May 31, 2023
Launch NY Attracts Another Ex-Pat to its Growing Team
Second Recruit from Colorado Will Be New Program Manager for Federal and State Grants
Buffalo, N.Y. – Launch NY, the first and only nonprofit Venture Development Organization and venture-funding Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to provide pro bono mentorship and seed capital access to early-stage startups in the 27 westernmost counties of New York State, has hired Wendy Wojcik as Program Manager.
Wendy’s responsibilities include project managing federal and state grants, including programming, to support Launch NY’s pro bono mentorship and #InvestLocal seed funding programs.
A Buffalo native, Wendy is returning to Western New York from Colorado, where for the past seven years she has held various senior positions in program and grants management at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade—Small Business Development Center.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business and International Relations from Canisius College.
“I gained tremendous experience working to support economic development and small business growth in Colorado, and now I’m thrilled to be able to put that experience to work here at home, in the community I love most. I’m excited about this new opportunity to join Launch NY and to make a positive impact on Upstate New York’s growing startup ecosystem,” Wendy said.
Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY, said “the momentum in our region’s startup ecosystem, including our track record as the most active seed fund in the state, ranked among the top 5 nonprofit seed funds in the country in 2022, is an increasingly important factor in our ability to attract and retain talent in the globally competitive innovation economy, often drawing expats back to the area for careers that directly contribute to their hometown renaissance.” In the past year, Launch NY itself has added three new members from out-of-state, including two ex-pats. “We’re incredibly fortunate to have Wendy bring a wealth of knowledge and experience back home as our most recent addition who shares our passion for our mission to build a sustainable, inclusive, and equitable startup ecosystem that creates jobs and wealth in our community,” said LaVigne.
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 and one of the top 5 nonprofit seed funds in the country 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 1,487 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 29% women-led and 30% minority-led startups, which have created 4,916 jobs, attracted over $1.29 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY and generated $228 million in annual revenues.
Launch NY’s #InvestLocal Financing Programs include a nonprofit fund, for-profit limited partner fund and Investor Network. To date, Launch NY has invested over $10.2 million in 87 startup companies that have created more than 500 jobs, attracted nearly $198 million in follow-on funding, and generated over $60 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.