This morning, I went to Kingston for the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation‘s one year anniversary of its Entrepreneurs’ Forum. The center could provide a much-needed resource for existing start-ups and – hopefully – a means of inspiring new ones through networking. Managing Director Les Neumann said the inaugural class of tenants is doing well and fresh interest is being expressed daily from entrepreneurs, startups, and investors from all over the world.
Interestingly, he mentioned Yuzhnoye, the Ukranian aerospace firm, as a likely tenant. That’s the same company that was scheduled to be presenting at The VentureBplan series at about the same time Neumann was speaking. HVCFI (since when does for make it into the acronym?) does have a relationship with RPI, whose incubator puts on the Bplan Series, so I guess it makes sense.
What struck me most, though, was a conversation I had with someone who is retired from IBM. Even after 37 years with the biggest force in the Hudson Valley tech industry, this gentleman said he was never aware of any of the organizations listed on the right which have been involved in trying to spur tech development in the region for much longer than has HVCFI. This speaks to the need for some serious marketing, networking, and overall outreach on this front.
Whether the HVCFI can do this on its own or whether some other piece is needed remains to be seen. One other problem that needs to be addressed: at 38, I’m pretty sure I was the youngest guy in the room. A vital entrepreneurial community needs lots of hungry 20-somethings.
I stuck around to hear presentations from the following HVCFI companies (not all of them startups).:
- Rosenbaum Media Group – PR and multimedia consulting company specializing in Web video.
- SimPlanR – A soon-to-launch time/project management application. I’ll be curious to see how it compares with my favorites, Backpack and Basecamp.
- FileOpen -PDF security/rights management tools for small- and medium-size businesses. This company has been around since ’97 and has a pretty impressive client roster.