Viaduct Featured in Business First
Source: Dan Miner, Reporter, Buffalo Business First
“When Johan Klarin looks around, he sees a proliferation of high-tech startup companies in Western New York.
But he also sees an ecosystem still in its infancy, with only a shortlist of companies that have broken out of startup-land and become larger, self-sustaining enterprises.
Klarin sees his new job, as managing director of Viaduct, as playing a crucial role in helping guide founders past the many pitfalls that await their young companies. The new initiative is positioned as a service provider for startups in Buffalo, helping them validate their problems, build a growth plan and, eventually, hire the right people.
“There are great people here and great companies,” Klarin said. “We want to help solve a common challenge to move that ecosystem further.”
Viaduct is a subsidiary of Williamsville-based Superior Group, a larger executive staffing agency which has seen a variety of requests in recent years from expats looking to re-enter the Buffalo workforce in the technology field, said Christopher Beckage, a Superior senior vice president. Superior Group is funding Viaduct as a long-term service for startup companies and will shift staffing resources to the new subsidiary as needed.
Klarin began work this January in an office in the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center, which is the heart of the tech startup scene in Buffalo. The native of Sweden followed his fiancee to the University at Buffalo about 14 years ago, where he later graduated with an MBA and led a team that won the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition in 2004. He has worked at various roles in finance and business development since that time, mostly in Buffalo but with stints in Syracuse and Washington, D.C., and has also founded several companies.
Klarin said Viaduct will reach out to young companies in various industries, including software and biomedical, to establish what he hopes are long-term relationships. The idea is that Viaduct will eventually have a dedicated staff to go along with a network of service providers.
“What Viaduct is saying is we can help bridge gaps for founders,” he said. “We’ll get you the best local designer, the best email campaign guy, and it’s going to cost less and be a lower risk.””