The second annual 2017 Upstate Venture CEO Survey paints a picture of scalable firms across Upstate New York that are substantially nurturing and growing the region’s middle class. Still, these businesses, which focus on national and global markets, need access to capital and talent.

Survey results show that such firms are:

  •  Diverse and based all across Upstate NY
  •  Pay employees more than Upstate norms
  •  Hiring more college graduates than firms with a local market focus
  •  Receive support from private and public funding sources
  •  In need of lots of college educated employees to achieve their growth objectives

The survey found that these companies are missing out on opportunities to recruit the region’s college graduates, and need significant investment capital to achieve their growth plans. It recommends a couple of ways in which state policymakers can support and leverage the success of these companies such as doing a better job of connecting  graduating seniors to opportunities that are just around the corner through a concerted, region-wide effort. Programs that train recent college graduates for transition into a fast-paced startup environment will also help to retain the best and brightest minds in the region, the report suggests.

The availability of early stage investment capital scale through an increase in the number and activity of angel and seed investments is a necessary precondition for the emergence of large, fast growing companies in our region. While the survey points to existing programs, it notes that policymakers can do more to bridge the gap such as publicizing and processing tax credits; investing public resources in building a region-wide platform linking accredited investors and angel/seed funds for improved investor visibility and recognition of successes.

The 2017 Upstate Venture CEO Survey is aimed at evaluating the economic impact and future growth needs of Upstate New York’s emerging business leaders. John Zogby Strategies administered the 2017 survey and analyzed respondent data for Upstate Venture Connect. Read more here.