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Mike Colyer

CEO, Foundry

Years in current role: 2.5

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I genuinely love every aspect of my role, especially working with some of the most brilliant minds out there, creating innovative technology that will change the world for the better. Building a decentralized infrastructure that will be the future of finance in western New York is something I never imagined. As a Rochester native, I feel strongly about bringing jobs to the area, leveraging talent from local universities, and paying salaries that rival those of Silicon Valley. Knowing we are making a difference in our industry, and in our community, makes me excited to get out of bed each day.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

One of our biggest hurdles is with New York and proving the benefits bitcoin mining can bring to the state. There are people in positions of power who don’t fully understand this technology and are making decisions based on a lack of, or incorrect information. Much like the dawn of the internet, bitcoin mining will bring a new wave of technology, resources, jobs, and innovation to New York and the state is at risk of missing out on being a leader in this field. We want to see the state flourish along with the growth of digital assets.

What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?

In March 2021, our employee count was 24. One year later, we have a team of 117 and are still growing. We wanted to build a company where employees felt heard, valued, and passionate about their work. I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come in achieving that goal. Additional success includes the Foundry USA Pool becoming the #1 bitcoin mining pool in the world, the launch of our staking services, and the launch of FoundryX – a marketplace for buyers and sellers of mining machines. Through our products and services, Foundry has been able to deploy $500M into the North American mining ecosystem.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the technology industry over the next year?

Education will play a big role in how technology changes over the next year. We expect that as more energy companies become educated on bitcoin mining, more will jump on the opportunities that it provides. We also expect to see a growing institutional understanding that through staking and/or lending you can achieve much bigger yields than in the traditional financial system. We foresee more custodians emerging and existing custodians adding to their offerings, supporting more assets, or offering native staking. We expect a lot of resources to be spent on education around how this can take the place of traditional financial products.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

One of Foundry’s latest initiatives is ROC The Block – a program that enables historically disadvantaged Rochesterians to become contributing members of the blockchain community through education, exposure, expertise, and employment. ROC the Block encourages recent Rochester City School District graduates to apply for our fellowship, which offers an intensive, two-yearlong industry-based curriculum that includes both classroom time and hands-on training within Foundry’s data center and administrative ecosystems. Fellows receive a competitive salary plus benefits at the program’s start. Our team is also proud to partake in the Chamber’s Thanksgiving drive, United Way Day of Caring, and Habitat for Humanity.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 50 Technology list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.

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