The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF), the premier network of private, public and non-profit organizations committed to investment in local entrepreneurs, is pleased to join Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Rochester (UR) today in announcing the selection of Rochester as the host city for the 2006 NASVF Conference.
GRE, RIT and UR will co-host the conference, which is scheduled to take place next Sept. 20-22, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Rochester.
The NASVF Conference attracts approximately 300 to 350 of the top national and international investment and development leaders; representatives from venture capital and seed funds; technology commercialization organizations; and legal and financial firms, among others.
"This is a wonderful honor for the Rochester Region — past host cities have included Baltimore, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia," said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. "We in Rochester are proud to be chosen as the host city for what is sure to be an important event not only for our venture-capital and angel-investment partners, but for the entire business community as well."
Sue Strommer, CEO of NASVF, said her organization selected Rochester for a number of reasons, including a history of innovation, an exceptional entrepreneurial talent base, active seed and venture funds, and a robust international economy.
"While Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb drove the region's economic engine over the past century, it is new startup companies, technological innovation at local universities and strong educational assets that predominate now," Strommer said.
"Rochester is also home to several incubators and organizations that act as incubators, including the RIT High Technology Incubator; the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center; RENEW NY; Infotonics Technology Center in Canandaigua; Cornell Ag & Food Tech Park in Geneva; and the Batavia Industrial Center — one of the oldest business incubators in the country," she added. "It's very clear Rochester's entrepreneurial spirit shines."
RIT and UR, co-hosts of the 2006 event along with GRE, have worked hard over the past several years to encourage entrepreneurship in the Rochester Region. The RIT High Technology Incubator was created in 2001 and is now home to five startup companies and two student-owned ventures. Meanwhile, the University of Rochester has created some 10 spinoff companies, including Vaccinex, VirtualScopics and Koning, which recently received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a next-generation scanner for the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
"The 2006 NASVF Conference holds tremendous promise for our region," said Dr. Albert Simone, President of RIT. "The prospect of some 300 to 350 of the top national and international venture capitalists and seed investors visiting Rochester next year is an incredible opportunity that cannot — and will not — be wasted. It's an opportunity for further commercialization of university-based research; an opportunity for university spinoffs and startups to access additional funding; and an opportunity for established small and midsize firms to meet potential investors who can help their businesses grow."
Joel Seligman, UR President, said the University is proud to co-host the 2006 NASVF Conference with GRE and RIT.
"The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep at the University of Rochester, which was one of only eight institutions nationwide to be named Kauffman Foundation campuses and which is making entrepreneurship education an integral ingredient of academic activity here. Any project that seeks to improve community collaboration, enhance economic development, and promote the commercialization of university research — which the NASVF project clearly does — deserves the University's consideration and support," Seligman said. "The University and the community as a whole have much to gain from next year's NASVF Conference, and we are proud to play our part in bringing the event here and ensuring its future success."
The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds is an organization of private, public and nonprofit organizations committed to building their local economies by investing and facilitating investment in local entrepreneurs. The primary focus of NASVF is on innovation capital — the funding, knowledge, relationships and influence needed to develop and commercialize innovative technologies and ventures.
Founded in 1829, RIT is an internationally recognized leader in professional and career-oriented education enrolling more than 15,300 students in eight colleges. RIT's vision is to lead higher education in preparing students for successful careers in a global society.
The University of Rochester is one of the nation's leading private universities. One of the most collegiate in character among members of the Association of American Universities, UR has a personal scale that creates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close work with faculty. The University consistently ranks among the top colleges and universities nationwide in federally financed science, engineering, medical, and other research.
Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) is a public-private partnership established to professionally market the Rochester metropolitan region as a competitive, high-profile place for business location and growth. Its efforts support business attraction and expansion, as well as entrepreneurship and innovation. GRE collaborates with businesses, universities, not-for-profit organizations and government leaders to ensure a unified approach to regional economic development. For more information, please go to www.RochesterBiz.com.
For additional information contact:
Staci Henning, Director, Marketing and Public Relations
Greater Rochester Enterprise
Megan Connor Murphy, PR Manager
Dixon Schwabl Advertising