Eight startup companies from around the world came to Syracuse to get their ventures off the ground. The teams were chosen from more than 300 applicants to be a part of the first StartFast Venture Accelerator Program in Central New York. And all their work came to fruition earlier this week with their demo day. Our Katie Gibas tells us how some of the ventures fared.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's been a wild ride for eight startup companies who have called Syracuse home for the last several months.
"It was definitely a lifetime experience that I will always remember," said Jordan Lester, the Streamspec CEO and Co-Founder.
Jordan Lester is one of a dozen entrepreneurs who spent the summer in Syracuse as part of the first ever StartFast Venture Accelerator Program. Eight startup companies were chosen out of more than 300 to receive money, office space and mentorship to help get their businesses off the ground.
"It's been an incredible roller coaster. There have been a lot of ups and downs and interesting curves thrown. But all in all, everything came out way beyond our highest expectations," said Chuck Stormon, a StartFast Managing Director.
Their work came to fruition earlier this week at their demo day where more than 100 investors came to hear the company’s proposals and possibly fund the next stage of these ventures. All eight of the startups received follow up meetings with investors.
"Investors deal with thousands of business plans and thousands of emails every day, and just having a bunch of investors in one room at the same time was definitely a huge benefit to us," said Lester.
Nasir Ali, a StartFast Managing Director, added, "We had a number of people who came up to us and said, 'We've seen programs like these in LA. We've seen programs like these in New York and other places and this is every bit as good an in many cases better than what we've seen in other locations.'"
All the entrepreneurs and investors are excited about what StartFast could mean for the entrepreneurial future of the region.
"It looks as though to me that all the funding could come all from upstate. And if that's the case for these entrepreneurs, that creates a magnetic attraction for them to locate their businesses here. It also creates a positive story that they can take out into the world with them and tell other entrepreneurs, 'Hey, this really worked for me. This was really amazing. You should really consider spending your next summer in Syracuse,'" said Stormon.
And more entrepreneurs will get that opportunity. StartFast is committed to Syracuse for the next three years.
The StartFast Venture Accelerator Program will begin accepting applications for next year in September.
For information on how to apply, visit startfast.net.