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Innovative Solutions taps ‘cloud’ veteran as president

Rochester’s Innovative Solutions has hired a top cloud executive to accelerate its growth with Amazon Web Services.

Jeff Valentine
Jeff Valentine

Jeff Valentine has joined the firm as president and chief operating officer. As a leading managed cloud service provider, Innovative is growing in partnership with customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) as it enables their digital transformations with a focus on cost optimization, cloud security and operational excellence, officials said this week. Valentine will drive the scalability of operations to drive unmatched customer experiences for businesses everywhere.

“Jeff’s background leading several successful technology companies, including three years as a C-level executive at one of our technology partners, provides our team and our customers with the opportunity to rise up like never before,” said Innovative CEO Justin Copie.

Innovative has served the technology needs of businesses for more than 30 years and has experienced exponential growth since 2019 as it expanded its managed cloud services offering into over 240 cities and three countries.

“Businesses everywhere are realizing that moving more of their applications and operations to the cloud helps them meet their goals,” Valentine said. “I’m excited because Innovative helps businesses accelerate their digital transformations with our army of cloud experts, our technology, and our best practices.”

Valentine brings more than two decades of experience in starting, growing and investing in technology companies. Most recently, Valentine spent three years as chief technology officer at CloudCheckr.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

MatchUp Monroe aims to help college students set down roots here

For years, people in Rochester have lamented the “brain drain,” meaning the trend of young people leaving Rochester as soon as they finish college.

Now there’s an app to fight that.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo announced on Monday that the county has created a program to link college students in the Rochester area with summer internships at local businesses. The paid internships will come with free housing, transportation, and cultural programs curated to help persuade the students to set down roots in Monroe County.

Job postings and applications for the new MatchUP Monroe program will be found on Handshake, a job-seeking app for recent college graduates.

“MatchUP Monroe is custom designed to link students from our world-class colleges and universities with rewarding internships at some of our community’s most exciting local employers,” Dinolfo said. “Together, we will ‘MatchUP’ our best and brightest students and employers to build a brighter future for all of us.”

Work on the program began in January, Dinolfo said, and will launch for the summer of 2020. The county has partnered with six local colleges to recruit students, and a variety of  companies and cultural institutions.

“Incentive programs like Match Up Monroe provide our students with the opportunity to learn more about the great jobs and rewarding career opportunities that this region has to offer,” said Ian Mortimer, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Rochester Institute of Technology. The other colleges partnering with the program include University of Rochester, Nazareth College, St. John Fisher College, Roberts Wesleyan College and Monroe Community College.

Once students apply to the program, they will be screened by a panel of participating companies and may be interviewed  by individual companies. Some of those companies planning to host interns so far include CloudChekr, Datto, 29 Design Studio, LeFrois Builders & Developers, Unither, eLogic, UR and Innovative Solutions. Additional companies can still apply to participate on the program’s website.

Housing in RIT’s Global Village will be provided for the duration of the internships, which will last eight to 10 weeks. Free bus passes will be provided to help students reach their jobs.

Dinolfo and some of the participants unveiled MatchUP  Monroe at Innovative Solutions Monday.

Justin Copie, CEO of Innovative Solutions, said, “We are so excited to partner with Cheryl and her team to help solve one of the biggest problems in our community — retention. Through this program, we’re excited to usher students into our business so they can begin to develop relationships within the community, and learn what makes this community so great. It is our responsibility to nurture the amazing talent in this community, if we’re to grow this community.”

The cultural component of the program involves coordinating visits to attractions in the county, sharing the off-hours life of Monroe County with students. Institutions including VisitRochester, Geva Theatre Center, the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, Seneca Park Zoo and others have signed on to help with that.

“Monroe County is home to world-class arts and cultural institutions, nationally-recognized museums, a fantastic parks and recreation system and a fabulous food scene,” said Don Jeffries, president and CEO of VisitRochester.

Imagine Monroe, the county’s economic development agency, will cover costs of housing, transportation and some other expenses, while county planning and economic development staff support the program.

Students and companies that would like to participate in the program can learn more at

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275

Innovative Solutions moving to former Kodak facility

A former Eastman Kodak Co. building in Henrietta will be renovated to house Innovative Solutions, a cutting-edge software development company.
A former Eastman Kodak Co. building in Henrietta will be renovated to house Innovative Solutions, a cutting-edge software development company.

An old Eastman Kodak Co. campus in Henrietta will have a new tenant this fall.

Innovative Solutions, a cutting-edge software developer, is planning a $2.1 million relocation to a 19,000-square-foot facility on East River Road, repurposing a former Kodak campus. The new space will feature an innovative lab and a tech startup “launch-pad” that will aid the company in supporting up to 12 technology-focused startups and recruiting recent graduates from universities and colleges in the Finger Lakes region.

The project is expected to create up to 15 new jobs and retain nearly 70 jobs.

“Our employees chose this location to be our new home because Riverwood felt right,” Innovative Solutions CEO Justin Copie said in a news release. “We have beautiful hiking trails, paddleboards at the dock to enjoy on the river, a cutting-edge innovation lab to explore and try new things and an incredible ecosystem of other tech-minded professionals to collaborate with.”

To facilitate the move, Empire State Development has offered up to $500,000 in Excelsior Tax Credit program credits, in exchange for job creation commitments.

“By investing in exciting, fast-growing companies like Innovative Solutions we are laying a strong foundation on which we will continue to build our region’s high tech economy and expand access to good paying, 21st century jobs,” State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said. “My thanks to Gov. Cuomo for his continued commitment to the Finger Lakes economy and to Innovative Solutions for choosing to grow and thrive in our community.”

Innovative Solutions was founded in 1989 and brings together strategists, engineers, developers and designers in areas including IT consulting, application and database services and virtualization and cloud services, among others.

The company has earned a number of industry and culture awards including being named one of Upstate New York’s Top Work Places and a Great Place to Work.

“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to change the face of the workplace right here in Rochester,” Copie said.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer