Launch NY Newsletter – August 2017


Launch NY

Launch NY News & Updates Upcoming Events

Congratulations to our President & CEO

Launch NY President & CEO, Marnie LaVigne was named one of Buffalo Business First’s 2017 Power 100 Women. Your passion and unwavering commitment to transforming upstate New York’s economy inspires us every day.

How Storytellers are Impacting Entrepreneurial Success

Join us on Wednesday, August 16th at noon for this month’s #LaunchHour TwitterChat! We’ll be featuring a panel from across the US focused on telling the stories of people making a real impact to the entrepreneurial ecosystems in their regions. Hear how these masterful storytellers are spurring the active participation and meaningful action needed to fuel entrepreneurial success in their regions. Our panelists include UpstartNY, New Economy Initiative, 43North, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Bill Irvine, and more!

Five Startups Take the Stage at StartFast Venture Accelerator Demo Day

The highly competitive StartFast Venture Accelerator program provides startups with capital, access to virtual staff, work space, and introductions to world-renowned mentors and angel investors as well as big-name venture funds.

RepHike, a Launch NY client, is one of only five superstar startups selected to take the stage at StartFast Demo Day 2017. The five companies will present their plans for changing our world using the latest internet and mobile technologies to a packed room of angel investors and venture capitalists, all searching for the next big thing. Join us in congratulating RepHike and cheering for their success at StartFast Demo Day which will take place in Syracuse, NY on August 17, 2017!

Registration for this free event is still open.

Local Entrepreneur Wins the Bak USA Tablet

Sandra Talley, a Buffalo native who recently returned to the region as a passionate entrepreneur was excited to learn about UpstartNY, the new

online publication devoted exclusively to entrepreneurship and innovation in Western NY. She signed up for the publication as a way to learn and grow in her innovative endeavors, but never expected that she would be selected as the winner of the  Bak USA Seal Tablet giveaway! Sandra joined us at the Bak USA headquarters to receive her tablet and tour the local operations where it was built. Read more about Sandra’s win and her visit to and Bak USA on Upstart NY, the only publication committed to telling the stories about the people changing Western NY through entrepreneurship. Subscribe today to stay up to date on the latest entrepreneurial news.


August 16, 2017
#LaunchHour: How Entrepreneur Focused Publications & Storytellers across the Country are helping to Grow Their Economies
12:00 – 1:00 PM

August 15, 2017
Optimizing Your Competitive Edge with High-Tech Manufacturing Research
1:30 – 2:30 PM

August 15, 2017
Breaking Down the Silos  
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Binghamton, NY

August 17, 2017
StartFast Demo Day
1:30 – 5:00 PM
Syracuse, NY

August 17, 2017
Startup Drinks
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Rochester, NY

August 23, 2017
Startup Grind Buffalo
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

September 6, 2017
RocGrowth Candids
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Rochester, NY

Competition & Funding Deadlines

September 1, 2017
The PITCH MWBE Business Plan Competition



Startup Spotlight
Disco Lemonade Will Help Keep You Cool this Summer

In the summer of 2016, Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine, a Launch NY client located in Cazenovia, NY, introduced their spirit-based, canned Disco Lemonade which was recognized  this past June on Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “5 Canned Cocktails Just Right for Summer” list. Through their work with Launch NY EIR, Paul Brooks, the Life of Reilley team is continuing to grow and expand their sales and distribution throughout the Northeast and beyond. Currently you can find Disco Lemonade throughout New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Check out a behind the scenes look with the Life of Reilley team from a past #LaunchHour Twitterchat.

#LaunchHour TwitterChat Tips Launch NY Resources
#LaunchHour TwitterChats are monthly virtual chats featuring important topics for startups and entrepreneurs. Join us monthly to hear from industry experts on our panel. If you missed us you can view our past TwitterChats in our archive and checkout some great tips from previous months below!

Building the Dream Startup Team

Q6. Who is the ideal startup team member or employee?

  • Secrets of Champions (@SecretsOfChamps) – The one who your instincts draw you to. Don’t over-analyze. Read the resume only once. Your feel is usually right. #LaunchHour
  • Dan Magnuszewski (@magnachef) – Someone that believes in the mission of the company, no ego, and willingness to work outside of their skill and comfort zone #LaunchHour
  • Frank Gullo (@frankgullo) – Someone comfortable wearing multiple hats & facing new challenges every day. A person with entrepreneurial spirit. #LaunchHour (@frankgullo)

How to Land Your First 5, 10, 100+ Customers

Q2. What do I need to do before I can land my first customer?

  • Manoj Pooleery (@mphisocial) – Customer Discovery process should start early on. Myth – if you build it, they will come. #launchhour
  • Patrick Bosek (@PatrickBosek) – Expertise. Or a product and expertise #launchhour
  • Anthony Johnson (@EmpireGenomics) – It’s all about #Differentiation #MeedingNeeds and #DefiningValue #lauchhour
  • Eben Piazza (@StartUpGrindBuf) – You need a clear vision of your capabilities, your goals, what matters to your target market, and a level of trust. #launchhour (@StartUpGrindBuf)

Find more great #LaunchHour TwitterChats tips in our archive!

Join us for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat August 16, 2017!

Upstate NY Resource Network
Check it out here >
Check it out here>

Upstate NY Rainforest Canvas Study
Check it out here >

5 Business Stages – Where are you?

Each stage contains critical deliverables for moving forward. Starting with the Explore stage, see where you are on the path to success.
Find out here >

Entrepreneur Toolkit 
The toolkit is a set of templates and links designed to help start, launch and grow your business in upstate New York. 
Check it out here >

Is Launch NY a fit for you?
Launch NY provides entrepreneurs experienced mentoring using best practice processes and connections to specialized resources both in and beyond the Upstate NY ecosystem.Thus preparing you to compete for and win the funding and additional resources needed to move forward. Apply Now! >

Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Introduction
Meet Paul Brooks

“There is great satisfaction in mentoring and working closely with innovative, talented entrepreneurs who are passionate about their businesses, optimistic about their futures, and confident in their ability to succeed,” said Paul Brooks, on his work as a Launch NY EIR.

With over 35 years of management experience in industry sectors as diverse as emerging business development, computer equipment leasing, enterprise software, marketing communications, and non- profit organizations, Paul is an expert in team-building, program management, and strategy development. He is a native of Syracuse and graduate of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, where he earned a BS Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management. Paul has had wide-ranging responsibilities in his career including sales and marketing management, sales training and recruiting, administrative management, marketing communications and PR, business development, organizational effectiveness, and new-venture business creation and incubation.

Read more about Paul and our other EIRs on our website.