Launch NY Newsletter – July 2017


Launch NY

Launch NY News & Updates Upcoming Events
M&T Awards $100,000 Grant to Launch NY to Promote Success of Upstate NY Startups

Launch NY is proud to announce that the M&T Charitable Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to continue to fuel high-growth potential entrepreneurs through pro-bono mentoring and seed funding. The M&T Charitable Foundation award is also supporting the effort led by Launch NY and other local organizations, to develop a new online magazine, Upstart NY. Unlike any other publication in the region, Upstart NY is solely dedicated to telling the story on entrepreneurship and innovation in Western New York.

Rachel’s Remedy Takes Home Top Prize at Bright Buffalo Niagara 2017

Rachel Jackson, Founder and CEO, of Rachel’s Remedy has continued her recent string of successes this summer by being named the grand prize winner of $20,000 at the Bright Buffalo Niagara 2017 Expo! This win also gives Rachel an automatic pass into the 43North Semifinals and a chance to pitch at an upcoming UVANY event. The Bright Buffalo Niagara Expo was held on June 28th at the recently opened Hotel Henry, where nine Launch NY client companies took part in both the 90 second and 5 minute pitches. Launch NY was proud to be a sponsor in this great event, which gave support to and shone a spotlight on many of our region’s most promising entrepreneurs.

Kauffman Foundation ESHIP Summit Brings Together Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Leaders from Across the Nation

Last month, President & CEO, Marnie LaVigne along with four of her fellow Upstate NY ecosystem builders, joined leaders from across the country at the Kauffman Foundation ESHIP Summit in Kansas City, Missouri. Ecosystem builders sharing a passion for driving long-term community change by supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, came together to hear fresh ideas and create tangible action plans to bring back to their regions. Participants left the two day summit with new ideas, plans, tools, and connections they can use to foster more robust ecosystems that support entrepreneurs and innovators in their regions.

Upstart NY, Changing How We View Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Western NY

If you still haven’t signed up to receive Upstart NY’s biweekly newsletter, now is your chance. Subscribe today for your chance to win a Bak USA Seal Tablet. Upstart NY is solely dedicated to entrepreneurship in the Western NY region and features the startups and people helping to build a thriving ecosystem.

July 18, 2017
Idea Fling
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Rochester, NY

July 18, 2017
2:00 – 4:00 PM
Albany, NY

July 19, 2017
Tech Meets Taste
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Syracuse, NY

July 20, 2017
UVANY: The Rochester Capital Stack
5:00 – 8:00 PM
Rochester, NY

July 26, 2017
Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) Info Session
8:00 – 10:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

July 27, 2017
Startup Grind Buffalo: OnCore Golf
6:30 – 9:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

August 3 – 4, 2017
Medical Device Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp
Syracuse, NY

August 9 – 10, 2017
UVANY: 10th Annual Investor Forum & Day at the Races
Saratoga, NY

August 10, 2017
RevIthaca Hardware Demo Day
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Ithaca, NY

Startup Spotlight
GRASPIE Aims to Change the Way We Train the Millennial Workforce

GRASPIE™ is the 1st Mobile Engagement and Learning Platform for the Millennial Workforce. GRASPIE™ helps businesses create and push amazing learning content for engagement and training directly to their millennials mobile devices. This platform allows these businesses to train, engage, and reward employees from anywhere, and at anytime, while keeping costs for training affordable.

Launch NY has been a tremendous partner in helping GRASPIE™ truly realize its growth potential. It has provided top-notch mentorship, through their Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), Manoj Pooleery that few minority tech startups receive within their first two years of development. With the aid of EIRs experienced in the SaaS, B2B and AI fields, Launch NY has helped position GRASPIE™ to truly be a 1st to market company with the potential to revolutionize the learning and training space for the new workforce. Founder and CEO Derrick Parson is truly excited for what’s to come!

#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 last month below!

June 28, 2017
#LaunchHour: Bright Buffalo Niagara 2017 Pre-Event Conversation

View the whole chat Here.

Q1. What is the @Bright_Buffalo Forum?

  • Jon Carmen (@getsimplefund) – A forum to bring together entrepreneurs and investors from Upstate NY. #LaunchHour
  • Peter Schick (@Houseatwork) – A great place to meet likeminded entrepreneurs. #LaunchHour
  • Frank Gullo (@frankfullo) – @Bright_Buffalo has become the premier Buffalo event bringing together local startups & investors to talk, pitch, & make deals #LaunchHour

Q3. Finalists, tell us about your company. What problem are you solving?

  • Kelly Helmuth (@mybestestaoo) – Bestest is a free app that lets you poll anyone, anywhere, on anything, anytime you want – right from your phone #LaunchHour
  • Jon Carmen (@getsimplefund) – SimpleFund is a modern solution to fundraising that replaces candy bar sales, popcorn sales, box tops, and car washes. #LaunchHour
  • Peter Schick (@Houseatwork) – House at Work helps homeowners not get ripped off by contractors, currently, live in Buffalo at #LaunchHour

Q7. What makes Upstate NY communities like Buffalo a great place for a startup?

  • Anntoinette Forth (@walkaboutco) – Great support network. Could not ask for more support. It’s up to #entrepreneurs to take that leap and get involved. #LaunchHour
  • Frank Gullo (@frankgullo) – There’s a great mix of resources here like @launch_ny, @Bright_Buffalo, @Invest_BN, @forty3north, and @SWBuffalo to help startups. #LaunchHour

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


Upstate NY Resource Network
Check it out here >
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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 Steve Nicosia

Steve Nicosia is a senior executive with over 27 years of experience in sales management, marketing, strategy, strategic alliances, acquisitions, launching new products/markets and P&L responsibility.   He currently advises/consults with start-up software companies and small businesses on starting, growing and exiting their businesses.  Steve spent 16 years in various senior executive roles at Emphasys software, a division of Constellation Software Inc., Canada’s largest software company.

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