Tori Utley

Episode 30: The Rochester Startup Part Nine-Tinua

This week on the podcast, we continue with part nine of “The Rochester Startup” series. This week we speak with Tinua, a tenant of Collider Coworking. Tinua is an emerging startup converting gift cards into the currency of charitable giving, starting a movement of doing good one gift card at a time. Today we chat with Founder Tori Utley, a licensed chemical dependency counselor and founder of several nonprofits, about Tinua’s growth and her journey as a new, fulltime entrepreneur.

“[Tinua] really for me fells like the excitement of both worlds: the heart of the nonprofit sector but the fun and strategy of technology,” she explained.

She advised potential entrepreneurs that “there’s no qualification to be the right person or not. And because of that, you are the right person to pursue [your idea]. And so I think if you’re passionate about making a difference. …If you think that there’s a way to do something better or bring something to market that hasn’t been done before, just do it, because you never know what the outcome could be.”

Featured Story: The Rochester Startup Part Five: Rochester Area Foundation

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Episode 27: Tinua and Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza

This week, we listen in on some audio from the very first 1 Million Cups Rochester. We had two Rochester entrepreneurs speak at this event: Tori Utley of Tinua and Derrick Chapman of Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza.

  • Tinua is developing a digital platform and mobile application to transform unused funds on gift cards into tools they believe can save lives.
  • Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza is Rochester’s hottest food truck, cooking pizzas between 900-1000 degrees.

Featured article: Rochester Teen Empowers Youth Music Community with ROCKchester Festival.