Nine startup companies from around the globe are in Syracuse working to get their ventures off the ground. They were chosen out of more than 300 companies to be a part of the first StartFast Venture Accelerator Program. They will get money, workspace and advice on how to succeed. But as our Katie Gibas reports, time is ticking to kick start their business.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It can be a tough life for entrepreneurs, just ask Hagar Romach and Amir Cohen, who came from Israel to Syracuse to pursue their dreams for their company Cayo-Tech.
"We both have families. I have two daughters, miss them a lot, but it turns out that when you're deciding to be an entrepreneur, you have to jump into the water and take risks. And this is one of them," said Hagar Romach, a Cayo-Tech founder.
But that risk comes with some financial support and technical expertise. Romach and Cohen's company is one of nine from across the globe selected to be a part of StartFast. StartFast helps get entrepreneurs ideas off the ground by giving them workspace, money and access to dozens of mentors.
"The next boom in economic growth is going to be led not by big companies, but by small nimble startups. Those startups are the wealth creators of tomorrow and they have shown how they can transform cities like Austin, like Boulder," said Nasir Ali, a StartFast Managing Director.
Chuck Stormon, another StartFast Managing Director, added, "It represents the opportunity for job creation in Syracuse. But even the companies that don't stay are bringing economic activity to the region. And we're making Syracuse a cooler place for startups to want to relocate even if they're not part of the StartFast Accelerator."
Business owners have 100 days from the start of the program until Demo Day when they will present their product and company to a group of investors.
"Management of this program has a lot of benefit that can help us get in touch with the right people, the right mentors, the right accelerators, the right investors that we wouldn't be able to reach on our own," said Romach.
Mike Wehrhahn, a RevoPT Founder, added, "StartFast is everything. We're first time entrepreneurs. And we hear all the time, 'You fail before you succeed,’ but I think that we're going to be different because of StartFast. We’re getting guidance that we can't get anywhere else and that's going to be invaluable to us."
And with August 16th as Demo Day, the clock is ticking and entrepreneurs are already hard at work.
StartFast is made possible by several sponsors and private angel investors who will get a small stake in the venture if the business succeeds. The managing directors have committed StartFast for another three years to help make entrepreneurs ideas realities.