Kevin Siskar grew up in Buffalo Niagara, graduating from Williamsville North and University at Buffalo. Now living in New York City, he is the managing director of The Founder Institute and a venture partner at Outbound Ventures. In this Q&A he speaks to his shared insider/outside point of view on Buffalo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and the DNA of founders in general.
Guest blog by Rachel Stern, Invest Buffalo Niagara Intern, University at Buffalo WNY Prosperity Fellow
Investors frequently say “it’s not the idea, it’s the team.” That phrase certainly holds true at events like Buffalo Startup Weekend, which helped kick off 43North Week. Participants can give a 60-second pitch of an idea they have, everyone votes for three favorites, and teams are formed around which top idea they can contribute to the most. The teams with the greatest success – whether at a 54-hour marathon weekend, competitions like 43North, or at established companies – are those with a diverse range of expertise. Startup Weekend gives participants the opportunity to work with new people, expand their networks, and make lasting connections.
Just a one year after Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Tour rolled through Buffalo, we are proud to be participating in a Steve Case-supported Village Capital (VilCap) accelerator program - sponsored by Rise of the Rest, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Sorenson Impact Center — which will help biomedical companies in Western New York.