Levy to speak on entrepreneurship

Published April 11, 2013

Jordan Levy—venture capitalist, entrepreneur, Synacor board member and co-founder of Buffalo’s Z80 Labs technology incubator—will speak with UB students on April 17, offering his take on why we need to change the way we think to foster entrepreneurship.

The lecture, which will be free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre at the Center for the Arts, North Campus.

The talk is the Keynote Lecture for UB’s Entrepreneurship Academy, one of five Undergraduate Academies that create a sense of community at UB by enabling students with common interests to live together and share meaningful learning experiences throughout their college years.

A UB alumnus, Levy is a general partner at SoftBank Capital NY and managing partner at Seed Capital Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund that he co-founded in 1999. A serial entrepreneur, he is co-founder of Buffalo’s Z80 Labs technology incubator, Software Distribution Services (now known as Ingram Micro) and ClientLogic.

The lecture, titled “Changing the Way We Think,” will focus on the need to create a better climate for entrepreneurship in Western New York.

“People don’t look at business with optimism. They’re cynical,” Levy told the Buffalo News in a Q&A in December 2012.

“We have a culture of kids that graduate from college and they’d rather go to work for the bank than start their own company,” he told the News. “Investors would rather put their money in CDs.”

The Entrepreneurship Academy, led by Yong Li, associate professor in the School of Management, debuted this fall with about 40 undergraduate students. Students in the academy live together, enjoy the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs in Western New York and develop plans for entrepreneurial endeavors.