June 11, 2020

Launch NY Announces EagleHawk as Upstate’s First #InvestLocal Digital Community Deal

Buffalo, N.Y., June 11, 2020 – For accredited investors looking to help restart Upstate’s economy, time is running out to sign up for this round of new investment opportunities through Launch New York (Launch NY)’s Investor Network, the first on demand digital investment community featuring Launch NY’s portfolio companies across industries throughout the western half of the state. This new investor onboarding comes as Launch NY announces its first Investor Network deal, providing $85,000 of new funding from Launch NY’s nonprofit and Limited Partner (LP) seed funds combined with the inaugural investment from the Investor Network.

For a minimum of $10,000, investors can access Launch NY’s newest #investlocal financing program to support local startups with the convenience of having a trusted source of deal flow, investment leadership, and portfolio management. The deadline for Launch NY’s next round of Investor Network deals for subscribers to review and select is July 31st. Plus, there is no cost to sign up and no obligation to invest during this pilot phase.

EagleHawk, a Buffalo-based drone solutions company, is the first of three startups Launch NY has designated as receiving funding from the Investor Network. The company recently earned national news coverage for its safe and effective process for disinfecting large areas against COVID-19, both outdoors and indoors. With its new funding, EagleHawk plans to release their beta software platform and fund working capital for growth in response to significant market demand.

“The timing of our introduction of the Investor Network as a digital “deal room” showcasing Upstate NY deals funded by Launch NY was fortuitous given the challenges we’re facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Now when our economy needs it most, we can gather investors from our region, as well as the entire country and even the globe to support transformational entrepreneurs making a difference in our own backyard with innovative products and economic impact,” said Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President & CEO of Launch NY, Upstate New York’s first and only venture development organization to provide pro bono mentoring and the most active seed fund in New York State to high-growth startups across the 27 westernmost counties of the state. “Our Investor Network even features Qualified Opportunity Funds that support companies in the most economically distressed areas while affording investors significant tax benefits,” said LaVigne.

Among 11 companies featured on the Investor Network, the two newest include Walkabout Workplace and Gian Corporation, who will be among nearly 30 Launch NY portfolio companies to exhibiting at the first Launch NY Virtual LP Summit on June 29th from 3-6 pm. The Virtual Summit, open to Launch NY LPs and Investor Network subscribers, will be hosted on portfolio company Walkabout Workplace’s digital meeting platform offering accredited investor meetings, company demos, and even a virtual cocktail hour.

The new company investment opportunities on the Investor Network include:

Walkabout Workplace is a Buffalo-based company that offers a digital workplace or virtual office for people who work remotely. Co-Founder and COO Antoinette Forth said the timing with COVID-19 has meant all of her staff is “heads down completely” as they respond to high demand of companies, colleges, and other organizations instituting remote work situations, meetings, and learning, such as their new virtual program teaching coding with 10 campuses across the country.

Gian Corporation, located in Rochester, is transforming the grocery shopping experience by giving consumers tools to identify the right foods at grocery stores through HealthCart, a software platform and app that helps consumers make better food choices based on their individual health needs, medications and more.

Potential investors can directly access detailed due diligence information about all the Investor Network companies when they join the community of nearly 100 investors forecasted to grow to 300 by the end of 2020. Accredited investors are encouraged to learn more about the Investor Network at https://launchny.org/investor-network or to sign up free https://launchny.org/investor-network#investNow.

Both sites are mobile-friendly, which means it’s possible to access information, learn more about the companies and ultimately invest from anywhere in the world from the convenience of a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. To attend the June 29th Launch NY Virtual LP Summit, investors need to sign up for the Investor Network by June 20th. The deadline to invest in the new companies on the Investor Network is July 31st.

The Investor Network is part of Launch NY’s #InvestLocal financing programs, which include its nonprofit Seed Fund and for profit Limited Partner (LP) Fund. Founded in 2016, Launch NY’s Seed Fund is fueled by grants and donations (most notably from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund) and provides $25,000 to $100,000 in investment capital to companies that meet criteria. It’s invested in over $2.9 million in Upstate startups, with returns in the coming years feeding back to the fund to support investments in future startups in what is known as an “evergreen cycle.”

Launch NY’s for-profit Limited Partner (LP) Fund debuted in 2019 and is designed to co-invest alongside Launch NY’s nonprofit Seed Fund, ultimately doubling the capital available for Launch NY client companies.

LaVigne said now is the time for investors to realize the powerful impact they can have with these investment opportunities allowing them to do well financially while doing good in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Throughout my tenure at Launch NY, I’ve talked to countless people who’ve expressed interest in supporting promising Upstate startups, and I can’t think of a better time or way than to do it now through our Investor Network and joining hundreds of others who are participating alongside one of the most active seed funds in the country.”

For more information about Launch NY, its programs and other entrepreneurial opportunities, visit its recently-redesigned website at www.launchny.org, and follow Launch NY on its Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.