Richard is the founder and CEO of Agora Media. Agora is a media company that works with clients in a variety of different capacities from audio to podcasting to video and now more than ever, live streaming online events, conferences and webinars. Richard organized and lead the tech for Startup Weekend USA, part of an 80+ country initiative to find solutions to bring people together from all over the world to build companies with products and ideas to respond to COVID-19.
Richard recently spent 13 days hiking 138 miles from Northville, NY to Lake Placid (after never having hiked in his life). He started with a group of people, spent some time alone and was adopted by another group and made some awesome friends.
This is pretty telling of the kind of person Richard is.
He came to Troy for RPI and had a double major in Computer Science and Business, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He fell in love with Troy and has been here ever since. He liked the way everyone liked collaborating and working with each other.
During his time at RPI, he helped run the Entrepreneurship Center and administer and run accelerator programs, while also mentoring other students and entrepreneurs. He interned for IgniteU, an accelerator program that he ultimately went on to work full time there to run the program, mentor startups, and help grow the ecosystem locally, regionally and now nationally.
Throughout the years, Richard has been involved with programs and initiatives throughout the state including Startup Tech Valley, Innovate 518, Startup Weekends, 1Million Cups and more.
Richard started as a young entrepreneur and created Agora his freshman year of college. “Agora” is the Greek word for center of the city or the gathering place, where people come together and do great things. The company has changed a lot over time; he’s tried different models and areas, but media production started later on, and he saw it as quite an opportunity. Richard has taught himself most of what he knows in the world of technology.
In regards to all of the experience he has watching people build businesses, Richard talks about how people are always scared to take the leap to do the thing to start that company. It’s a new world and it’s important to acknowledge that it’s scary, but in the end, taking the leap will make you a stronger person and entrepreneur. Richard believes the people who are actively looking for new opportunities and seeing how they can adapt are doing much better than those sitting back crying about how bad things are.
One of the things that sticks out about Richard is that he’s the first to lend a hand and offer advice. He says it’s important to give first and help people. He’s optimistic and is always working to find amazing things from the worst. Being physically isolated and forced to work online has opened up many exciting new doors for him and people in his world. He talked about how he used to be the shy person in the corner at the networking events, but he quickly realized it’s all about building relationships. Relationships that are genuine and true, not transactional. He always goes into a new relationship with the mindset of who can I help and what bond can I form over how can I retract the most from you to benefit myself –and it’s been successful for him.
Richard truly adds a positive energy to the Garage that we’re so happy to have while his work in the Capital Region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow. Agora provides livestream video production, online events, event management, video production, photography, audio and more. Check it out!