We had two stories this week about the effort to jump start the high-tech entrepreneurial instincts of this region. It's worth recounting what this is all about.
The opening of the Z80 Labs on Monday was a concrete action backed by two of the region's top venture capitalists. The labs, on the first floor of the Buffalo News building (but not affiliated with the News), has resources and expertise to help people with high-tech business ideas. Jordan Levy and Ron Schreiber, Buffalo's VC stars and leaders of Softbank Capital, have moved their offices into the labs and are there to help the smart talent. That's a real commitment to make change.
The next day, Fred Wilson, one of the nation's rock star high-tech venture capitalists, appeared for a one-hour interview and Q&A session at the Burchfield Penney art gallery. He outlined the role VC's play in starting companies - and keeping them runnning when necessary. He also had some very engouraging things to say about Buffalo's potential to get its high-tech engine running. Fred is one of the most influential VC bloggers on the planet, and his posts are of interest to all in any business.
The folks running Z80 Labs are bringing in more speakers to keep people here in the loop about how this process works and how it is going on in cities all over the nation.
In a town where it is almost a reflex to complain about how things never change, these are efforts backed by real talent and real money to change all that.
The Z80 Labs folks made a video explaining their efforts.