Launch NY Newsletter – May 2017


Launch NY

Launch NY News & Updates Upcoming Events

Meet Upstate NY Female Founders and Funders
Bucking the national trend of only 7% of VC investments going to women founders

Join the #LaunchHour TwitterChat on May 17thto celebrate Female Founders month! Our topic this month is, Meet and Chat with Women in Entrepreneurship: Examples, Resources, and Reflections. This month’s panelists will include 2 female run seed stage funds from Western NY, featuring Marnie LaVigne and Lindsay Stencel of Launch NY, Theresa Mazzullo of Excell Partners, and several female entrepreneurs.

Launch NY Seed Fund Makes Big Impact in First Year

The Launch NY Seed Fund made its first investment in March 2016 in Buffalo startup Rachel’s Remedy, since then we have committed a total of $447,500 in 10 of Upstate New York’s most promising companies. Launch NY’s investments have resulted in $525,000 in follow-on and co-investments with funders within and outside the state, and facilitated exciting developments such as Rachel’s Remedy’s major strategic partnership with Dr. Brown’s. Read about all our company investments, and join our donors in supporting the Launch NY Seed Fund.

Telling the Story About Entrepreneurship in WNY: Invite Friends & Family to

Hand-in-hand with the Small Business Festival, Upstart NY was launched as a new biweekly digital magazine by Launch NY in tandem with a collaboration of both private and public organizations, including the City of Buffalo, Excelsior Growth Fund, the John R. Oshei Foundation, M&T Bank, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), PathStone, and Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI). Upstart NY is focused on telling the currently untold stories of our local entrepreneurs from grass roots to high-growth businesses. Catch the next issue by registering for free and sharing the link to

Launch NY Presents at NYS CDFI Coalition Conference in Albany

In recognition of its new designation by U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), President and CEO Marnie LaVigne joined fellow CDFIs from across NYS for the annual NYS CDFI Coalition conference on May 8th for a panel on Innovation to Implementation that included featuring Launch NY as one of only 16 venture funding CDFIs in the country and the only one funding companies in NYS. CDFIs are private financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable debt and equity financing to create economic revitalization in low to moderate income communities. Launch NY has organized a consortium with its local loan funding CDFIs, Excelsior Growth Fund, PathStone, and Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI), who are among the 1000+ loan-based CDFIs in the country, to create collaborative initiatives which has already yielded the new digital magazine increasing awareness, access, and impact of entrepreneurship in our community. Stay tuned for more exciting developments from this powerful CDFI Consortium.

Small Business Festival Attracts National Attention to Buffalo

Launch NY was proud to sponsor four sessions of the high-growth startup track in Buffalo’s first annual Small Business Festival. Originally started in Austin, the Small Business Festival expanded to 3 additional US cities with thriving communities for small business, including Buffalo, Sacramento, and San Antonio. The Small Business Festival will not be back until next year, but you can still learn from this great event by watching videos of presentations from around the country online and stay tuned for videos from Buffalo.

Special thank you to our panelists who joined us from across the state over the two days, Dan Magnuszewski (Launch NY and ACV Auctions), Jack McGowan (Western NY Venture Association and Insyte Consulting), Ken Rother (Launch NY, Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Cayuga Venture Fund, and Cornell eLab), Lindsay Stencel (Launch NY), Noa Simons (Upstate Venture Associate of NY), and Peter Burakowski (43North).

May 17, 2017
#LaunchHour TwitterChat: Meet and Chat with Women in Entrepreneurship: Examples, Resources, and Reflections
12:00 – 1:00 PM

May 15, 2017
How to Test Your Startup Idea
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Rochester, NY

May 17, 2017
May Lunch-n-Learn: Research Tax Credits
11:30 – 1:00 PM
Rochester, NY

May 24, 2017
Networking@Rev: Passenger to Pilot Graduation
6:00 – 8:30 PM
Ithaca, NY

May 25, 2017
Ideation Workshop
12:00 – 2:00 PM
Syracuse, NY

May 25, 2017
Fillmore Forward Business Development Series: Business Financial Capabilities I
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

May 25, 2017
Startup Grind: Launch NY Client Rachel’s Remedy
6:00 – 8:30 PM
Buffalo, NY

May 30, 2017
Money and Politics: Building High Growth Companies Today
2:30 – 8:00 PM
Ithaca, NY

June 1, 2017
Prosperity Conference: Investing in Rochester’s Job Growth
8:00 – 12:00 PM
Rochester, NY

June 1, 2017
Women in Tech: Soup to Nuts, Entity Formation to Exit with Christine O’Connor
5:00 – 6:30 PM
Ithaca, NY

June 2, 2017
RocGrowth Coffee
7:30 – 9:30 AM
Rochester, NY




Launch NY Startup Spotlight
Rachel’s Remedy

Congratulations to Rachel Jackson, Founder and President of Buffalo based Rachel’s Remedy on their newly announced partnership with Dr. Brown’s, a global maker of baby related products. Rachel’s Remedy is a medical device company whose product is the only FDA-cleared moist heat therapy product for breastfeeding moms. With this new partnership Rachel’s Remedy will be able to keep manufacturing of her product in Buffalo, with A Lunt Design, a women owned contract manufacturing organization. Rachel’s Remedy is the perfect example of how Launch NY’s seed stage funding combined with one-on-one mentoring is a key catalyst for growing high potential companies and our local economy. You too can support our local entrepreneurs through a charitable donation to the Launch NY Seed Fund.
Register for tickets now to hear more about Rachel Jackson’s story this Wednesday at Startup Grind Buffalo!

#LaunchHour TwitterChat Tips Launch NY Resources
Can’t make it to all the ecosystem events? Join us monthly online to learn and share and check our archive or view the whole chat on Here.

April 19, 2017
#LaunchHour: What Do Austin, Buffalo, Sacramento, & San Antonio All Have in Common? They’re All Hosting the Small Business Festival

Learn more about the festival here.

Panelists included:

Small Business Festival (@SmallBizFest)
Craig Turner (@SEAWNYsmallbiz) – Small Enterprise Alliance of Western NY
Karla Nelson (@KaraLNelson) – Small Business Festival Sacramento
Charlie Riley (@charlieriley) – Lawley Insurance

Q1. What is the Small Business Festival?
A1. A week long collaboration between small business owners, entrepreneurs and the agencies and companies that support them! #LaunchHour (@SmallBizFest)
A1. A1. Small Business Festival is a great way for #smallbiz people to learn growth tips & network w/ other like-minded pros #launchhour (@LawleyInsurance)
A1. Five days of #smallbiz educational events, and a week to celebrate the role of small business in our region. #LaunchHour (@SEAWNYsmallbiz)

Q3. Why should people be interested in small businesses?
A3.  In a time when many traditional career paths are becoming obsolete, #smallbiz/entrepreneurship is a viable option for many #LaunchHour (@SEAWNYsmallbiz)
A3. #SmallBusiness is the backbone of the American economy, & very freeing to be your own boss. Some of us are just unemployable! #LaunchHour (@SmallBizFest)

View our full chat on Here or our entire archive.

Join us for our next TwitterChat this Wednesday at noon!



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 Brad Treat
Brad Treat is an instructor in Practical Entrepreneurship at Ithaca College and Cornell University. He has also served as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Cornell University. Brad was most recently the Founding CEO of Mezmeriz, a high-tech company making interactive projectors and reality capture cameras to embed into mobile phones. Mezmeriz’s cutting edge technology was spun out of Materials Science and MEMS research at Cornell University. Brad was also the co-founder and CEO of SightSpeed, an innovative video and voice communications company. SightSpeed grew from a university research project at Cornell into the world’s premier video calling software. SightSpeed was profitably acquired by Logitech for $30MM. Earlier in his career, Brad worked for eight years in the automotive industry in both the US and Spain at Bowles Fluidics and GKN Automotive. Brad holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State, and an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell.Learn more about Brad and our other EIRs by visiting,