May 31, 2022

#INVESTLOCAL IN UNDERREPRESENTED FOUNDERS IN LAUNCH NY’s

#INVESTLOCAL IN UNDERREPRESENTED FOUNDERS IN LAUNCH NY’s

NEXT ROUND OF INVESTOR NETWORK DEALS

New Reduced Minimum Investment of $5,000

 

Buffalo, N.Y., May 31, 2022 –Black and women founders together receive less than 3% of the venture capital deployed in the United States annually, but Launch NY is seeking to buck that trend by featuring its underrepresented founder-led portfolio companies on a special round of featured deals on its Investor Network. This #InvestLocal financing program is the only online investor platform dedicated to hosting local startup investment opportunities to more than 210 accredited investors who can invest – for the first time – as little as $5,000 in companies they choose, reduced on a time-limited basis from the usual $10,000.

Three startup companies led by underrepresented founders – including Black, Hispanic and a woman founder – will be featured on Launch NY’s Investor Network online platform this June, while providing founder meetups both via webinar and at Launch NY’s June 23rd Founders and Investors Celebration. The minimum investment for these deals has been reduced by Launch NY for a time-limited period from $10,000 to $5,000.

Launch NY’s Investor Network is designed to work in tandem with its nonprofit Seed Fund and for profit Limited Partner Fund, which are the most active seed funding sources in New York State and one of the most active in the country with 2-4 investments each month per fund, to provide accredited investors the ability to fund individual companies from the organization’s pipeline of startups. Through its digital platform, Launch NY can also help match investors with companies that align to their interests, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), industry sector and geographic location, so they can mentor as well as fund startups of their choosing.

Launch NY has had a longstanding commitment to underrepresented founders by funding well above the national venture capital averages in the low single digits such that the Launch NY portfolio comprises 29% women-led and 29% BIPOC-led, which together represent more than 40% of the companies. This DEI round of investment opportunities also builds upon Launch NY’s award-winning DEI program, Founders Go Big that started in 2020 through support from JPMorgan Chase. Since its first investments in 2020, Launch NY’s Investor Network has provided nearly $1.3 million in funding to 11 Upstate New York startup companies in 13 transactions.

“At a time when it’s so important to lift up our community, we know investors, just like our organization, want to connect with opportunities to support all startups, but especially those who are typically overlooked by the usual sources of venture capital in our region,” said Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY.  Our Investor Network provides a one-of-kind platform to make it easy, especially now with our reduced minimum investment of $5,000 that makes the #investlocal effort convenient and affordable.”

Over 210 accredited investors have already joined the Investor Network through a no cost, no obligation-to-invest sign up, and more than thirty have participated in 13 transactions in 11 companies, with investments surpassing the $1 million milestone last November, and now totaling nearly $1.3 million.

Investor Network members can invest as little as $5,000 all the way up to six-figures in any or all of our next three deals. Launch NY is continuing to waive its membership fee until it reaches its target of 300 total investors for its beta phase in the coming months. Accredited investors can find out more about Launch NY’s Investor Network on its website at Investor Network – Launch NY.

Members of the Investor Network, including those who join in the next two weeks are invited to Launch NY’s upcoming Founders and Investors Celebration on Thursday, June 23, which will mark the occasion of Launch NY’s 10th anniversary.

About Launch New York

The mission of Launch New York, Inc. (Launch NY), the only U.S. Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) directly providing venture funding to businesses in New York State, is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies that can transform the local economy and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture in the 27 counties comprising the western half of Upstate New York. Launch NY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit venture development organization that promotes economic development through best practices, including high-quality pro bono business mentoring, while operating the most active seed fund in New York State that provides access to seed capital as part of an array of #InvestLocal financing programs designed to facilitate funding for investment-ready companies which have the promise to drive significant economic impact and jobs for our region.

Launch NY is headquartered in Buffalo and has co-locations with partner organizations in Binghamton, Ithaca, Rochester and Syracuse. Since 2012, it has served 1,369 companies, has more than 30 experienced local entrepreneurs-in-residence and its National Mentor Network of 2,000 industry, business and investment experts. Launch NY has mentored companies, including 28% women-led and 28% minority-led startups, which have created 4,865 jobs, attracted over $1.1 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY and generated over $214 million in annual revenues.

Launch NY’s #InvestLocal Financing Programs include a nonprofit fund, for-profit limited partner fund and Investor Network. The Investor Network includes opportunities for accredited investors to fund Launch NY portfolio companies of their choice starting with a free sign up to join a community of over 211 members. Those funded by Launch NY’s nonprofit fund, started in 2016, include 80 portfolio companies comprising 29% women-led and 29% minority-led, have created 446 jobs, attracted over $154 million after receiving funding from Launch NY and generated nearly $45 million in annual revenues. Launch NY also leads the premier Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator, one of six designated clean energy incubators sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as the Founders Go Big program, an innovative diversity and inclusion initiative introduced in 2020.