Launch NY is grateful for the support it receives from foundations, public agencies, economic development organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals who share a common vision of building stronger communities and creating jobs through venture development and entrepreneurship. Their commitment to transforming Upstate NY’s economy for the 21st century makes our work possible. View more about our Platinum Awards >>
July 18, 2016
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation was established by founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Upon Wilson’s passing in 2014, he requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation which bears his name.
The Foundation has a grant making capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires December 31, 2035. This structure is consistent with Wilson’s wish for immediate impact and innovation, and his desire that the trustees see the impact of the investment in their lifetimes.
The John R. Oishei Foundation is a catalyst for change to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grantmaking, leadership and network building. The Foundation’s roles in the community include strategic, results-oriented funding; leadership and leadership development; organizational assessment and capacity building; change management; convening; cultivating networks and collaborations; and advocacy of public policy. The Foundation envisions the Buffalo Niagara region as a safe, healthy, thriving, culturally rich and diverse community.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration leads the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. Its investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers—innovation and regional collaboration.
The Margaret L. Wendt
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation is a private, philanthropic organization that focuses its work in Western New York and is devoted to the development of a stronger Western New York Community.
Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities.
UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CBLS)connects high-potential partners to a vast array of resources among government, academia and industry to foster technology-based economic development in Western New York. The CBLS is also home to UB’s Office of Economic Development (OED), Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI), and Center for Computational Research (CCR).
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) provides clean, low-cost and reliable energy consistent with its commitment to the environment and safety, while promoting economic development and job development, energy efficiency, renewables and innovation, for the benefit of its customers and all New Yorkers. Through its Western New York Economic Development Fund, NYPA backs projects that support the growth of business in the State and thereby lead to the creation or maintenance of jobs and tax revenues for the state and local governments.
National Grid recognizes the importance of economic development in the regions it serves. The grant to Launch NY will support our Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which works to match experienced mid-career professionals with high-potential startup companies within 27 counties of upstate New York. Through the program, our EiRs will conduct outreach efforts to these markets through educational seminars, events and partner programs; will offer readiness assessments to initial candidates for support; and will provide hundreds of hours of support to companies selected for the program, with the main objective of this phase being to help companies access capital and grow within the region.
New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) are subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. Their economic development programs have provided assistance to a wide-range of businesses and organizations. Since 2010, NYSEG and RG&E have invested more than $50 million in upstate New York to attract new companies and jobs as well as retain existing ones.
Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) is a public benefit corporation created in 1970 by an act of the New York State Legislature to promote and assist private sector industrial / business development thereby advancing job opportunities and economic well-being to the people of Erie County. Its mission is to provide the resources that encourage investment, innovation, growth and global competitiveness—creating a successful business climate that improves the quality of life for the residents of the region.
M&T Bank is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. ©2017 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. For more information, see www.mtb.com.
As part of the M&T Bank, the M&T Charitable Foundation strives to strengthen communities by providing support for a diverse range of civic, cultural, health, and human service organizations.
They believe healthy communities are the foundation of successful businesses. Through grants and in-kind services, the M&T Charitable Foundation works in partnership with nonprofit organizations that focus on improving the quality of life in our regions. The M&T Charitable Foundation offers financial support and resources to many types of organizations, including, but not limited to, those that support arts/culture, civic affairs, healthcare, education and human services.
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
Jul 18, 2016
The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation awards $2.5 million grant to Launch NY . . . >>
The Investable Startup Connection
Fueling startups in Upstate NY
Launch NY connects the upstate NY Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and fills gaps in mentoring and investment capital.
Despite more than $3B in research and development annually in Upstate NY, only 3% of venture capital comes to the region to turn this innovation into new products, services and businesses. While neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Ohio have had communities fueled by significant, multi-year funding for entrepreneurship, Launch NY is the first venture development organization (VDO) to assemble this vital support on behalf of making Upstate NY a thriving hub of start-up business activity.
And thanks to the Kauffman Foundation and others, we now know that startups account for the majority of all net new job creation in this economy.' To transform our region through entrepreneurship, Launch NY needs more supporters who share vision and passion for a stronger region driven by startups. Read more to learn how you can make a difference in supporting entrepreneurs. >>
Give our local entrepreneurs the best chance of success through funding our expert one-on-one mentoring based on nationally recognized best practices and coordinated access to education and networking programs and other support resources.
Our network of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) includes our Launch NY National Mentor Network that brings even more global industry expertise to work in tandem with our local mentors, especially in emerging sectors where our region has limited talent and industry expertise.
You want to support start-up companies, but direct ‘investment’ in for profit firms may not be part of your mission at this time. Launch NY can receive tax-deductible donations in its new non-profit seed fund, the Launch NY Seed Fund LLC.
Make your commitment as an organization or individual by the end of 2015 to become a "Founders' Circle" member. Read more on this venture philanthropy opportunity click here >>
Your venture philanthropy will help start-ups at the earliest proof-of-concept stage, where virtually no other funds are available. $25,000 to $100,000 convertible debt notes support proof-of-concept activities to attract follow-on investment.
The Fund helps companies become venture-ready and seeds new investment capital with returns cycling back into the fund in an evergreen fashion. Portfolio companies continue to benefit from our pro bono mentoring services and co-investment capital.
Help us prepare our entrepreneurs to use the latest tools in raising visibility and funding for their new venture through crowdfunding, which is already yielding hundreds of millions in equity investments today.
We are introducing the Launch NY Entrepreneur’s Crowdfunding Support Program to assist these companies, free of charge, to coordinate their online fundraising pitches and access this evolving online method of fundraising.
With the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission planning to allow non-accredited investors to provide equity capital directly to start-ups, there will be even more online investors, including many who want to be part of our region’s rebirth.
Furthermore, expatriates who long for a connection back to the region will finally have a means to get involved in high-growth potential start-up businesses from afar.
Looking for a tailored way to make your mark in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?
Perhaps our program information spurred new ideas that we can work with you to shape.
Let’s follow the example of our entrepreneurs and use our imagination to develop custom support options that fit your interests and goals.
Are you interested in making investments in Launch NY clients?
In addition, to being able to see our clients offerings through a crowdfunding portal soon, Launch NY is evaluating additional options for a for profit investment program.
Entrepreneurial Mentoring & Education Fund
Launch NY Seed Fund LLC
Entrepreneur’s Crowdfunding Support Program
Other Signature Initiatives
Investing for Returns
start-up businesses served, comprising
If you are interested in learning more,
please contact us.
Get started with Launch NY support services.
Apply through our
brief on-line interview. >>
What are My Next Steps to Engage with Launch NY?
We appreciate your interest in our work and mission, and we are always eager to share our vision with those who just want to learn more about the “entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Marnie LaVigne, PhD
President & CEO
To discuss supporting Launch NY, please contact us at:
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