November 2015

There is a great thread on the Discourse forum that was started by Dan Falkenstrom regarding modifying the role of volunteers in the space, check it out at:

The executive team had a meeting this past week to discuss the items that were in the original post in addition to the other ideas presented here. What we came up with as an action plan is the following:

(1) Inventory of member skills, especially the volunteers. There will be a separate, more easily accessible calendar that shows the open hours, who is staffing them, and the skills they can share. A survey will be going out in the next week soliciting this information from members. It’s mandatory for volunteers, it is optional for everyone else.

(2) Open / Closed / Volunteer on duty sign will be created to handle walk-ins and let them know what is going on. Brochures will also be put into the vestibule to provide information when there is no one available.

(3) Some sort of “I’m the volunteer on duty” indicator will be created. This needs to be a clear indicator that is also safe for use around the space and around equipment – IE: no lanyards!

(4) We’re creating online videos for safety training, and some of the major high-usage pieces of equipment. We need people to help with this. Please send me a message and I will coordinate this. The goal is to make the intake process more automated and continuous, and to provide ongoing access to up-to-date materials.

What we’re not actively working on at the moment is erasing the distinction between Full members and Super users from a scheduling perspective. I don’t actually think this was part of the original proposal, but I think it may have been interpreted this way by some. Full members have restricted hours, and super users have 24/7 access. This is simply matching value to cost. It’s far more valuable to have 24/7 access to the space, and therefore it should cost more. We now have open hours on every day except Wednesday, and in the most common times when people would want to use the space. So I think the full membership is a tremendous value. We are currently considering eliminating the requirement to have a volunteer on staff in order for the space to be open. There are some concerns there, and we thought the items above would have the most impact right now in terms of member experience. The truth is that ALL of our volunteer slots for November are staffed, so at the moment this is a low-impact issue.

Thank you everyone for your feedback and advice, you’ve helped make the TVCOG even better!

All the best,


This past week we had our SPECTRVM Services launch event, and we are pleased to announce the following organizations (in alphabetical order) are Charter Members of SPECTRVM:

  • All Over Albany – Content Creation, Online Advertising, Media Sponsorships & Strategies
  • Amala Consulting – Grant Writing
  • Capital Region Chamber – Entrepreneurship boot camps, networking and government relations and advocacy
  • Dalle Accounting and Cash Management – Financial services and reporting, including taxes, payroll and regulatory filings. 
  • Duncan Crary – Publicity, Communications and Event Consultant
  • Koppett – Leadership and Team development, Executive and Presentation Coaching, Meeting facilitation
  • One Hudson – Engages entrepreneurs and organizations exploit and develop disruptive technologies
  • Pinnacle Human Resources – Hiring, Recruiting and Developing Human Resources 
  • Saratoga National – Business Banking and Finance
  • Schwartz Heslin Group – Mergers, acquisitions, capital raising, business valuation, and other strategic and corporate finance matters
  • Tech Valley Innovation Research – Technology prototyping and consulting

If you missed the event and you want to register as an entrepreneur or company interested support from SPECTRVM Services, please send an e-mail to Tom Tongue ( and we will get you set up!

One of the best things from being a part of the Tech Valley Center of Gravity is seeing all of the creative and entrepreneurial endeavors that are going on in the Capital Region. This week is a great example, with two great events you’re going to want to come down for:

  • Pitch Night – Tuesday, Nov 17th from 6pm – 9pm: Five minute pitches by teams or companies looking to get feedback on their product or idea, especially with regard to selling to global markets. This event is held with Autonomy Distributors, and is a repeat of last years successful event.
  • AlgoRave 0x00 – Friday, Nov 20th from 8pm – 11pm: Our first music event! Join us for an evening of live audio-visual performance mixing electro-acoustic improvisation with live-coded sound and image.

Please see our web site calendar for complete descriptions at:

In addition to the two events above, theres plenty of other exciting events and meetings this week at the TVCOG:

  • Tech Valley Game Space – Lesson Night: How to make games with RPG Maker VX Ace – Thursday, Nov 19th 6pm – 9pm in SEFCU Community Room: Drawing upon the love of the classic 16-bit RPGs of yesteryear, Enterbrain’s RPG Maker allows anyone to easily create the type of colorful tile-based RPGs made popular by games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Whether you’re a gamer, hobbyist or professional, RPG Maker is simple enough for a novice and powerful enough for an expert developer.
  • 3D Printing Syndicate of Albany – Thursday, Nov 19th 6pm – 9pm in the Main Hall: Monthly meetup of 3D Printing Enthusiasts – come meet, share tech and experience and find out about new projects and software.
  • MakerFront i3PRO Build Event – Saturday, Nov 21st from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm: Come build your i3PRO with it’s engineer! If you recently purchased an i3PRO from MakerFront, but you haven’t built it yet, this is a great opportunity to build it with others and get some pro help.

Just a quick reminder that we have our SPECTRVM launch event coming up Thursday, Nov 12th from 5pm – 7pm! SPECTRVM is a curated selection of service providers that understand the unique challenges that start-ups and small businesses face, and can scale their service offerings to meet those needs. I’m pleased to announce we have eleven Charter Members of SPECTRVM with services ranging from accounting and payroll, to human resources, publicity, management, and investment.The event itself will provide an overview of the SPECTRVM service and upcoming entrepreneurship events, and an opportunity to meet with providers and learn more about the services they provide. Please RSVP through Eventbrite at

ZERO TO MAKER: Saturday, Nov 14th – 10am – 2pm. This our big event to get training to new members! If you haven’t joined the TVCOG yet, this is the perfect opportunity to come onboard and get making quickly! Please spread the word about this event, and if you’re a new member, this is where you’ll get the safety training, and learn how to work with the 3D printers, laser cutter and more! Attached is a flyer for the Zero To Maker event, please share it!Flyer.TVCOG Zero To Maker.111415

Start-ups and small businesses share a common conundrum: how to find professional resources address all the organizational functions needed to succeed! We have developed SPECTRVM Services, a curated selection of service providers that understand the unique challenges that start-ups and small businesses face, and can scale their service offerings to meet those needs. We have selected providers for accounting, payroll, legal counsel (intellectual property and corporate), human resource, marketing, distribution, management, and investment. More information on SPECTRVM is available at

On Thursday, Nov 12th, from 5pm – 7pm we are hosting a launch event to introduce SPECTRVM to the Capital Region entrepreneurial community. We’ll have an overview of the SPECTRVM service and upcoming entrepreneurship events, and an opportunity to meet with providers and learn more about the services they provide.

Please RSVP through Eventbrite at and join us at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, located at 30 3rd Street in Troy!

This weekend is the Mini Maker Faire being held at Barnes & Noble in Colonie Center, and we have a big role in providing content for the event. Attached is a schedule of the events going on all weekend long at the Mini Maker Faire, please check it out and come have some fun! In addition, if you happen to be buying books in the next few days, please consider using the attached voucher to have a portion of the proceeds go to supporting the Tech Valley Center of Gravity! The voucher is good through Wednesday, November 11th, and you can show it to them from your phone if you want to skip printing it out.

If you want to help staff the booth at the Mini Maker Faire, please contact Erica Iannotti ( or Tom Tongue ( Hope to see you there!

Voucher: 11214709_10208123406473057_3348239685102962585_n

Barnes Noble Mini Maker Faire Schedule of Events