Meet Clark, the BN360 Spotlight Professional for August 2020

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to present the 2020 BN360 Spotlight Professionals.

Each year, BN360 highlights 12 up-and-coming young professionals who strive for professional growth and development, care for their community, and are passionate about the future of the Buffalo Niagara region.

Clark Dever

Program Director | Techstars

 

Clark Dever grew up in Honeoye Falls, NY where he spent his teenage years as a hacker and eSports player before either activity was cool. He wrote an eCommerce cart system that was used by a store that did a few million dollars a year in online revenue in 2002. He also played First Person Shooters between 4-8 hours a day, eventually being recruited to a team that was ranked #1 in the world.

Dever attended University at Buffalo where he received his B.S. in Management, while there he was an RA, a TA, Co-founded a chapter of TKE, played Rugby for the Mad Turtles, and organized an alternative Spring Break to New Orleans to do relief work after Hurricane Katrina. He’s most known for his TwelveHoursInACity.com project in 2009 where he flew to 30 cities in 31 days while riding a tidal wave of international media coverage.

During the last decade he has been a serial entrepreneur and startup community organizer. Dever currently works for Techstars in Buffalo as their Program Director. His role involves aggregating, instigating, collaborating-with, and supporting early stage Founders of Venture Capital backed companies and the broader startup community in Buffalo.

First Job: 

Clark’s first work experience was as a cart assistant for a local grocery store.

Greatest Professional Win:

Grew an Applied Research and Development division of a company focused on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality from $0 to $4MM annual gross revenue over a three-year period.

Best Piece of Professional Advice:

It’s simple, but not easy – show up and do the work and just don’t stop. You should always try new activities and approaches; I fail at more than almost anyone I know, but  that’s been the key to my success.

Community Corner:

I mentor extensively, focusing particularly on people under represented in the startup community in Buffalo. Additionally, I’ve organized events that support growth and collisions within the startup community for the past 10 years: Buffalo Open Coffee Club, Pitch-In, Startup Scramble, Buffalo Unconference, and Startup Week.

Thoughts on living and working in Buffalo Niagara:

I’m real long on Buffalo, anecdotally, I think the region bounced off rock bottom in around 2009 and we’ve used the momentum from that bounce for an incredible turn around.  Geographically we’re incredibly well situated and as we change our cultural mindset from scarcity to abundance, we will realize remarkable growth that will reflect our past successes.

On Being a BN360 Spotlight Professional:

It’s an honor to be selected, my acceptance of accolades is always conditional on being able to publicly state that my success is steeped in repeated failure.  Every successful person I know (and I) suffer anxiety or imposter syndrome from time to time.  They just refuse to let it stop them from getting up and doing the work, living their values, every day.

Top 5 Favorites: 

  • Favorite Mural: Frank Cravotta’s Lion @ Delaware & Virginia
  • Best Buffalo Hidden Gem: Undergrounds Coffee
  • Go-to Buffalo Food: West Side Bazaar
  • Best Buffalo Activity/Hobby: Jumping into other people’s conversations in coffee shops/bars and helping strangers randomly on the street
  • Place you would take someone new to Buffalo: Steak Sandwich at the back-bar of Hutch’s