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Rochester young entrepreneur heading to the White House

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Novatek
Novatek's Amy Castronova at a recent conference. The 29-year-old will be honored at the White House Thursday as one of the nation's leading young entrepreneurs.

(Thursday 3:33 p.m. UPDATE: Moments ago Castronova spoke at the White House. Above is audio of her "pledge to entrepreneurship.")

The 29-year-old owner and president of Rochester's Novatek Communications is being honored as one of the top young entrepreneurs in the nation.

On Thursday, Amy Castronova will be among a select group of under-30 businesspeople participating in a ceremony at the White House. The event celebrates the Empact100 - a list of the country's top 100 young entrepreneurs, based solely on reported revenue.

Castronova will be going as Rochester's lone representative. By comparison, two Syracuse young entrepreneurs were named to the list.

"It's not a surprise to me that I'm the only one in Rochester, but I do think it is great for the community," says Castronova. "This actually will give a lot of exposure to the Rochester community, because I think it's a great place for entrepreneurs to be."

Castronova will be a taking an entrepreneur's oath at the White House. She was also invited to participate in a Congressional press conference about pro-entrepreneurship initiatives.

Castronova, who mentors even younger entrepreneurs by way of her YoungLeaders program, says she's especially excited about the opportunity to spread the word.

"Hopefully I can be a voice for other young entrepreneurs out there," says Castronova. "There's not a whole lot in Rochester. Maybe they'll emerge."

Castronova bought Novatek from the estate of her deceased mother in 2003. At the time, she was just 20 years old.

Since then she's focused the technical writing company on making training programs for new medical devices. ("So we don't have lab technicians out there improperly using the equipment," Castronova explains.)

Since 2003 the company has grown from 20 employees to about 35. Castronova says Novatek has seen double-digit growth over the last eight years.

The Empact100 ceremony will be live-streamed by the White House. On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. you can tune in here to watch the program.

The Empact100 list is compiled by a number of entrepreneurship organizations, including the Kauffman Foundation. More info on how the list was compiled can be found here.

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