A month ago, on September 12th I got the pleasure of attending the very first Ulster County Tech and Entrepreneurship Tour. I know you may be thinking.. What the heck is that!?
Well Ulster county is a county in upstate New York. Still confused? Well think of Apple Picking, fresh air and mountains.
As apart of a community initiative the Ulster County Executive office curated a Tech and Entrepreneurship centered tour for NYC residents to get a chance to see what Ulster County has to offer. When I first heard about the tour I was a bit skeptical. In my head only the city had a booming tech and entrepreneurship community. Anytime I thought of upstate New York I instantly thought about a more rural kind of lifestyle where Tech was used but wasn't priority. My gosh was I wrong! The tour stole my heart and had me ready to move to Ulster County the very next day!
Here's a Run down of the amazing adventure that took place that day:
To start the adventure we had to arrive at Port Authority in NYC at 7:30am. (Which is a super early start for me since I was coming from Jersey, which my boyfriend Bryan,wasn't too happy about since I dragged him along )
Let the Adventure Begin !
The bus pulled off at around 8:20am and we were on our way upstate. The team on board the included Kale Kaposhilin,(Co-founder of Evolving Media Network and Hudson Valley Tech Meetup) Raleigh Green ( President and CEO of Raleigh Green Inc) and Suzanne Holt (Director of the Ulster County Office of Economic Development). They gave us a introduction on what to expect on this trip.
(Want to experience Tech & Entrepreneurship & Nature? Check out the CatSkills Conf happening Oct 23rd-oct 25th. Over the course of 48 hours there will be a mix of inspiring talks, interactive and hands-on crafts and activities, live music and entertainment, and time to relax and explore the area. We'll be featuring the local food, drink, and music so you can experience the best the Hudson Valley has to offer. )
Once upstate we met Lisa Berger who gave us a great history and visual tour as we made our way up to SUNY New Platz. Once at New Platz we got the chance to meet Daniel Freedman who is the Dean of the SUNY New Platz school of Science and Engineering. He told us all about the innovate programs currently happening up in New Platz .
Monhonk Mountain House
Which Tech and Entrepreneurship event have you event went to that took you up a mountain? Yes its as cool as it sounds. Monhonk Mountain House is a Resort set in a Victorian Castle on Lake Monhonk. It was founded in 1869 and is still up and running. After doing a tour we had an amazing lunch at the Mountain House then we were back on the bus to our next destination. (Pics below)
Made in NY
Our next stop was the farmers market. We got to explore the farmers market and meet many all natural vendors who grew and created their very own products. From Soaps and baskets to Ice-creams and veggies. Most times we forget that vendors at farmers markets are also Entrepreneurs.
After walking through the Farmers Market we visited the widely known Tonner Doll store. What’s so special about a doll store? Well Tonner Dolls aren’t just any dolls, they are some of the highest quality and design of dolls. Designer and creator Robert Tonner takes time with each design to ensure each doll is perfect and fashionable. The dolls in the store ranged from $100-$700. It was a very beautiful display of Art and Entrepreneurship.
Dragon Search plus Networking
After taking in all the sites we headed over to the Dragon Search office. Dragon Search is a Digital Marketing and Consultant Agency . They had a super comfy and open office space. The atmosphere inside this building gave off the same fun, creative and collaborative vibe an NYC co working space do (WeWork, Wix Lounge, Civic Hall etc) .At Dragon Search we got the chance to meet other Ulster County residents who were apart of this booming Tech and Entrepreneurship Scene.
Hudson River Cruise
After networking we went back on the bus and headed down to the Hudson river to board the Teal for a cruise. On the cruise we met more residents from Ulster county who are deep in the Tech and Entrepreneurship scene. It was fun and exciting to meet and connect with all these people.
Time to head home
Around 8pm we said our goodbyes and boarded the bus one last time. When I was initially introduced to this tour I was a little skeptical about what kind of Tech and Entrepreneurship existed in Upstate New York. But after this trip I came to the realization of the true powers of being in the Tech and Entrepreneurship industries. These residents of Ulster County were able to live out their dream jobs as well as live in their dream homes. In modern industries you have to sacrifice home for work or work for home. Being in Tech and Entrepreneurship allows you more flexibility on where you work and when you work. Over all it was a great experience and very eye opening.
Can't wait to visit Ulster County again!