Dumbwaiter Design has graduated from RIT's Venture Creations Business Incubator and relocated to downtown Rochester.
Prior to forming Dumbwaiter Design, Therese Hannigan, President of Dumbwaiter, had created her own business, Izon Designs, that focused mainly on design for print. "I was a one woman show. I would contract out the photography, the writing, and eventually the programming. I would do the design. But I realized that to be a good designer you really need to understand what happens on the backend."
In 2005, Hannigan was approached by two former New Media students who were looking to start a new business. "They didn't have the money and didn't want to take the risk but I had heard about the RIT Incubator. It's where my first business was located."
Dumbwaiter Design started as a design business but expanded. "Through the years we found our passion is building things that solve problems. That's why we got more into the software engineering side of things and figuring out how to make our customers more productive as well as make their own customers happy. Problem solving is really driving us right now."
Having been at the Incubator since 2005, Hannigan felt it was finally time to move. "What kept me there was the people and the location. It was so convenient being able to zip back and forth while teaching at RIT. Bill Jones has also done such a good job connecting people. We did a lot of work for Darkwind Media for example. There are a lot of opportunities with having that many people in one space but also as a faculty member I was able to help other companies, too. Maybe they don't have a Business background but they have a really good idea and if some faculty members are in that space, we can give them advice because starting a business is hard. I think some people think it's going to be glamorous and it's true, the highs are really high but there are lows that are really stressful. Sometimes you question 'Why am I doing this when I can have a 9 to 5 job?' I don't know that I would have started this business if the incubator didn't exist."
"It was time to relocate because our business has been growing a lot lately. We needed more space and we needed to be downtown as part of the community."
Dumbwaiter Design is currently located at 45 East Avenue, 6th Floor, Rochester, NY 14604. For more information, visit dwaiter.com