By: Dan Cummings | WSYR News Channel 9, LocalSYR.com
If Babinec’s apparent write-in victory on primary night holds up, he will be in a three-way race against Republican-Conservative Claudia Tenney and Democrat Kim Myers in November.
Babinec, an entrepreneur from Little Falls, discusses his platform for job creation and why he chose to seek the Congressional seat this year.
Question: How can you as a Congressman translate your success as an entrepreneur to help make a difference in Washington?
After I moved back in 1999 I spent 10 years commuting back and forth between Upstate New York and Silicon Valley to run my company. During those plane flights I kept thinking of all the assets we have in Upstate, including a lot of really smart people. People who have gone elsewhere to start companies that are now global brands, and yet if they started them here things would look a lot different – we would have a lot more job opportunities. So during that 10-year commute I thought what could I as one person do to change this dynamic. Again, we have the assets, we have the smart people, a great educational system and a high quality of life. We have close proximity to the capital markets in NYC and a lot of relationship with the people in NYC. We have more than $12 billion a year in research being done, both academically and in commercial companies. Those are all assets that should be powering lots of new companies in these new industries, and yet on the scale of venture capital, a key metric for where tomorrow’s jobs are going to be located, we’re really not doing that well as we should be in Upstate New York for those assets. So what I did in 2010 when I stopped commuting is start a nonprofit called Upstate Venture Connect, and for the last six years this is where I’ve spent my energy, as a volunteer, solving the problem of how to connect first time entrepreneurs, who don’t have a lot of relationships. And because they are doing something that is very specialized, there might be the perfect resource in the next community over that could make the difference in their business, but right now it’s too hard for them to find it.
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