Silicon Valley entrepreneur creates fund to support area’s ‘best and brightest’
Martin Babinec grew up in the Mohawk Valley, but sought his future elsewhere. Far from the Mohawk Valley. He found that future in the San Francisco Bay area.
“Little did I know my proximity near Silicon Valley would prove to be life-changing,” Babinec said.
That location made all the difference for Babinec when he founded TriNet, a company providing businesses with HR solutions so they can focus on their goals and not human resources complexities.
He had the support, mentorship and resources of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and creative and innovative influencers.
In 1999, he returned to his hometown in Little Falls attracted to the high quality of life and proximity to family.
“The price I paid for that was 11 years of cross-country commuting while I still ran my company, and throughout that period I spent a lot of time thinking about my two worlds – upstate New York and Silicon Valley,” Babinec said. “Upstate New York has a history of high-growth entrepreneurship. In an early era there were companies who were leaders in innovation and job creation that shaped several generations.”
That history combined with the region’s high concentration of exemplary colleges and universities laid the foundation for Babinec to begin development for Upstate Venture Connect, where he connects entrepreneurs with investment opportunities. That same idea sparked the creation of Babinec’s fund at The Foundation.
Babinec will use the High Growth Entrepreneurship Fund to support initiatives that encourage and retain the area’s creative class.
“My concern is that upstate has too few jobs in new industry where some of our best and brightest want to work,” he said. “When they don’t see those opportunities here, they leave. With this fund, I’ll invest in initiatives that create companies and jobs to retain our best and brightest in new industries.”