Rev: Ithaca Startup Works hosted the April iteration of its monthly networking night on April 25, with the theme “Ithaca is Startups.” A packed house of entrepreneurs, investors, student clubs, and friends in the business community enjoyed catered food and beverages from Greenstar while networking at our Startup Career Fair.
Presentations began with opening remarks by Jennifer Tavares of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. Tavares noted several current projects and efforts the Chamber is making to further strengthen workforce recruitment and support employee relocation for area
companies. She then introduced three Rev members who chose to move to Ithaca, NY to start their companies and join our robust entrepreneurial ecosystem:
Neil Sharma, Solarkal
Sharma is the COO of Solarkal, a solar energy broker that connects small and medium sized businesses to solar power providers across the country. After winning the 76West Clean Energy Competition, they chose to move a portion of their company to the Southern Tier and they needed to pick a specific location to set up shop. Sharma shared that the company chose Ithaca, NY for several reasons—first, for the mentorship offered at Rev. So far, Sharma and Solarkal have benefitted substantially from Rev’s staff, who give valuable advice and offer connections with potential clients. Another major reason was the community. Sharma shared that the local infrastructure of startups, incubators, universities, and talent was a boon to the Solarkal team.
Becky Lane, VisionLab 360
VisionLab 360 is a cinematic media production company that specializes in immersive tech, creating both virtual reality and augmented reality content. When Lane founded VisionLab360 in 2017, she was excited to work in a centrally located city in the northeast from which she could travel to Philadelphia, New York City, or Toronto for a shoot and still return home in a reasonable amount of time. Like Sharma, Lane also appreciated the local community and the network of universities and startup resources in Tompkins County.
Zackary Downy, Ursa Space Systems
Downy, Ursa’s lead data scientist, also raved about Rev’s network and mentorship opportunities. Ursa Space Systems is a satellite radar imaging company that gathers data to help commodity traders and other types of clients make more informed decisions. This highly technical work sometimes requires employees with specific expertise, which the Southern Tier provides with its plethora of colleges and universities.