VERONA — The first-ever Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards ceremony is Oct. 9 at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
The luncheon will salute leaders in upstate’s growing technology and startup hub. Upstate Venture Connect, a nonprofit focused on supporting and connecting startups across upstate New York, and the Upstate Venture Association of New York are organizing the event that starts at 11 a.m. An independent panel of judges will review more than 100 nominations and determine the finalists. The awards program features entrepreneur and Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman. Categories include:
-- Community Catalyst Award – For individuals who organize programs to bring together diverse startup ecosystem players in a local community and/or increase the amount of capital and number of active early stage investors in that community.
-- Campus Connector Award – For individuals affiliated with an educational institution (could be an administrator, student, alumnus or faculty member) who are leveraging on and off-campus resources and connections to spinout research startups and/or create opportunities to retain entrepreneurial students.
-- Magical Mentor Award – For individuals who have had a transformative impact on the trajectory of one or more startup companies.
-- Deal of the Year Award – For a company whose exit created wealth for investors and founders/employees, as well as making the company a stronger contributor to the local economy.
-- Ecosystem Champion Award – For individuals who are catalyzing and supporting startup activity across multiple Upstate communities.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available at 2015UpstateAwards.Eventbrite.com.