July 11, 2022
LAUNCH NY INVESTS $977,500 IN THIRTEEN COMPANIES IN FIRST HALF OF 2022
With Twenty Separate Transactions, LNY’s #InvestLocal Deals
Nearly Three Times Higher Than Next Most Active Seed Stage Investor in NY State
Buffalo, N.Y., July 11, 2022 – Launch NY, the first and only nonprofit Venture Development Organization to provide pro bono mentoring and seed capital access to early-stage startups in the 27 westernmost counties of New York State, announced that it made investments totaling $977,500 through 20 transactions in 13 startup companies from its nonprofit Seed Fund, for profit Limited Partner (LP) Fund, and Investor Network for the first half of 2022.
Launch NY’s first-half investments bring the total from these #InvestLocal programs to $8.67 million since their inception, including $4.87 million in 83 companies from the nonprofit fund, over $2.52 million in 54 companies from the for profit fund, and $1.28 million in 11 companies through the Investor Network.
Launch NY’s first-half investments span an array of industry sectors from climate tech and fintech to health and education. Seven companies received initial investments from Launch NY totaling $602,500, while six portfolio companies received follow-on investments totaling $375,000. Seven of the 13 companies funded by Launch NY in the first half are led by underrepresented founders.
According to data from crunchbase.com, Launch NY was by far the most active seed stage investor in New York State during the first six months of 2022. In fact, with 20 transactions, Launch NY exceeded the total number of investments made in that period by the next top three New York investors combined, which totaled only 18 deals.
“With an average of over three transactions per month, Launch NY’s #InvestLocal programs remain the most active source of seed capital for new and growing startups in the Upstate New York region, which are driving a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and our regional economy overall,” said Launch NY President and CEO Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D. “As we celebrate Launch NY’s tenth anniversary this year, we continue to expand access to both seed capital and pro bono mentoring for entrepreneurs in our region, while engaging over 250 accredited investors in our programs. We’re especially proud of our record supporting underrepresented founders. Nationally, women and Black founders receive less than 3% of venture capital invested, but in the first-half of the year, BIPOC and woman founders received 45% of Launch NY’s initial and follow-on investments. In fact, Launch NY is currently featuring three minority-founded startups to its Investor Network members.”
The following startup companies received initial investments through Launch NY’s nonprofit Seed Fund and for profit LP Fund:
- 812 Inventions (Rochester) — Dipit® Condiment Caddy provides a convenient and cleaner way to enjoy a variety of finger foods (Black founded)
- AireXpert(Buffalo) — Facilitates workflow and communications for the global aircraft maintenance industry and enables airlines to control and manage unscheduled aircraft maintenance (Black founded)
- Arbol (Buffalo) — Helping low-income students stay in school and graduate (Latino founded)
- Ognomy (Buffalo) — HIPAA compliant software platform to enable people suffering from sleep apnea to get tested and diagnosed from the comfort of their own home
- WellConnected (Buffalo) — Technology solutions that change the way communities share resources and information to help maximize health equities and social impact
- Zealot Interactive (Buffalo) — Zealot’s app offers augmented reality video lessons for real-life musical instruments paired with state-of-the-art hardware
The following Launch NY portfolio companies received follow-on investments through its nonprofit Seed Fund and for profit LP Fund:
- braidbabes (Buffalo) — Mobile hair-braiding company (Woman founded)
- EMPEQ (Southern Tier) — AI-enabled app for energy engineers and commercial contractors to digitize customer equipment data and arrange financing solutions
- Feedback Solutions (Buffalo) — Leverages people-counting sensors and technology platform to calculate real-time occupancy within a building and optimize HVAC requirements
- Jeca (Buffalo) — Artisanal, plant-based nutrition bars featuring globally inspired flavors (Woman founded)
- Patient Pattern (Buffalo) — Leading frailty-driven value-based care platform that aligns payors and providers to automate administrative and clinical workflows
- Re-Nuble (Rochester) — Helping global agricultural communities safely reuse localized food waste and accelerate environmentally-friendly growing practices (Black woman founded)
The following company received an investment from members of Launch NY’s Investor Network:
- PostProcess (Buffalo) — Fully automated post-printing solutions specifically for 3D additive manufacturing, connecting end-to-end digitization from the design step to the post-print step
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 1,384 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 4,875 jobs, attracted over $1.2 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY and generated over $209 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 84 portfolio companies comprising 29% women-led and 30% minority-led, have created 461 jobs, attracted over $156 million after receiving funding from Launch NY and generated nearly $41 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.