2022 Round Up: Launch NY 10th Anniversary Milestone





Most active seed fund in NYS recognized among top 5 nonprofit seed funds in the country as Launch NY’s Nonprofit Fund Investments Increased 39% in 2022 and helped portfolio companies raise 34x in additional capital


$1.755 million invested in Western New York startup companies in 2022


Buffalo, N.Y., January 31, 2022 – Launch NY, the first and only nonprofit Venture Development Organization and venture-funding Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to provide pro bono mentoring and seed capital access to early-stage startups in the 27 westernmost counties of New York State, celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and topped $10 million in total investments made in area startup companies.

Although communities across the Western portion of Upstate New York faced continued challenges through 2022, Launch NY persevered in its work to support growth of the startup ecosystem in Upstate New York, increasing investments from its nonprofit Seed Fund by 38.7% over 2021 to $1.325 million as of December 31, 2022. Plus, it continued its pace of 2-4 investments per month that has made it the most active seed fund in New York State and one of the most active in the country. Launch NY also earned a new ranking in 2022 among the top five nonprofit seed funds in the country based on track record, executive leadership, market share, innovation, and ESG rating as published by SeedRound.

The first and oldest of Launch NY’s three #InvestLocal funding programs, its nonprofit Seed Fund, started in 2016, has now invested a total of $5.595 million in 86 local startups, enabling those portfolio companies to raise an added $190.8 million—34 times more—in co-investment and follow-on funding from outside investors. The follow-on capital raised by its portfolio companies came from angel investors, venture capital firms and other institutional investors attracted by the strength of the businesses and the robust ecosystem supporting their growth.

Including its 2022 investments from Launch NY’s other #InvestLocal funding programs—$715,000 from its for-profit Limited Partner (LP) Fund and $280,000 from its Investor Network—total investments made by Launch NY since its inception ten years ago now total $10.009 million dollars.

“It was incredibly gratifying to be ranked among the top five nonprofit seed funds in the country in 2022, our 10th anniversary year, right alongside our mentor and role model JumpStart, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio, which has been investing three times as long as we have. Our work creating a variety of nonprofit and for profit investment programs, while also offering valuable business guidance and connections, makes us unique in the U.S.,” said Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D., President and CEO of Launch NY. “The small but mighty dollars from our nonprofit fund have enabled our companies to raise 34 times our capital, plus we have engaged nearly 300 accredited investors to #investlocal with us, and we continue to add new investors to our network every week, helping to grow a sustainable ecosystem where startups led by diverse founders thrive, and making it possible for them to build a scalable business right here in our own backyard.”


2022 Launch NY Financial Highlights:


$10.009 million is the total invested in Upstate New York startups through Launch NY’s #InvestLocal financing programs since the organization was founded ten years ago.

$2.320 million is the total invested by Launch NY in 2022. This compares to $2.712 million in 2021, $2.230 million in 2020, and $1.160 million in 2019.

$1.325 million is the amount invested in 2022 by Launch NY’s nonprofit Seed Fund through 25 transactions (9 new and 16 follow-on) in 22 companies. This compares to $955,000 in 2021, $872,500 in 2020, and $855,000 in 2019. Launch NY’s nonprofit Seed Fund is the most active in New York State and one of the most active in the country, and has invested $5.595 million since its inception.

$715,000 is the amount invested in 2022 by Launch NY’s Limited Partner (LP) Fund I, comprising 74 LPs, through 15 transactions (5 new and 10 follow-on) in 14 companies. This compares to $997,273 in 2021, $922,500 in 2020, and $305,000 in 2019. The LP Fund, Launch NY’s first for-profit fund that debuted in 2019 and invests alongside the Seed Fund, has thus far invested over $2.940 million.

$280,000 is the amount invested in 2022 by Launch NY’s Investor Network, the first and only online community featuring exclusively Upstate NY startup investments, in four transactions in four companies. This compares to $1,035,000 in 2021 and $105,000 in 2020, its first year of operation. Thus far, the Investor Network has raised and invested $1.475 million. The Investor Network membership reached 252 accredited investor members at the end of 2022.

86 is the number of startup companies funded by Launch NY’s #InvestLocal financing programs to date with 55 of these receiving capital from Launch NY’s LP Fund I. This is an increase from 77 companies at the end of 2021. These companies have created 498 jobs, attracted $190.8 million in follow-on funding, and generated more than $60 million in annual revenues. Forty three percent of Launch NY’s portfolio companies are women and/or minority-led ventures, and over 70% are located in low-income neighborhoods.


Companies that Received Seed Capital from Launch NY in 2022 Included:  


Central New York

CathBuddy—First safely reusable intermittent urinary catheter system for individuals with neurogenic bladder.

Radiant Abilities—Providing mental health and psychoeducational support to teens and adults with disabilities in the area of dating and developing healthy relationships.


Finger Lakes

812 Inventions—The Dipit® Brand Condiment Caddy provides individuals with a convenient and cleaner method of enjoying a variety of finger foods.

Re-Nuble—Transforms food waste into plant-based technologies for both soil based and hydroponic cultivation.

Sign-Speak—Automated American Sign Language (ASL) recognition and production application for impromptu interactions, enabling more natural, dynamic communication.

TheirStory—Web-based video recording and hosting platform that helps to facilitate, record, and archive meaningful stories and conversations, making those stories more consumable for future generations.


Southern Tier

Dimensional Energy—Making solar fuels viable through efficient utilization and even distribution of sunlight in scalable reactor forms with novel, functionalized catalysts, including sustainable aviation fuel, which earned the company an investment from United Airlines.

EMPEQ—Fast Site Survey creates detailed, accurate on-site building data capture with the click of a smartphone’s camera, making building energy audits more efficient and more accurate.

Exotanium—Developing a new container architecture called X-Containers that supports strong security, high performance, good customizability, and low cost of running application containers in the cloud, which has been advanced through a $12 million round closed in 2022.

Halomine—Novel antimicrobial coating solutions for healthcare and food industries.


Western New York

aireXpert—Digital platform that facilitates workflow and communications for the global aircraft maintenance industry, which received funding as a featured BIPOC-founder led company in Launch NY’s Investor Network DEI company round in 2022.

Arbol—Two-sided market-network that uses technology, finance, and crowdsourcing to enable low-income college students obtain the financial and community support they need by connecting them with online-funders; led by BIPOC founders who are first generation college students themselves.

Azuna—All-natural, American-made line of odor, mold, and mildew-eliminating products.

Braidbabes—Mobile hair braiders in Buffalo, NY, Nashville, TN and Raleigh, NC.

Cahill Tech—Digital platform that delivers knowledge, training, and safety to the construction workforce; led by a women founder from the construction industry and recognized with the 2022 Associated General Contractors of America Innovation Award.

EagleHawk—Drone solutions for large-scale facility asset management creating preventive maintenance and other energy efficiency benefits for buildings.

Feedback Solutions—Sensors to calculate highly accurate occupancy in buildings affording automated building maintenance technology to increase energy efficiency.

Ferric Contrast—Biomedical company solving a toxicity issue in MRI by developing an iron-based contrast agent to replace the currently used gadolinium-based contrast agents.

Jeca Energy Bar—Artisanal, plant-based nutrition bars featuring globally inspired flavors.

MemoryFox—SaaS storytelling platform built specifically for nonprofits that helps organizations collect and leverage community-generated content.

Ognomy—HIPAA compliant software platform to enable greater access to care, and lower costs, for patients suffering from sleep apnea.

Patient Pattern—Software to identify and communicate patient risk across facilities, care settings affording cost-effective healthcare delivery to hospital systems and other care organizations.

PostProcess—Automated and intelligent post-printing solutions for 3D printed parts that remove the bottleneck in the third step of additive manufacturing – post-printing – through integrated and patented software, hardware, and chemistry technologies.

Wellconnected—An intake/referral tool and data repository for non-clinical information exchange between social care providers to optimize delivery of social services and related resources.

Zealot Interactive—Interactive streaming video educational ecosystems for musical instruments that pair with optional physical learning device systems.


2022 Launch NY Other Notable Accomplishments:


Launch NY celebrated its 10th anniversary. In the 10 years since it was founded in October 2012, Launch NY has provided mentorship to 1,442 startup founders, of which 43% have been women and/or BIPOC. Overall, companies supported through Launch NY mentorship have created 4,916 jobs, raised over $1.248 billion in follow-on investments, and generated almost $228 million in annual revenues.

Launch NY introduced its Investor Network 2.0, which provides access to more types of #InvestLocal opportunities than ever before, as well as a robust, easy-to-use and secure online platform that simplifies startup investing—from reviewing new investment opportunities, including pitches, founder Q&As and due diligence materials, to monitoring and managing member investment portfolios.

Launch NY introduced its new Resource Navigator to assist startup companies with the identification and pursuit of funding opportunities as well as other sources of support including technical assistance, programs, events, and more. The Resource Navigator can be accessed on Launch NY’s website at

Launch NY raised $4.150 million in grants from public- and private-sector funders in 2022 to continue expanding its pro bono mentorship services and high-volume transactions delivering capital to local startups through its #InvestLocal programs. New awards included:


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, combined with a virtual office and coworking space, known as Launch Station. It delivers in person and virtual mentorship through more than 30 experienced local Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and its National Mentor Network of 2,000 industry, business, and investment experts. 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.

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 and an to join a community of over 250 members who have the option to invest as little as $10,000 per company.

For more information about Launch NY, its programs, and other entrepreneurial opportunities, visit, and follow Launch NY on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Tag: launch NY, 43North partnership, Upstate NY investment, startup support, entrepreneur ecosystem, business growth, economic development, venture capital, innovation hub, mentorship program, seed funding, entrepreneurial community, startup accelerator, business incubator, funding opportunities, tech startups, investment landscape, entrepreneurship resources, innovation initiatives, regional economic impact.