Do Buffalonians have that ‘one thing’ Mark Zuckerberg calls key ingredient for success?

It all starts with a problem and the desire to solve it. That’s according to entrepreneurs Daymond John, Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Cuban, who all agree that the most investment-worthy businesses are the ones driven by a passion to find answers to the world’s challenges.


“Shark Tank” judge Daymond John warns entrepreneurs not to develop ideas specifically in the hopes of being picked up by other major companies. Mark Cuban believes that a business should be founded on passion and commitment. And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urges up-and-coming business owners to create for the sake of change, versus creating in the interests of money.


We at UpstartNY think Buffalo startups exemplify these aspirations. Take Mary Goodwill, owner of Mary's Little Lambs Childcare, who goes the extra mile for families in need of childcare in the city of Buffalo.


“Our extended hours, from 6 am to midnight will allow working families to have one consistent provider to meet their needs and ensure healthy meals and remarkable care is given in both the traditional and evening hours,” she says.


Or Zaw Win, who came to Buffalo as a refugee in 2005. His venture to help serve Buffalo’s refugee community is the Westside Value Redemption located at 327 14th Street. After hearing about their experiences being bullied at other centers, Win developed his center geared toward refugees to help protect and encourage hard work through incentives.


Even the more obscure businesses are rooted in more than solely money-making motives. Hatchet and Hops, owned by Dustin Snyder and Andrew Piechowicz, is not just a place to drink and competitively throw axes. It is built on values like community and confidence.


“We wanted to bring people together,” Snyder says, “We wanted a place that was fun to work at as well, and where we could practice our values.”


Not to mention Bak USA and BreadHive Bakery, two very different businesses who are making a difference in their communities. Bak USA is providing local manufacturing employment while Breadhive is building worker equity.

Do Buffalo businesses have the passion for solving problems? Here at UpstartNY, we give a resounding yes.

Read more articles by Alicia Greco.

Alicia Greco is passionate about writing, music, and her community. She is the founder/editor of internationally recognized music website Sequencer, and has been published locally through buffaBLOG, The Public, The Buffalo News, and more.
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