Bill Jones, manager of business development at Rochester Institute of Technology's Venture Creations business incubator, won the Magical Mentor award presented by Upstate Venture Connect. Jones was honored during the 2016 Upstate Unleashed Conference Sept. 16.
Jones, who is an expert in business start-ups and clean energy, was recognized for "having a transformative impact on the trajectory of one or more startup companies." At Venture Creations, Jones mentors a number of companies with the primary goal of developing successful businesses that can benefit from RIT's strengths in technology and innovation.
"Bill has an impressive track record of making a significant and positive difference for our start-up companies," said Richard Notargiacomo, Venture Creations director. "Not only does he provide expertise in helping companies define and validate their business models, he does an excellent job in keeping them focused. He takes great pride in his role of helping companies where and when it's needed the most."
Formerly director of Venture Creations, Jones is himself an experienced entrepreneur. He founded and managed FM Technologies, a facilities design and project management company, and has a long history of facilities and project management working with many organizations, including Syracuse University, Catholic University, University of Maryland, Harris RF Communications, Kodak, Xerox and Frontier Communications.
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. Thirty-one companies have graduated from the incubator and together have created 439 jobs.