Bridging the gap between startups and manufacturers key to boosting Rochester’s innovation economy

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest editorial by Mike Riedlinger. Riedlinger is the Managing Director, Technology Commercialization & Scale For ClimateTech for NextCorps.

Originally published in the Rochester Business Journal | September 26, 2023


Rochester was built on innovation. We’ve always been home to people with big ideas – from entrepreneurs tinkering in their basement workshops to researchers at university labs. From legacy innovators like Kodak and Bausch + Lomb to the next generation of startups, like lithium-ion battery company Cellec Technologies, we are a region teeming with creative solutions. But for all our region’s successes, there are great ideas which never get past the proof-of-concept stage.

The key to unlocking the future potential of our innovation economy rests on effective partnerships — ones that help innovators bridge the gap from prototype to production. Too often, entrepreneurs of all types lack the language of manufacturing required to take the next step to produce their products at scale.

Since opening the doors at NextCorps — home of Rochester’s regional New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) center — we’ve heard from our partners in the field about these areas of friction between manufacturers and startups that lead to miscommunication, increased costs, and waste… continue reading


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