UCEDA (Ulster County Economic Development Alliance), working right here at the County Offices in Kingston, fosters strong, sustainable, diverse economic opportunities for the communities of Ulster County, by working to promote our region as a premier location for work and play and by helping businesses that are here already build and grow.
In 2014, UCEDA—the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance—had an idea. We, as in those of us already living and working here in Ulster County, already know that there’s a blossoming tech community. Combine that with the amazing quality of life (mountains, fresh air, and locally sourced food and beer, anyone?), the lower cost of living, and the fact that—in today’s day and age—tech and creative companies can do remote business from pretty much anywhere, and it’s basically ideal. (Which is why we’ve made Kingston our home since 2001!)
But Ulster County was still a “hidden gem.” So how could UCEDA attract technology entrepreneurs and developers to our communities? Their answer was the Ulster for Business campaign—and EMN was happy to jump on board with video production services.
The goal: highlight inspirational stories of the tech community and vibrant culture that already here in order to show “techpreneurs” what they could have here in Ulster County.
We started in 2014–2015. Our principal Kale Kaposhilin identified a few candidates that were representative of the common Ulster County story: people who make their home and their business here for the culture and the communities, both personal and professional. Working with local filmmaker Tom Smith, we produced a series of testimonial-style short videos, allowing those community members to explain what living in Ulster County means to them. We also worked with local media production company Ellenbogen, who handled the video editing.
Here are a few examples:
Ulster for Business 2.0
In this, the second year of the Ulster for Business campaign, we wanted to continue to tell these inspiring stories in a more refined way. We identified three key stories and, working with local filmmaker Chris Rahm, we produced engaging, beautiful videos that highlight what’s possible just two hours north of New York City.
The first highlights the story of Dennis Crowley and Stockade FC. Dennis, founder of tech company Foursquare, began falling in love with Ulster County after spending weekends here to escape from the city. Before he knew it, he was getting involved in the community, participating in HV Tech and Catskills Conf. And then his community involvement and his start-up nature melded, creating something brand new: a semi-professional soccer team right here in Kingston.
The second highlights Karina Dresses, a venture from fashion designer Karina Cousineau and entrepreneur and investor Garnet Harriman. Their story highlights the amazing quality of life and low cost of living here in Ulster County—and the fact that Garnet runs five other companies from his home base here in Kingston. “I think when you’re in Brooklyn, or you’re in New York City, you can’t even imagine that it could happen somewhere else,” Karina says. “I’m here to say it certainly can.”
And the last—but not least!—we covered something near and dear to our own hearts: the Hudson Valley Tech Meetup and the blossoming tech ecosystem right here in Ulster County. We’re happy to be part of that ecosystem. Watch below for snippets of the Evolving Media Network office, our founders Kale Kaposhilin and Dan Stone, and HV Tech in action!