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TEN Leadership

Jean Kase, Executive Director, The Entrepreneurs Network

Jean Kase is an entrepreneur coach, angel investor and connector of people and resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. She has recruited and served more than 400 startups and small businesses throughout Upstate New York. She provides clients with advocacy, business development, entrepreneurial training and project management services.

Jean is an active investor in the Rochester Angel Network (RAN) and Chloe Capital, a venture firm which invests in women led innovation companies. Upstate Venture Connect awarded Jean the 2019 Community Catalyst Award to recognize her work bringing people together and increasing capital & early stage investors.

Rooted in the Rochester community, Jean previously served as vice president of public affairs for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, representing 2,100 member firms in government matters affecting the regional business climate.  In this capacity, she advised CEO’s on legislative and political issues.  Key successes included coordinating the Common Sense Medicaid Coalition estimated to save Monroe County $47 million in 2007, organizing grassroots business and editorial support to facilitate enactment of broad-based and targeted tax relief packages – saving employers $2 billion.

In forging greater collaboration between The Chamber and Small Business Council of Rochester, Jean Kase launched the area’s first CEO Roundtable program and grew the program to more than 150 members.  She also managed the Start-Up Resource program which connected emerging firms with mentors from successful companies.

She also led the region's Department of Defense Procurement Technical Assistance Center from 2003 to 2005, and was asked by the County Executive to support the Monroe County Finger Lakes PTAC from 2007 to 2016, after it transitioned from The Chamber of Commerce to Monroe County.  PTAC clients generally report winning more than $30 million in contracts each year from government agencies and prime contractors.

She earned her undergraduate degree at St. John Fisher College and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology.  
 

2019 Community Catalyst Award: Special recognition for bringing people together & increasing capital & early stage investors.