Rochester has a storied past of entrepreneurial and social innovation. Notable companies started here include Eastman Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb, Paychex, Constellation Brands, Wegmans, Champion Products, Frontier Communications, Lawyers Coop and Gannett. Yet, hundreds of others that were historically significant were launched in this scenic region alongside the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and Genesee River.
The regional assets are rich. Most importantly, the pool of human capital is deep. The major technology companies attracted generations of world class engineers. Plus, the two major universities – University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology – have attracted and trained leaders in medicine, optics, information technology, computer gaming, music and applied arts.
For centuries, Rochester has been associated with progressive causes. Home to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, it was also the birthplace of religious and creative movements. The area has shown a degree of tolerance and adaptability to change.
The cultural wealth is equivalent to a city much larger in size. The music and art resources include one of the world’s leading photography and film collections at The Eastman House, as well as one of the top music conservatories, the Eastman School of Music. Rochester offers an abundance of creative outlets and entertainment resources that satisfy any sophisticated individual seeking a rich, balanced life.
So, it is no surprise that Rochester is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. And, it is represented by companies in an array of industries. The area is particularly strong in the areas of optics and telecommunications; however, business services and software companies are also well represented.
A New Rochester is forming, built upon the foundations of our predecessors. The entrepreneurial ecosystem consists of meet ups, Startup Weekend, young professional organizations, makers spaces and many more activities. Young and old alike are moving into the city, transforming neighborhoods, opening innovative restaurants and retail establishments. Millenials are tattooing the city logo on their body, openly proud of being a Rochesterian.