabilities of community members we can create an environment for a myriad of new ventures.

We are seeking community partners to help shape and accelerate development of the next generation of entrepreneurs and new ventures in Rochester.   For more information on how you can support this initiative, please contact:

Mike Riedlinger of HTR at 585-738-4776 or mike.riedlinger@htr.org