Launch NY Newsletter – February 2019

Launch NY News & Updates

Launch NY Introduces New Investor Network at Invest Local Summit & Expo


At the inaugural Invest Local Summit & Expo held on February 5th, Launch NY introduced its new Investor Network that will afford accredited investors the opportunity to participate in funding companies they select from Launch NY’s robust pipeline of seed and early stage client businesses. These returns-based investments work in tandem with Launch NY’s non-profit seed fund, which has been built on donations and grants, becoming one of 

the most active seed funds in the country and the most active in New York State since inception in 2016. 

If you believe in investing in your backyard through your time, talent and/or, treasure join us on this journey and sign up to learn more.

Read the full release.

Maggie Dorn, Chief Network Officer at The Motley Fool Joins LNY Board of Directors

Maggie Dorn, Chief Network Officer at The Motley Fool and Venture Partner for Motley Fool Ventures, an early stage, technology-focused venture capital fund powered by The Motley Fool’s brand has joined Launch NY’s Board of Directors. Maggie was part of the Motley Fool Ventures team that led its recent raise collecting $150 million from over 800 individual limited partners for its debut venture fund. A Western New York native, Maggie manages and grows The Motley Fool’s network of influencers, thought leaders, and businesses, uncovering collaborative opportunities that add thought diversity and commercial value.

When commenting on the fit with Launch NY, Maggie Dorn, Chief Network Officer, The Motley Fool said “their latest Investor Network initiative, which aims to connect investors to support high-growth companies, aligns with my professional work at The Motley Fool and my personal enthusiasm as a Western New York native.”

Read the full release.


Apply to Learn How to Grow Your Cleantech Business at ECO Incubator’s Innovation Sprint

ECO Incubator is now accepting applications until February 28, 2019, for its first Innovation Sprint, on understanding the policy and regulatory environment for cleantech startups. ECO Incubator is looking for 5 to 8 pre-seed to Series A cleantech companies to participate in an innovation sprint over the next 3 months, culminating in a 1 day in-person workshop in Buffalo, NY. Companies can expect hands on mentoring around developing company specific strategies to connect their market solutions to policy goals, networking opportunities, and more. Apply today!

Join us Wednesday, February 20th at Noon for #LaunchHour TwitterChat

Do you want to know how you can support Upstate startups and Invest Local? Join us on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 to learn the many ways you can get involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and be part of the growing success of our local startups with our panel of experts including, Launch NY’s Investor Network, Buffalo Homecoming, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Viaduct, and Western New York Venture Association, who were all featured at the February 5th Invest Local Summit & Expo. Never joined a TwitterChat before? It’s easy, just follow @Launch_NY on Twitter and use the hashtag #LaunchHour to see the discussion. Enjoy the conversation and jump in with tweets anytime.

Calling All High-Growth Upstate NY Founders

Launch NY is partnering with Upstate Venture Connect and Madden School of Business at Le Moyne College to discover the economic impact of high-growth companies in our region. The more data we are able to capture, the better we can assess the impact and future needs of companies across Upstate NY. The results are used to build a better eco-system and connect founders with the resources they need to succeed. Upstate NY Founders and CEOs from pre-revenue  to revenue generating companies, let your voices be heard and take the 2018-19 CEO Survey now.

Startup Spotlight

Two Launch NY Portfolio Companies Named to Buffalo’s Five Startups to Watch


Buffalo Business First named two of Launch NY’s portfolio companies, 3AM Innovations and RepHike to their list of Five Buffalo Startups to Watch in 2019. 3AM Innovations who is developing a first responder tracking system raised nearly $1 million in 2018 and are looking to turn early adopters of FLARE (Firefighter Location and Rescue Equipment) into paying customers. 

RepHike, a micro influencer software company, brought in investor Paul Singh, founder of Results Junkies investment firm and former partner at 500 Startups, in late 2018, and hope to continue their growth and revenue momentum into 2019.

3AM Innovations and RepHike are in good company, last year, ACV Auctions, who just closed at $93 million Series D round led by Bain Capital, topped the list.

Join the First Buffalo Class of Founder’s Institute

In case you missed it, the Founder Institute (FI), the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator, has opened a new chapter in Buffalo! FI focuses on founders instead of ideas. If you are talented and motivated to do the work required to build an enduring tech or tech-enabled company, they want to hear from you. This includes aspiring founders with a full-time job, solo founders, teams, and founders of established companies that are pre-funding. Apply by March 10, 2019.

#LaunchHour TwitterChat Tips

LaunchHour TwitterChats are monthly virtual chats featuring important topics for startups, entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem stakeholders. Join us over your lunch to hear from expert panelists. Check out our archive for past TwitterChats filled with tips like those below.
See you at the next #LaunchHour  TwitterChat, Wednesday, February 20th at noon.

January 16, 2018: Navigating Startup Business Competitions in Upstate NY. View the whole chat on Wakelet.

What is the focus of your competition?

  • Southern Tier Startup Alliance(@ST_Startup) – 76West is a @NYSERDA program focused on early-stage companies working with energy efficiency, renewables, or emission reduction with a novel approach, business model, or innovation.
  • New York Business Plan Competition(@NYBPC) – Our competition is focused on encouraging entrepreneurship among students across NYS, helping students launch & grow their businesses, and making connections for students entrepreneurs to the NYS ecosystem.
  • Genius NY (@GeniusNYProgram) – Our focus is on early stage startups focused on drones, internet of things, data to decisions, or robotics. We have a great ecosystem for unmanned aerial systems in Central New York @uascentral
  • Luminate Accelerator (@LuminateROC) – Our competition is designed for optics, photonics, and imaging startups. As an accelerator, our goal is to help all these companies advance and grow. #ROC has the resources + infrastructure to do it!
  • 43North (@forty3north) – Primarily, 43North is focused on bringing high-quality startups to Buffalo each year through our $5million competition. Additionally, we are committed to ensuring our portfolio is set up to succeed in Buffalo through mentorship, networking and ensuring that they’re a good fit for Buffalo before they even make it through the competition

Want to learn more about Upstate NY business plan competitions? View the whole chat on Wakelet!
Join us for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat, February 20, 2019; Invest Local 101: How Can You Get Involved?

Meet Launch NY Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs)

Don De Laria

Don De Laria’s career has spanned a number of industries with a variety of companies both big and small. After investment banking, syndicate, and institutional equity sales, Don founded Deephaven Financial Group, where he led investor relations efforts for numerous companies. He later moved into the movie business with Regal Entertainment Group, to a stock loyalty start-up, Loyal 3 and to Zep, Inc., a specialty chemical company. More recently, Don has led business development efforts for a specialty chemical distributor and two companies engaged in the field of artificial intelligence.

Don enjoys giving back by mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs through local incubators and accelerators. Prior to joining Launch NY as an EIR, Don mentored at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, which is one of the oldest incubators in the U.S. He is also a member of the Western New York Venture Association and Buffalo Angels. Don is especially skilled at the LEAN start-up method and facilitating and implementing LEAN processes to drive enhanced efficiency. Don’s experience encompasses everything from founding start-ups to business development and enterprise sales for early stage companies to participating on the senior management team with and emphasis on investor relations and communications for $1B+ public companies.Read more about Don and our other EIRs on our website