Launch NY Newsletter – November 2016

Launch NY
Vital Startup Guidance for Entrepreneurs 

Launch NY News & Updates Upcoming Events
Kauffman Foundation & Launch NY Partner on First Cross Regional Assessment

Buffalo and Rochester have been chosen as one of only three regions in the US to undergo a unique entrepreneurship ecosystem mapping assessment. The study, which includes an analysis of the advanced manufacturing sector as well as grass roots to high growth entrepreneurship resources, is being conducted by NYC-based Endeavor Insight and is being supported by funding and engagement from The Kauffman Foundation and Launch NY through its recent $2.5M award from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.Read the full release here.

Join the November #LaunchHour for Results & Discussion on Upstate Rainforest Canvas Study

Launch NY recently completed a project of the Rainforest Canvas in Upstate NY and wants to share the results of 30 interviews with ecosystem stakeholders – and hear your thoughts! Where does our region stand when it comes to the Rainforest Canvas model of innovation ecosystems developed by Victor Hwang?  What do we need to do to accelerate our efforts in driving high-growth businesses? Join us at #LaunchHour 12-1pm on Wednesday, November 16th, to discuss the results with our panel of stakeholders including Dan Penberthy from Rand Capital, John Liddy from the Syracuse Tech Garden and Syracuse Student Sandox, Jim Senall from High Tech Rochester, others, and YOU!

Launch NY CEO Shares Lessons Learned in Crowdfunding

Earlier this month at the annual State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) conference in Columbus, OH, Launch NY President and CEO, Marnie LaVigne introduced keynote speaker Ross Baird, founder of Village Capital, and moderated a breakout session, Crowdfunding is Here, Now What? An Open Discussion. She was able to share Launch NY’s experiences with crowdfunding a year after our successful crowdfunding campaign to support the Launch NY Seed Fund, while facilitating discussions about equity crowdfunding from Scott McIntyre, President of Crowdfunding Professional America and Krista Tuomi, Assistant Professor of American University.

Critical Path Life Sciences Accelerator Program Convenes with Investors & Industry Leaders

Being part of the Steve Case-sponsored international VilCap Communities consortium has led to dozens of network connections and meetings for Launch NY, its partners and participating life sciences companies involved in the Critical Path accelerator program that has met in September and October, and now again this week. The public can join The Moment of Truth – Critical Decision Making for Life Sciences Companies lecture series presented by Rich Christie, Ph.D. (Global Head, Development Sciences & Innovation at Roche), on November 17, 2016 at 4:00 PM at the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, along with Critical Path startup companies taking a break from their investor pitch practice. This month, angel and venture capitalists, including Polaris Ventures, are meeting Critical Path startups, who are competing for two $50,000 investments from the Launch NY Seed Fund as Critical Path wraps up in January with a pitch forum open to the public on January 12th.


November 16, 2016
#LaunchHour: Add Your Voice to the Rainforest Canvas
12:00 – 1:00 PMNovember 16, 2016
Pitch Contest & dig Open House
8:00 – 2:00 PM
Buffalo, NYNovember 17, 2016
Innovation Lecture Series: “The Moment of Truth – Critical Decision Making for Life Sciences Companies”
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Buffalo, NYNovember 17, 2016
Crowdfunding a Startup
5:00 – 6:00 PM
Buffalo, NYNovember 17, 2016
Networking@Rev: Startup Idea Demo Day
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Ithaca, NY

November 22, 2016
Customer Discovery Process: Uncover What Your Future Customers Want to Buy
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Rochester, NY

November 30, 2016
WIN Benefits for Incubator Companies
12:00 – 1:30 PM
Buffalo, NY

December 6, 2016
Prototype to Production Seminar
8:00 – 10:00 AM
Rochester, NY

December 7, 2016
Research & Development Tax Credits & NYS Incentives
9:00 – 11:00 AM
Batavia, NY

December 8, 2016
Startup Drinks
7:00 – 10:00PM
Rochester, NY






Launch NY Startup Spotlight

Rezedent, is the property management and payment platform designed to enable the underserved middle market to deploy digital efficiencies and effectively compete on quality of services and convenience, and accept digital payments. Rezedent is free for property owners and managers to use, and facilitates communications between management and tenants via online service request management, documentation, announcements, calendars, and more. Tenants can pay rent through electronic check, credit card, and soon mobile payment solutions and even cash.

“Working with the team at Launch NY and our Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Al Culliton has been an exceptional experience.  Al feels like a team member and understood our vertical immediately and has added value at every meeting.  Al has worked closely with us on market strategy, our business canvass model, and most importantly he truly cares about the success and preparedness for being investor ready.” – Tim Zielinski, CEO, Rezedent

“There’s an amazing list of people, agencies, and companies that have made it possible to string together these three important words, “Buffalo Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.” Launch NY commands a position near the top of that list; a list that has brought me home to Buffalo to be part of something special.” – Bill Irvine, COO, Rezedent


Being lifelong skiers, AvR’s co-founders, Hilary and Remy Cholhan, have experienced their share of accidents and have become keenly aware of the tragedies that occur when injured victims don’t get the help they need quickly enough. As a result, this father-and-son team has set out to develop the industry’s first comprehensive emergency alerting system for injured skiers and snowboarders to get help faster than ever before.

The patented AvR Alert System™ will be a more efficient and reliable way to trigger ski patrol’s response to a victim’s accident and their precise location on the mountain. Skiers and snowboarders will be able to manually or automatically alert the nearest ski patrol team through a uniquely designed wearable device. Each alert signal will be received by a software application for ski patrol and displayed on an interactive trail map indicating the victim’s precise location.

“Developing a new system of this nature and potential magnitude is an ambitious undertaking.  Connecting with Launch NY, and working with Ed Bizari (EIR), has been a refreshing opportunity and experience for AvR.  From the outset, Ed Bizari has embraced AvR’s mission and vision.  He consistently offers exceptional insight, support and feedback for each step in the business development process.  Through Ed, Launch NY continues to provide tremendous guidance, resources and support, which will go a long way towards AvR achieving its mission of saving lives on the mountain.” – Remy Cholhan, Co-Founder, AvR

#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.

Building Your Startup Team
October 19, 2016
Dan Magnuszewski (@magnachef) – ACV Auction & Launch NY
Frank Gullo (@frankgullo & @SuperiorGroup) – Superior Group
Michael Fosburg (@SecretsOfChamps) – Secrets of Champtions

Q1. What are the first steps to build a team in a startup company?
A1. Identify the core strengths & gaps of the founders. You can’t build a team until you know where you excel & what you need. #LaunchHour (@frankgullo)
A1. Key element is compatibility among founders. With trust, respect, and courtesy, synergy becomes organic; critical to success #LaunchHour (@SecretsOfChamps)

Q2. How do you identify the gaps in your team?
A1. I’ve found that talent gaps will surface naturally during the course of building, launching, and scaling a company #LaunchHour (@magnachef)
A2. Start with your business plan and identify the core skill sets needed to grow the business #LaunchHour (@SuperiorGroup)

Q6. Who is the ideal startup team member or employee?
A6. The one who your instincts draw you to. Don’t over-analyze. Read the resume only once. Your feel is usually right. #LaunchHour (@SecretsOfChamps)
A6. Someone that believes in the mission of the company, no ego, and willingness to work outside of their skill and comfort zone #LaunchHour (@magnachef)
A6. Someone comfortable wearing multiple hats & facing new challenges every day. A person with entrepreneurial spirit. #LaunchHour (@frankgullo)



Upstate NY Ecosystem Map
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! >

EIR Introduction
Meet Travis Baugh

Travis E. Baugh is currently Chairman and CEO of LifeCap Resources LLC, a healthcare consulting company, and Chairman and CEO of Northwoods Oilfield Services LLC, a company that provides services to oil companies and drilling contractors in the Northeastern US. From 2008-2013, Mr. Baugh was President of Healthpoint Biotherapeutics (Healthpoint was sold to Smith & Nephew in 2012).  He was a member of DFB Pharmaceuticals (Healthpoint’s parent company) board of directors from 2004-2013. Prior to joining Healthpoint, Mr. Baugh co-founded and was CEO of MicroMed Cardiovascular, Inc., a medical device company that developed the DeBakey VAD®, a miniaturized heart assist device, in collaboration with NASA and Dr. Michael DeBakey’s team at the Baylor College of Medicine. Earlier in his career, Mr. Baugh served as a senior executive in the oil and gas industry and as a senior accountant for a predecessor of the international accounting firm of Ernst & Young. He has served on several corporate boards as well as the boards of business incubators in Houston and Fort Worth.  He currently serves on the Client Advisory Council for US Trust and has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations in the Fort Worth and Houston areas.  Mr. Baugh received his BBA from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Public Accountant.

For more on Travis and our other mentors, please visit,