Syracuse's Progress Towards Becoming a Successful Startup Community, Part 3

This is the final installment of a three part post using Mark Suster’s 12 Tips to measure the progress Syracuse has made towards becoming a startup community. Part One. Part Two.

Recycled Capital We are starting to see entrepreneurs and companies that have been successful in Syracuse reinvesting into up and coming startups. I think UVANY and CVF are great examples of successful entrepreneurs reinvesting in Upstate New York ideas, but so is Terakeet’s recent investment in Credit Card Insider. Although all of Suster’s later points hinge on wins, which we need more of in order to create more capital access, those that are doing well in Central New York are very invested in growing the community.
Second Time Entrepreneurs Again, we need more of the original wins here in order to enlarge our pool of successful entrepreneurs in order to have a pool of second time entrepreneurs. We are developing that pool and, again, they are very motivated to invest not only their capital but their time in Central New York growth. I think we are still in the early phases of developing our startup community and this will grow as our wins grow.
Ability to Attract a Pool of Engineers We have a number of local universities that already attract engineers to the Central New York Region. We are incredibly lucky that getting them here and educated is already done for us by institutions like RIT, Syracuse University, SUNY Binghamton, RPI and SUNY Oswego. We are finding the engineers that are in our high schools and communities, we are educating them, then we are making them leave for other locations because we aren’t enticing them to stay. Our thought process on this needs to be revamped. The majority of students that attend these schools are already from Upstate New York and are continuing their education here. This needs to be a profitable place for them to stay and start their families. Our issues here are not only the lack of overall employment opportunities but the lack of monetary incentive. These engineers are already here. Retention is far more economical than recruitment. We are far ahead of other cities in the opportunity our area provides for this particular point, we are simply not harnessing it well enough.
Tent-Pole Tech Companies Although it could be argued that Lockheed Martin has the potential to act as our tent-pole company, yet another round of layoffs knocks them out of contention. At this point Syracuse is waiting for our major win; the company that gets really big and is able to not only bring attention to Syracuse but provide the support to other companies that will be needed. Any thoughts on who that might be?
James Shomar
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