>>Breaching into the world of business can be a daunting endeavor, especially when pursuing the entrepreneurial route. Trying to tackle and navigate the various demands of this terrain can sometimes seem impossible, but that’s where NextCorps steps in. Comprised of a highly dedicated group of individuals including acclaimed advisors, experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and faithful staff, everyone is devoted to helping create and mold the next generation of global shifting tech companies in Rochester. Eagerly awaiting to help those who are ready to embark upon a technological startup and help change the ever evolving tech frontier, this Rochester based company located within the Sibley Building has the resources and expertise to help your vision come to fruition. Offering a wide array of services, there are programs designed for every step of your startup journey.
Matt Foley is the Director of Startup Incubation and possesses quite the impressive portfolio. In addition to his role here at NextCorps, he also holds vital roles within three other companies. With a bachelor of science in business administration and a concentration on entrepreneurship, Foley always knew that he wanted to one day start his own business. Ignited by the passion that he saw within entrepreneurs and recognizing that same drive within himself, this led him to multiple successful endeavours including serving as a senior qualitative market research consultant at Harris Interactive (now Nielsen), co-founder of PluggedIN, founder and CEO of FocusGroupIt, and more. Having a diversified background, he has had first hand experience with web-based platforms used for securing qualitative feedback online, constructing and overseeing online private communities tailored for mid sized to larger expanding enterprises, and working closely with software startups within the sphere of market research.
As an organization, NextCorps is a not for profit that has been around since the 80’s. Since 2011, they have worked with five hundred technology startups and have strategically sculpted a number of programs that continue to develop with the pace of this forward moving industry. Such programs include, “Business Incubation,” “Luminate,” “Hardware Scaleup,” “MEP,” and more, each of which has its own target audience and focal points. In regards to Incubation, Foley states that, “We serve founders and startups that are trying to build a scalable business that grows outside of just this region.” Having the personal experience of knowing which questions to ask, along with creating effective channels of communication with customers, Foley focuses on assisting with the market research side of their ideas. Often times proving difficult to both efficiently and properly execute due to the gravitational connection and affection that one has for their startup idea, this is where Foley steps in sharing that, “I try to give them different perspectives and also arm them with good questions and ways of going out and talking to their perspective customers to make sure that they are getting good, reliable feedback and data.”
As for entrepreneurs themselves, Foley believes that most of the skill sets needed can be taught and that one simply isn’t just born as one. With that being said however, there are certain qualities that do immensely help and if harnessed are more likely to lead one to success. These key factors are an innate curiosity and persistence. Having that intrinsic motivation to constantly learn more and approach life with the philosophy that we all are students, even outside of a classroom or academic setting helps one to continuously push themselves and learn more. Acquiring new knowledge, broadening your horizons, and trying new things are all vital remedies that ensure that we don’t become set in our ways or accustomed to solely one approach. Coupling this is persistence, which encourages one to keep pushing forward regardless of how many times they have fallen or failed. It’s this level of unwavering endurance that gets one closer to attaining their goals and what sets them apart.
During Foley's own startup journey, he shares that one element he wishes he had that people can experience and engage with at NextCorps is its sense of community. Oftentimes being an overlooked aspect, having that support system and working alongside one’s fellow peers is indispensable. The level of attention and steadfast commitment that is carried out at NextCorps is just one of the many reasons why it as distinguished as it is, as well as with their clients being as successful as they are. Each week they hold a “Founders Round Table” where they get together with their clients and discuss the challenges that they are currently facing and how they can be absolved. Adding this peer to peer element, face to face connection, and genuine level of interest and care for both their wellbeing and their ideas are not only beneficial, but needed. Foley notes that when he was breaking ground on his startup, “I didn’t even knowNextCorps existed and I wish I had.”
Having previously been named “High Tech Rochester” and based in West Henrietta, they underwent a rebrand two years ago after the opening of the Sibley Building, which has become the central hub for entrepreneurship here in Rochester. Serving as a pivotal change within this community and transforming into a fundamental pillar that has centralized the area, NextCorps holds as many events as they can to help continue to invest and build up the scene that has been planted here. In terms of its future, Foley states that it is heavily leaning towards an emphasis on photonics and optics.
Whether you have a startup idea, or don’t have one quite just yet, NextCorps has pooled together numerous resources to help you get your business off the ground and scale it to new heights. With the power of peer groups, coaching with entrepreneurs and advisors, and strategically designed programs, NextCorps is here to help you navigate the challenging elements of running a business.
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