Launch NY Newsletter – March 2018


Launch NY

Launch NY News & Updates Upcoming Events

Launch NY Adds 24th Company to Seed Fund Portfolio

As the most active seed fund in Upstate NY, Launch NY is pleased to welcome its 24th company to its portfolio. Our latest investment in Buffalo-based training software startup, GRASPIE, was supported through a 3-year funding commitment by Viaduct. The $50,000 investment will help GRASPIE finish development of their mobile platform. CEO and Founder, Derrick Parson is also working with local colleges and universities to bring on a team of interns. Read more about our latest investment in our press release and more on GRASPIE in their feature.

Join #LaunchHour TwitterChat on March 21st at Noon to Learn How to Build the Right Board for Your Startup

Is your business ready for a Board? An Advisory Board or Board of Directors? Join us on Wednesday, March 21st, at noon, for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat, to gain the insight and next steps you’ll need to take to build the right boards. Our panelists include investors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs to cover all angles of startup boards!

Learn How to Hire the Right Talent for Your Startup at this Free Webinar

Join Viaduct on March 22nd for their Scaling Your Business: Adding Talent webinar! Increase your startup’s odds of success by learning how to build the right team. This webinar is about helping CEOs and founders avoid critical mistakes when it comes to finding, evaluating, and selecting talent for your company. Register for the free event today!


March 21, 2018

#LaunchHour TwitterChat: Startup 101: Building the Right Board
12:00 – 1:00 PM

March 20, 2018
Innovate with the New York State Centers of Excellence Webinar
11:00 – 12:00 PM

March 22, 2018
Viaduct Webinar – Scaling Your Business: Adding Talent
10:30 – 11:30 AM

March 28, 2018
Latitude Live – Featuring Iba Masood, Co-Founder of
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

May 2, 2018
Bright Buffalo Niagara 2018
8:00 – 3:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

Startup Spotlight

Fill Education Aims to Make Sure No Student is Left Behind

Fill Education is a EdTech company, headquartered in Buffalo, NY, whose software platform allows teachers and schools to create quick, daily, one-question quizzes that determine which of their students have mastered the most recent lesson. In the United States, 55 million math lessons are taught every day, but 20 million of them don’t deliver better math skills and understanding. Fill integrates with the school’s scheduling system to re-route any students who failed to master the lesson into extra help classes the next day when they would have otherwise had a study hall. In addition to this daily screening and re-routing process, the instructional data Fill collects is fed back to the school, providing them with an unprecedented view of their instructional effectiveness.

“Launch NY has been a game changing organization for our business. My EIR, Al Culliton, has provided valuable insights and know-how, and has connected me with individuals and organization that are leading to real work getting done to grow my business. It is safe to say that our company would not be anywhere near where we are now if it wasn’t for Launch NY,” said Harry O’Malley, CEO and Founder, Fill Education.

Using Drone Technology to Gather Data More Efficiently & Safely 

EagleHawk is a drone technology company headquartered in Buffalo, NY. EagleHawk uses aerial drone technology to gather geographic data, geospatial analysis, infrastructure inspection data, thermography, and digital aerial media to perform such important tasks as mapping, solar and roof inspections, and aerial data collection. It’s a much safer and more efficient way for businesses to inspect their roofs, map land, and even enhance real estate listings. Today, just 18 months after they launched their company, Walsh and Schulmeister have two full-time employees and one intern, with plans to continue to scale their business in 2018.

Read more about EagleHawk’s entrepreneurial journey on

#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 and be sure to join us this Wednesday, March 21st at noon for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat.

January 17, 2018
#LaunchHour: Funding 101: Managing Investor Relations
View the whole chat on Wakelet.

Q2. Should startups be considering early on whether to become a government contractor?

  • iVEDiX, Inc. (@ivedix) – Yes, especially if you are a veteran-owned or minority-owned business. The federal government likes to help small companies grow through government contracts. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to work well in this space. #LaunchHour
  • Mammoth Health Innovations (@MammothHealth) – By law the US government must spend 23% of virtually every contract with small businesses, so yes! #LaunchHour

Q6. How long do you have to be in business to sell to the government?

  • Mammoth Health Innovations (@MammothHealth) – For the GSA (General Services Administration), they recommend at least 2 years. SAM (Systems for Award Management – a required federal registration systems) could be virtually immediate after you receive your DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number. #LaunchHour
  • iVEDiX, Inc. (@ivedix) –Two years in business, with an exception for IT. #LaunchHour

Q9. How long does the process take? Should startups be pursuing non-government customers at the same time? How do you balance these processes?

  • Mammoth Health Innovations (@MammothHealth) – The first stage can take around a month, the next is 2-3 months, and then the processing from 45-120 days. Never put all your eggs in 1 basket, so the GSA should be a strategy, but not your only strategy
  • iVEDiX, Inc. (@ivedix) – It took us 6 months. This was sped up by using a consultant who knows the process. Yes, startups should always be pursuing non-government customers while going through the GSA process.

View the whole chat on Wakelet.

Join us for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat, this March 21, 2018!


Upstate NY Resource Network
 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 Elisa Miller-Out

Elisa Miller-Out is an experienced tech entrepreneur, investor, board director, and community builder. Elisa recently had a successful acquisition deal with a division of Singlebrook, a custom software services firm that she co-founded and led as CEO for over 10 years. She is now chair of the board and CFO at Singlebrook, which has Fortune 500, higher education and nonprofit clients from all over the world including: Cornell, Yale, Henry Schein, Hitachi, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund and more. Elisa has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes and other publications, and she speaks about technology and entrepreneurship at events across the country. She is managing partner of Chloe Capital, a seed stage venture capital investment fund she founded to invest in women-led tech companies. She is also co-founder of PollQ, a chatbot polling tool for higher ed and serves on the board of Women 2.0, the leading media brand for women in tech.

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

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