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New nonprofit venture fund aims to boost Rochester area businesses

Zack Seward/Innovation Trail

The brand new Venture Jobs Foundation is just like any other charity.

"This one just happens to be providing early stage capital," says Denny DeLeo, the foundation's president and director.

The goal is to invest in small businesses that can spark "community renewal" in the greater Rochester area.

"We either will be investing in businesses that can locate in neighborhoods that have been in decline," DeLeo says, "or businesses that can provide job opportunities for lower income groups."

According to DeLeo, the foundation is a nationwide first: A nonprofit venture fund designed solely to foster job growth.


For more on this story, and others from the Innovation Trail, visit their website.

The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between five upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of upstate New York's economy.

Zack Seward had only a few weeks to catch his breath between graduating with a master's in journalism from Columbia University and becoming the first reporter hired for the Innovation Trail.