October 11, 2022
LAUNCH NY RECEIVES SECOND $750,000 GRANT FROM US COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TO SUPPORT TECH-DRIVEN STARTUPS
Regional high-growth tech startup companies,
especially with underrepresented founders,
will benefit from Launch NY’s expanded #InvestLocal programs
Buffalo, N.Y., October 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, has been awarded a new $750,000 grant from the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The grant, within EDA’s Build to Scale program, is designated for organizations that support tech-based economic development by increasing inclusive access to startup capital and business support.
The Build to Scale program consists of two competitions: the Capital Challenge and the Venture Challenge. This year, Launch NY was awarded a Capital Challenge grant, which seeks to increase access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply.
Launch NY will utilize the new grant to recapitalize and expand its #InvestLocal Financing Programs—including its Nonprofit Seed Fund, its for profit Limited Partner Fund, and its Investor Network—and support and sustain its role as the most active seed funding source in the region. To date, Launch NY has invested nearly $9.1 million in 84 startup companies that have created 473 jobs, attracted $157 million in follow-on funding, and generated $50 million in annual revenues. Over 70% of those startups are located in low-income communities and over 40% are led by underrepresented founders
“Our ultimate goal is to increase the amount, impact, and sustainability of seed capital for seed stage startups in order to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that catalyzes innovation and fuels economic growth across the region. This grant will help us achieve that goal by ensuring that Launch NY can continue providing access to ‘first money in’ for under-resourced entrepreneurs, especially growing participation of co-investors beyond our current 250 plus accredited investors” said Marnie LaVigne, PhD, President and CEO of Launch NY. “Additionally, EDA funding helps us support these companies with pro bono mentorship through our Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program, along with specialized programs such as our Emerging Cleantech Opportunity Incubator (ECO) for climate tech companies and Founders Go Big for underrepresented founders.
“These projects will give the next generation of industry-leading companies a seminal boost that will result in job creation and private investment—potentially transforming a regional economy and creating economic opportunity beyond what we can foresee said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.
For more information about this year’s grant, read the EDA’s news release here.
In 2021, Launch NY won a $750,000 Venture Challenge grant through the Build to Scale program, which it is utilizing to develop “Fast Forward,” a new initiative designed to catapult seed-stage companies to greater heights with intensive portfolio management programming, including support for its Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator and Founders Go Big member companies.
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 1,413 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 4,886 jobs, attracted nearly $1.3 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY and generated $218 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. To date, Launch NY has invested nearly $9.1 million in 84 startup companies that have created 473 jobs, attracted over $157 million in follow-on funding, and generated $50 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.