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Reflecting on 2017 Successes

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.

– Margaret J. Wheatley

The first two months of 2018 have flown by at Rev and though we are well into this new year, we still wanted to take a moment and reflect on the past year. 2017 marked the fourth anniversary of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works’ founding, and throughout the year we made great strides in our core mission: providing resources for startup businesses as they create jobs and foster economic development in Ithaca and the surrounding communities.

Events, Networking, and Workshops

Last year, Rev continued to act as a physical home for the Southern Tier’s entire startup community, hosting dozens of events in our state-of-the art incubator space and providing educational and networking resources to members, students from our three higher-ed institutions, and individuals in the region who are simply interested in entrepreneurism. These events included monthly networking nights, workshops with our mentors and industry experts, roundtables, and symposiums with local leaders. In total, Rev catered to over 2,100 participants at events last year.

Rev’s Hardware Accelerator

Under the leadership of Ken Rother, the Director of the Rev Hardware Accelerator, and Xanthe Matychak, the Assistant Director, we also welcomed eight new entrepreneurial teams as they took their product ideas and transformed them into physical prototypes this past summer during our Hardware Accelerator. With a focused curriculum, workshops with industry leaders, and plenty of hands-on experimenting with the cutting-edge tools found in our prototyping lab space, they translated their ideas into real products. Note: we are actively reviewing applications for this year’s hardware accelerator so please encourage those who might benefit to apply.

Member Companies: Job Creation

A key part of Rev’s mission is to support its member companies, through mentorship, introductions to partners and investors, events, and educational workshops. With these efforts, we are proud to report that Rev member companies continued to grow and thrive last year. Our members created 92 new, high-quality jobs, including 76 in Ithaca, contributing to the economic development of the region. The 2017 job additions grew the total number of employees at Rev member companies to 210.

Member Companies: Revenues and Capital

The growth of our members was also reflected in revenues—Rev member companies generated $8.2 million in revenues in 2017, $7.8 million of which was earned in Ithaca.

As Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) at Rev, Ken Rother, Brian Bauer, and Brad Treat provide ongoing guidance around structuring financial deals, as well as strategies for attracting key growth capital.  Many members leveraged support and advice from our EIRs and we proud to share that Rev member companies raised more than $21 million in capital in 2017, financing that will allow them to continue to grow and hire new workers this year.

Overall Membership

In 2017, we continued to support more than thirty companies focused on a variety of industries, in various stages of their

startup journey. We gained several new members and had several members move on to other projects or grow beyond their “startup” phase. 2018 has already seen its first new member—welcome Orthofit.

“We saw continued expansion at Rev last year, as we added new members and created new programming and support for both member and non-member firms,” said Tom Schryver, Rev’s Executive Director. “In turn, our member companies continued to raise capital, grow, and invest in hiring new workers, facilitating the kind of economic development that we are dedicated to promoting in the Southern Tier and across Upstate New York.”