East Hill Notes: On Rev - growth, jobs, success story


One of the more fluid websites in Cornell University’s online universe is “Economic Impact and Entrepreneurship” at economicimpact.cornell.edu, featuring my unit’s annual local economic impact snapshot (economicimpact.cornell.edu/local/) and an overview of our operation (communityrelations.cornell.edu).

Also prominent on this site is this ever-evolving story of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, revithaca.com, a business incubator and workspace located in downtown Ithaca.

Rev was created by a partnership between Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College, when the campus presidents realized the community needed a resource for new and growing businesses open to all and would offer support to student-founded startups after graduation.

Rev’s mission is to focus on companies that have the potential to create new jobs, and mentorship is “field-agnostic,” i.e., Rev has incubated successful startups, from apps to food.

Of note from the “Impact and Entrepreneurship” page:
In 2019, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works celebrated its sixth anniversary and continued to make good on its core mission of positively impacting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ithaca and the surrounding region by providing new and growing businesses with mentorship, workspace and startup resources.

“Our membership is growing, because Ithaca is a great place to start a business – the region has a wealth of educated and skilled talent and every day, new funding resources become available,” said Ken Rother, director of Rev and the Rev Hardware Accelerator. “We’re excited to support the entrepreneurial community and provide startups with the guidance and tools needed to be successful.”

This success is reflected in these numbers 2019: $20.1 million in revenue generated; $21 million in capital raised to continue expansion, scale-up production and hiring of more employees in 2020; and 136 high-quality jobs created, leading to a total of 282 employees at Rev member companies.

In the past year, Bloomberg listed Ithaca as number six in “America’s New Top Tech Hubs.” Recent research briefs from the Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) at Cornell University support this claim.

According to CREA’s research analysis, among metro areas in upstate New York, Ithaca had the highest concentration of federal grants awarded to STEM startups and small businesses in 2018.

CREA also found that the Southern Tier saw $1,674 per capita in higher education research and development expenditures in 2017, greater than any other region in New York state and a 34% increase from 2010.
Cornell University leads the state in R&D expenditures ($985 million in 2017), particularly in computer and information sciences, life sciences, physical sciences and social sciences expenditures.

In short, another set of great success stories from Ithaca and Tompkins County.

East Hill Notes are published the first and third Wednesdays of each month in Tompkins Weekly. Gary Stewart is associate vice president of Cornell Community Relations.


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