Rochester Rising Launches Spring Membership Drive to Help Amplify Stories of Rochester Entrepreneurs

This week we’re running our spring sustaining membership drive to help make Rochester Rising a stable part of the city’s entrepreneurial community. If you see the value in what we are doing here, consider becoming a sustaining member today and help us amplify the stories of Rochester’s entrepreneurs.


About Rochester Rising

Rochester Rising is an online news site that tells the stories of Rochester based entrepreneurs through in-depth, insightful content. The platform was developed last July to share the stories in Rochester that were not being told. Rochester is a world-renowned home for medical and scientific innovation. But the city also has a serious branding issue. We’re perceived as a risk-averse culture, dependent on one major employer or industry, and without young people. But those of us who live here know that’s not the real story.

Even just a few years ago, Rochester’s entrepreneurial community was small and fragmented. Now, the innovation community is building and gaining momentum. People in Rochester are beginning to #StartSomething and contribute to the business community in novel ways for this city.

Creative life science and biomedical entrepreneurs have developed here from the city’s strong medical roots. But Rochester’s innovation community, right now, has so much more to offer. We have emerging tech and food and beverage entrepreneurs. There’s a developing art scene. We have innovative independent journalism platforms emerging. People are doing inspired things in retail and sports. Students are creating and innovating.

We have people taking risks, stepping well outside of their comfort zones with no safety nets.

However, these stories were not being told.

Rochester Rising has emerged as a platform to consistently tell the stories of the city’s entrepreneurs through article and podcast content. We work to amplify the stories that were hidden and show that Rochester has a small but diverse, vibrant, and emerging entrepreneurial community. We feel that with the recent economic development initiatives in town, it’s essential to share the full story of Rochester to make this a true destination city.

Rochester Rising is rooted in entrepreneurship. I work alongside Rochester’s innovators every single day. We feel that we have the best vantage point to tell these stories and chronicle the rise of entrepreneurship in this city.

It’s an amazing time to be an entrepreneur in Rochester. We have the opportunity right now to witness a piece of history. But, we have to be champions of our homegrown innovators.


Sustaining Memberships

Rochester Rising uses sustaining memberships to make this platform exactly that. Sustainable. Our sustaining memberships are run through a crowdfunding website called Patreon. Patreon is like platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo that use crowdfunding, or methods to raise small amounts of money from multiple different people, to bring an idea to life.

Patreon is used mostly by creatives. People making art, writing, creating books, developing plays, and recording podcasts. However, Patreon crowdfunding campaigns don’t end in thirty or sixty days. They keep going until the creator, Rochester Rising in this case, stops them.

Rochester Rising uses Patreon to deliver online, exclusive content in a subscription-like model to sustaining members.

Sustaining members can pledge anywhere from $1 to $100 per month. In return, members receive access to online content, through Patreon, that nobody else sees. The content varies from week to week. But it always includes a weekly teaser for an upcoming story. Sometimes it’s early access to a major story. And other times it’s a raw blog post or photo that enhances a Rochester Rising story or gives a behind the scenes peek that week.

Sustaining members can also receive Rochester Rising coffee mugs, T-shirts, and deeply discounted advertisement for startups and emerging businesses. In addition to receiving these incentives, sustaining members also know they helped to champion Rochester’s entrepreneurs.


Why do we need sustaining members?

Sustaining memberships bring in one more revenue stream to help move Rochester Rising closer to becoming a permanent part of Rochester’s entrepreneurial community. Currently, Rochester Rising is one person, me. Although I have hopes to eventually grow and add more people to the team, right now it’s just one person trying to make this survive and cause some change.

Even looking back to the almost ten months that this platform has existed, it’s unbelievable how far it’s come. But there’s still more ground to cover. Sustaining memberships help to keep Rochester Rising alive. They also help to reduce dependency on advertising, creating more time for content development to support our emerging entrepreneurs.