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Rochester, NY /

Rochester Tech Startups: Year in Review

Student Innovation Hall Rochester Institute of Technology 1 Lomb Memorial Drive , Rochester, NY 14623 (map)

With the end of the year approaching it seemed like a good time to look back and reflect. This event will be about sharing feedback/comments/criticisms/ideas for the group and for the local tech/startup scene.

The past year has been great, but lets all figure out how we can make next year bigger and better! If you're a regular attendee, come share your thoughts about what the group has done. If you're a first timer, come meet people, and bring your fresh perspective.

If you'd like to contribute to the group, or start something new to help grow the Rochester tech community in the new year, come share your ideas and find collaborators!


  1. Avatar_default_60
    David Feligno wrote on December 19, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Had a great time meeting everyone, hope you enjoy the iOS 6 Development books (whomever took them). Looking forward to the next meeting. If anyone does want to get in touch, please use the email. Thanks to those who organized this, 2013 looks like an exciting and promising year. 


    David Feligno


    DJF Partners, LLC 

  2. Terranb_-_pic
    Terran Birrell wrote on December 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out last night to help us shape the next year of Tech Startups. Also thanks to Jim Bullock who helped run the meeting. If you missed the meeting and have some thoughts, or you would like to chime in on something we talked about, please do so below. Lets continue the discussion!

    NextPlex and after the event

    Bob Ertischeck came right out and told us we should have tighter integration with NextPlex, especially for after the event interaction (hence this post). Other people were more general and suggested that we just need SOMEWHERE to act as a central hub to capture content created during and after the meeting. There was also some mention of people wanting a better way to follow up with people after the meeting even if they don’t quite remember names, so make sure you let everyone know you’re coming over on the right, and fill out your profiles so people can find you (unless you’re a hermit)!

    Pitch Nights

    Pitch nights seemed to be something people have really enjoyed. Ben Munson suggested that we might consider other types of pitches like sales pitch practice. If you’d like to do a pitch, let us know!

    Breakout sessions

    Another popular idea was to break into smaller groups to work on various things. This is essentially what we did last night, so if we could apply the same process to other tasks it could be really powerful. One important part of this seems to be having deliverables to keep people on task, and then report back to the rest of the group.

    • Some people suggested that they could be a good way to help people work on their pitches by breaking into small teams.
    • Someone else mentioned the idea of picking a few topics, then breaking into small groups to discuss as a way to get people to know each other better with an activity that’s more structured than Startup Drinks, but less structured than our speaker based events.
    • Another idea was to have people “pitch” a problem they’re having then vote and form groups to discuss and work on that problem.


    The idea of templates came up a few times. First as a way to help people give better pitches on pitch nights. Oscar Latek also suggested the idea of making intro’s at the beginning of the night more regimented. Something like: Name, what you need, and what you can offer.

    Speaker based meetings

    “how I did it” / “lessons learned” story based speakers seemed to be pretty popular. Events based on a specific topic seemed to get mixed reviews. We had a limited sample last night, so what do you think?

    Office hours

    Jim brought up the idea of office hours which they do in Seattle (and all over) where someone with some sort of expertise sets a time and place where they’re willing to answer questions and help people out. Beyond the satisfaction of helping out, people who hold office hours have the potential to make connections and it gets their name out as experts in whatever they’re holding office hours on. Setting this up is something we could use help with. Do you have some expertise you’re willing to hold office hours on? Can you help us find experts who would be up for holding office hours on something that would be of interest to the community?

    Specific topics and offers

    We also got a number of ideas for specific things people would like to learn about, and some offers of things people could teach:

    • Jon Schull offered to to do a lessons learned talk based on his experience starting a company that went public
    • Mitch Lairmore offered to do a talk on grants
    • Griffin Jones offered to talk about regulatory compliance
    • Oskar may not have offered, but I made a note that he could do a talk on sales
    • Some people wanted to learn about the process of applying and being part of an incubator or accelerator (I’m looking at you Oscar)
    • Jim offered to hold office hours on scaling and lining up tech with the stage your business is at.
    • Joe Eckstein wants to learn about debt/financial management and bootstrapping in startups

    If I missed your offer or idea, I’m sorry! Please post it here. Any other offers or ideas out there?

    Your thoughts?

    If you were there, was there a comment that struck you that I missed here or anything you’d like to add? If you couldn’t make it, what are your thoughts on what we discussed, or what would you add?

    We need help!

    There are a ton of great ideas here, and we can’t do them all alone. If you’re willing to chip in please let us know! It doesn’t have to be a big commitment. If you have an idea of something you’d like to do we’ll help in any way we can. If you don’t have an idea, but want to do something just post here or email and we’ll figure something out.

    Thank you all and happy holidays!!!

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    Ray Leone wrote on December 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    It sounds like I missed out last night, but year end is a busy time for my current day job.

    As I pursue a Startup I think some perspective and insight would be useful on other's experiences, successes and failure getting to their target market.  I'm currently evaluating concepts in the consumer market space, one brand niche based, and one life event based.  Both have some obvious channels available to make contact with the relevant market, but as I try to figure out more creative and effective ways to do that, I would love to hear directly what others have done.

    The same would be helpful on some of the more common aspects of a Startup, like picking an attorney, picking a CPA, finding space, hiring vs equity share, website hosting for scale, etc.  There are a ton of areas that would be helpful, so I think it will ultimately come down to how many people are willing to share and how much detail their willing to provide.

    Thanks for continuing to drive the Startup agenda.

    Best regards,


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