Finally, We Have Reached Our Nexus!

East I-90 Rochester Sign

Small business travelers and fellow resource partners, welcome to the official blog spot for Nexus i90 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Solutions! Nexus i90 is your on-ramp to the digital highway, connecting a host of small business resources across the Finger Lakes Region. Powered by SourceLink®, the platform was launched to make support resources more accessible and easier to use so small businesses in our community can enjoy equitable growth and inclusiveness as Rochester ventures along the road to economic recovery.

What’s in a Name?

Everything! The naming of a thing can speak to where it has historically been, where it currently is, or where it aspires to be. These solutions have been so named because Rochester is literally the nexus (i.e., at the center; the connecting point) of Buffalo and Syracuse along Interstate 90—the longest interstate in the nation. This positioning presents tremendous economic development opportunities for small businesses seeking to launch, sustain, expand, and matter to the multicultural communities that make up these regions. It is in this spirit that we endeavor to be a catalyst for sustainable community-based economic development and inter-municipal policy alignment.

How we Do Things ’Round Here

Fueled by deep levels of collaboration between the City of Rochester – Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building, Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, Rochester Economic Development Corporation, and the Business Insight Center at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, our work across the Finger Lakes is driven by our Guiding Principles.

Small Businesses for the Win

Nexus i90 is publicly available to entrepreneurs/small businesses, resource partners, and the diverse community stakeholders vested in the viability and success of “the underdog” (i.e., small businesses). We hope you all will take advantage of this phenomenal suite of solutions, including:

  • A Resource Navigator,
  • An Events Calendar,
  • A Blog,
  • A Hotline (soon),
  • Tons of information about starting, growing, and funding small businesses,
  • And a data system for tracking and measuring the success of our network.

Resources that help businesses build better business models, determine which activities increase their return on investment, put them on the map, and help them navigate government contracting are but a few examples of the many supports provided by our network. You can see a more impressive list on our About page.

A Little Network Lingo

Borrowing a few words from our friends at SourceLink®:

A Resource Partner is typically a nonprofit, government or educational organization that offers a service to help someone start or grow a business. These organizations provide value for all different kinds of entrepreneurs, typically for low or no cost.

Frequently, Resource Partners include some for-profit organizations such as incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces and equity providers. 

Typically, the network does NOT include for profit resources such as bankers, accountants, lawyers, insurance agents, [and] management consultants. While these resources are an important part of an overall entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially for high-growth companies, they are difficult to “vet” and are perhaps not in line with the low cost/no cost message.

Keeping us Community Centered

Check back with us from time-to-time for future posts. As we get things moving, it is our intent to post regularly. Readers will enjoy insights provided by our regional collaborators, subject matter experts, residential community members, and directly from entrepreneurs/small business owners. We hope to field your requests for blog topics through our Facebook and Twitter pages. Keep in mind we are here to help entrepreneurs, resource partners, small business organizers/advocates, policymakers, and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders navigate the road ahead.

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Dr. Campbell Head Shot Photo
Photo credit: City of Rochester

Lomax is the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building at the City of Rochester. He has 17 years of experience in small business, higher education, and government administration. His expertise includes strategic management, ethnic psychology, urban entrepreneurship, technology innovation, economic and workforce development. He holds a Doctor of Management degree from the University of Maryland Global Campus, an Executive MBA degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a certificate in Leading Economic Growth from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.