Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations business incubator will soon relocate from its headquarters on John Street in Henrietta to 40 Franklin St., in the heart of Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone. The move, expected to be complete in December, will allow the incubators’ client companies to work in space designed for positive member “collisions” resulting in close and fruitful collaborations. In addition, the move further advances the commitment from university leadership to have a presence in downtown Rochester.
Eleven client companies and three graduate companies will relocate, along with incubator coaches and staff members. The incubator space will be on the second, third, and fourth floors of the building, which also houses RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship on the first floor.
“Rochester has always been synonymous with innovative new companies,” said Ryne Raffaelle, RIT’s vice president for research. “It makes perfect sense to place RIT’s incubator right in the middle of the Rochester Downtown Innovation Zone.”
Venture Creations was created in 2003 to provide services to incubating companies, facilitating the development and operation of these companies for the purpose of advancing the educational and research missions of RIT through the enhancement of faculty, student, and staff involvement in high technology. It was also created to promote economic development and competitiveness in Monroe County and New York state by encouraging and facilitating the transfer of technology resources to the marketplace. The total number of launched companies now stands at 42, with 559 jobs having been created.
“The Venture Creations team and incubator members are excited to move downtown in further support of the technology and innovation that Rochester is known for,” said Peter Parts, incubator interim director. “We are proud to be able to offer our member companies the very best of both worlds — the opportunity to network and work closely with other start-ups. It is here where they can establish companies and have access to all the other services in this great city, along with the invaluable support that comes with our connection to RIT. This is the building where innovation and cool things happen.”
Venture Creations incubator companies have proven track records of success including in the Grow-NY food innovation and agriculture technology competition, FuzeHub Commercialization Competition, and 76West Clean Energy Competition, among others. Client companies receive advice on growth, marketing, business planning, human resources, legal affairs, and finance and investment strategies. Graduate companies continue to thrive in the marketplace and often return to the incubator to provide advice to current incubator clients.
In addition, Venture Creations offers its client companies quality coaching, professional consulting, and connections with industry professionals, creating an environment where cutting-edge businesses can develop and thrive.
Paula Doyle, chief medical officer of EndoGlow, is looking forward to the new location and the floor plan. EndoGlow, which designs and distributes medical devices that fluoresce under near-infrared imaging to improve patient safety, enhance surgical efficiency, and reduce medical costs, joined Venture Creations in 2017. “We have vendors and partners downtown and this will make interactions with them easier,” said Doyle. “I love the way the floor plan has open spaces, hard offices, and soft offices. And, I’m really looking forward to collaborating with more of the start-up companies. It’s a great building.”