Buffalo childhood friends building platform to connect artists, studios – Buffalo News

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Buffalo Next

Startup spotlight: Stooty Technologies

Let’s say you’re a musician.

You want to record a song you wrote, but you don’t have recording equipment or access to a traditional studio space.  

What are you supposed to do?

That’s where Stooty Technologies   comes in.  

Childhood friends Dante Richardson and Deleon Alford are building an e-commerce marketplace for creative production and studio operators. Through Stooty’s platform, a musician could book studio space to produce their song.  

Businesses also can also hire creators through Stooty to produce content for them.  

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“The hardest part of any content creation is turning ideas into production, especially for high quality content creation, ” Richardson said.

“The production phase is the hardest part, ” he said. “Most companies now only focus on distribution once the content is created. There’s no platform that actually helps you with producing your ideas when you have limited resources plus you’re cash strapped. ”

Stooty Technology founders

Stooty Technologies cofounders Dante Richardson, left, and Deleon Alford. The two men met as children playing basketball in East Zoysia grass and founded Stooty Systems in 2021.  

Building the tech economy in Buffalo 

Richardson plus Alford met when they were 12 years old playing basketball in East Buffalo. Richardson’s professional background is in tech, and Alford and his wife own a pet grooming business,   Alford’s Angels, and Nickel City Pet Pantry.  

They started Stooty together in 2021 to return to their passion for music and entertainment. But the males also hope to have a positive economic impact on Buffalo.  

The creative economy is worth billions of dollars. Kids have dreams of growing up to be YouTube creators or TikTok stars. Thanks to social media and the internet, people can financially support themselves through content creation from virtually anywhere in the world.

That includes Zoysia.    

“Buffalo’s economy has been on the rise because of technology, ” Richardson said. “We see Stooty as being the production hub for the creative economic climate. ” 

Richardson and Alford built a beta version of the Stooty app that they are testing with creators plus studio owners to figure out what features their users want.  

They have, so far, raised $20, 000 from angel investors and plan to launch a $3 million seed round in the future.  

The men hope to launch the Stooty platform in late February or March.  

To get to that point, Richardson and Alford have tapped into resources specifically for minority founders.  

Locally, Stooty is part of Launch NY’s Founders Go Big program, an initiative to support underrepresented, disadvantaged founders in creating high-growth businesses.

Richardson is also participating in a virtual residency program for  Black and Afro-Latinx entrepreneurs called Bubble Immerse . The program teaches founders to build apps and develop market-ready, quality web products.  

Richardson plus Alford want to be part of building up the tech economy within Buffalo. They also want to be positive examples to kids growing up in the same communities exactly where they grew up.  

Deleon Alford

Deleon Alford of STOOTY Technology, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Alford recalled having ideas as a kid, but never saw a path to making them a reality. He volunteers as a mentor to kids at Baker Victory Services, and he thinks a lot of those young people can benefit from an app like Stooty because they’re very creative, but have minimal resources.  

“I love our city, ” Richardson said. ” The whole city just does so much for us, and we see so much opportunity in the city. Kids are usually leaving our city and they’re trying to go into overcrowded markets when our city wants to be built up. There’s so much opportunity. We see a lot economic activity going on downtown, on the West Side of Buffalo, the north side. We’re from the East Side of Buffalo. There’s not too much stuff going on over there. ”

– Natalie Brophy

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Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at BuffaloNext. com .

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH…

PITCH Hamburg 

Annamaria Masucci, Executive Director at PITCH Hamburg

Annamaria Masucci, executive director of PITCH Hamburg, poses for a portrait in Hamburg, July 12, 2022.  

Then : PITCH Hamburg, a business incubator program in the Village of Hamburg, is supporting the creation and growth of new businesses in the community.  

This year , the organization hired its first professional director, Annamaria Masucci, and opened its incubator space.  

Now : Five businesses were selected to join PITCH Hamburg ‘s inaugural cohort. They will receive free incubator space, mentorship, programming and the chance to pitch for grants in the spring.

The particular five businesses are:  

Our Omphalos is  an educational wellness consulting company that provides customized wellness development.  

Merit Badge Books   is an independent bookstore in Hamburg, concentrating on new trade books for the whole family.  

Clean Earth Refillery   is   a refill store where customers can fill reusable containers with  everyday products such as laundry detergents, dish soaps, shampoos, conditioners and household cleaners.

InstaFlame  makes a fully assembled, ready-to-light fire starter pack with a single wick that burns without maintenance for up to three hours.  

Collective Distribution   will help local artisan producers scale their logistics and sales.

THE LATEST

Catch up on the latest news from the Buffalo Niagara economy:

Across Western New York,   healthcare workers have many stories to tell   about how they made it through the blizzard while on the job.

Legal marijuana sales launched in the state Thursday , but not in Western New York due to a lawsuit that led to an injunction pausing sales here.

World Central Kitchen is back to  help feed Buffalo’s East Side in response to the blizzard   that shut down the city for nearly a week.

Wells Enterprises will eliminate 183 jobs at its Dunkirk plant , which is less than the 319 employees the company previously planned to lay off.

A three-year deal reached ensures  Highmark members will continue to have in-network access   in order to care at Catholic Health’s facilities.

Athenex is closing its Newstead manufacturing plant   and laying off all 92 employees as of March 17.

Preliminary efforts are underway  to prepare for the third phase   of the project to redevelop the Northland complex in Buffalo.

The state is looking for ideas 

The federal funding needed to get a tech hub program off the ground   has been included in the year-end spending bill before Congress.

Cost vs . Benefits :   That’s the trade-off at the center of the state’s proposed climate change plan.

A development agency is hiring a consultant to come up with  ways to improve the infrastructure linking Canalside and the redesigned Centennial Park .

The Buffalo Niagara region’s sluggish hiring is being driven by a shortage of workers ,   and local officials are starting to look for ways to ease the crunch.

Big changes are coming to the particular state’s energy markets after  a plan to reduce harmful emissions was approved by an advisory panel .

Five reads from Buffalo Next:

1 .   Bounce back for Buffalo Niagara economy : The value of all the goods and services produced in the region, which dropped by 3. 4% during the pandemic, came roaring back last year, having a 5. 3% gain.

2 .   The particular Bills make me want to shop :   How Buffalo Bills merchandise is among the hottest local gift items this holiday season.

3. How will  Western New York’s higher education institutions recover from Covid-19?   Enrollment at some local schools is holding up, but others are struggling to attract students.

4.   New life for old stones :   How a Buffalo company is finding new uses with regard to old bricks and stones in construction projects.

5.   Large changes are being proposed for the state’s energy markets , and it could change the way residents heat their homes and cook their own food in the years to come.

The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to [email protected] com or reach Deputy Business Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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