High Tech Rochester Appoints New President

Jan. 28, 2009

James S. Senall has been selected to head High Tech Rochester (HTR), the region’s lead organization in fostering the creation and growth of entrepreneurial companies. Senall, who currently serves as a managing director at Greater Rochester Enterprise, will become president of HTR on February 16. 

“The role that High Tech Rochester plays in Rochester’s economic future cannot be overstated,” said Peter G. Robinson, chair of the HTR’s Board of Directors and COO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. “The services it provides are critical to efforts to harness local innovation and technologies and help transform these discoveries into new and growing companies. Jim brings substantial experience in this field and we are pleased that he has agreed to join HTR at this important juncture in its growth.”

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are what built the Rochester economy and are what will create renewed growth in the future,” said Senall.  “High Tech Rochester will serve as a central force in driving this economic growth by building upon an already strong foundation and continuing to work in close partnership with universities, economic development partners, investors, and entrepreneurs.”

HTR provides a wide array of support services for technology companies such as market assessment, business plan development, management coaching, capital access, and resource connections. HTR also operates two technology incubators, including the region’s only biotechnology incubator on behalf of the University of Rochester. HTR, the NYSTAR Regional Technology Development Center for the Finger Lakes, also provides services to manufacturers through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a national program supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce and New York State. In 2007, HTR became a subsidiary of the University of Rochester. 

Senall was chosen by the HTR board – with the input and support of leaders of Rochester’s business community – after a national search. HTR board members include representatives of the City of Rochester, Monroe County, the University of Rochester, Nixon Peabody, Rochester Business Alliance, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester Gas & Electric, the Trillium Group, and the Finger Lakes Manufacturers Council. 

Senall currently serves as managing director of Business Development at GRE, with responsibility for growing the region’s emerging business sector. His responsibilities include working to improve the local start-up infrastructure and entrepreneurial culture to increase the number and success rates of early stage companies. In addition he assumes responsibility for long-range strategic planning to identify emerging industries for regional growth. Senall is also the director, a board member, and co-founder of the Rochester Angel Network, a group of 30 accredited investors interested in local seed and early stage business opportunities. 

“GRE and HTR have a longstanding history of partnering on initiatives to support emerging businesses in our community,” said Mark S. Peterson, interim president of GRE. “I look forward to even greater opportunities to collaborate with HTR now that Jim will be leading this organization.”

Prior to joining GRE, Jim was a consultant providing business planning, growth strategy, and fundraising services to start-up companies in Upstate New York. Before that, Jim was head of Sales and Marketing at Advanced Vision Technologies (AVT), a high-tech start-up company developing technologies for flat panel displays and ultra high speed electronics. AVT was headquartered at HTR’s Lennox Tech Center. His additional work experience includes various engineering and operational roles at TYCO Electronics in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. 

Mr. Senall holds a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester Simon Graduate School of Business.