Launch NY Newsletter – October 2016

Launch NY
Vital Startup Guidance for Entrepreneurs

Launch NY News & Updates

Building the Ecosystem Through a Simple Startup Survey

Launch NY has served over 125 client companies this year alone with expert mentoring – all pro bono – and launched our new Launch NY Seed Fund investments. We are only able to provide this vital support to our high-growth startups, who on average employ 2-3 people per company and attract millions of dollars in aggregate capital investment in the region even at this early stage, by showing these transformational economic impacts. We have streamlined and augmented our data collection recently with an easy 5 minute survey, which Launch NY client companies can expect to see in their inboxes shortly. Understanding how important these data are to funders and other supporters of the Upstate entrepreneurial ecosystem, we also welcome upstate startups to participate in an online survey from Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) here. Your few minutes to share your data makes it possible to keep delivering services to our entrepreneurs everyday – thank you!

Steve Case-backed VilCap Communities Program Kick-Off Featured Life Sciences Panel

Including diagnostics, devices, and drug development to biomedical IT, 11 select health and life sciences startups benefited from introductions to each other as well as to established companies among our panel of program advisors and fireside chat participants on September 22nd, including Greatbatch (Integer Holding Company), Mentholatum, AMRI, and more. Once again this elite group will gather this week for 3 days of intense work, especially focused on regulatory matters along with a demo day. Advisors include additional industry representation, including Contract Pharmaceuticals Ltd, OrthoClinical Diagnostics (a J&J Company), and Launch NY’s National Mentor Network from the Innovation Center of the Rockies. The program wraps up in January with peer selection for 2 $50,000 investments from the Launch NY Seed Fund.

#LaunchHour: Building Your Startup Team

Ever heard the expression “Bet on the jockey not on the horse”? This means that investors are driven to put their money where they believe in the management team not simply in a business concept. How do you build that team? On October 19th at noon, find out how through our monthly TwitterChat, #LaunchHour featuring ACV Auctions, who just brought on Launch NY Chairman, George Chamoun, as CEO, along with team-building experts from Superior Group and Secrets of Champions.

To join the conversation use #LaunchHour and follow along on Twitter.

Startup Spotlight

Dollop Gourmet

Dollop Gourmet is the first healthier and tastier answer to one of the scariest processed foods on the planet: Frosting! With its organic vegan and gluten-free ingredients, and lower sugar count, Dollop Gourmet frosting spread is not only better for you, but it tastes incredible. Not just a frosting though, Dollop Gourmet doubles as a delicious sweet spreadable delight that inspires food adventurists to break the rules and explore how fun healthier eating can be. This past year, the Rochester based company was featured on an episode of Shark Tank and was recently ranked as one of the Top 7 pitches in Forbes magazine.

What does Dollop’s founder have to say? “Working with Steve Nicosia (Launch NY EIR) and Launch NY has been such a blessing! Steve really gets my company’s needs and goals and has been able to provide invaluable help in taking us to the next level. He’s such a pleasure to work with that I sincerely look forward to our meetings, each time knowing that progress will be made. Most importantly, Steve really cares about myself and my company’s future and is that voice of experience and encouragement that I was missing prior to Launch NY.” – Heather Saffer, President, Dollop, Inc.

Abcombi Biosciences

Congratulations to Abcombi Biosciences on being named one of 16 finalists in this year’s 43North Business Plan Competition. Since its founding in 2015, Abcombi Biosciences has taken advantage of the robust entrepreneurial opportunities provided by the Western New York community, such as seed funding, research partnerships with faculty, and city-sponsored missions.  Namely, Abcombi has participated in Launch NY since late 2015, under the mentorship of Travis Baugh (Launch NY EIR), a decorated biotech executive.

“Travis provided invaluable insight and suggestions during our initial formation, of which helped accelerate our endeavors,” says Abcombi CEO Charles Jones, who co-founded Abcombi while finishing his PhD at UB.

Abcombi Biosciences is a pre-clinical vaccine and therapeutic development company dedicated to delivering “smarter” vaccine and anti-infective solutions. Their corporate headquarters is in Buffalo, New York, but they also have laboratory space through the Johnson & Johnson’s incubator, JLABs, in Toronto.

Upcoming Events

October 19, 2016
#LaunchHour: Building Your Startup Team
12:00 – 1:00 PM

October 18 – 19, 2016
2016 Technology-Based Economic Development Conference
Corning, NY

October 21 – 23, 2016
Buffalo Startup Weekend
Buffalo, NY

October 22, 2016
Women Redefining Entrepreneurship
8:00 – 3:00 PM
Ithaca, NY

October 26, 2016
The Building Blocks for Starting a Business
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Syracuse, NY

October 26 – 27, 2016
43North Finals
Buffalo, NY

October 27, 2016
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Ithaca, NY

November 1 -3, 2016
SSTI 2016 Annual Conference
Columbus, OH

November 2, 2016
WNYVA Company Forum
7:30 – 10:00 AM
Buffalo, NY

November 9, 2016

Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Solutions Forum
8:30 – 12:30 PM

November 16, 2016
12:00 – 1:00 PM

#LaunchHour TwitterChat Tips

Can’t make it to all the ecosystem events? Join us monthly online to learn and share and check our archive.
Business Model Canvas: The 1 Page Business Plan for Startups
September 21, 2016

Featured Panelists: Ken Rother (@ken_rother), Launch NY & Southern Tier Startup Alliance, Manoj Pooleery (@mphisocial), Launch NY, & Brett Kellgran (@patientpattern), Patient Pattern.

Q3. Why should entrepreneurs & startups be using the Business Model Canvas?
A3. With the rate at which startups need to change and adapt to keep up, you need a business model that can do the same! #LaunchHour (@patientpattern)
A3. It is a great way to get the thinking process going. Get your activities organized. #LaunchHour (@mphisocial)
A3. It provides a snapshot of your plan going forward that is easily edited as inevitable changes occur #LaunchHour (@pbrooks5050)

Q4. Where should you start?
A4. The two most important parts of the Canvas: Value Proposition (motivation to buy not features) and Customers #LaunchHour (@ken_rother)
A4. While all sections are equally important, I advocate the customer section, make sure they will come BEFORE you build it! #LaunchHour (@mphisocial)
A4. It’s as easy as printing out a template or using markers on a white board. Great intro to start, #LaunchHour (@patientpattern)

Q7. What have you learned from using the Business Model Canvas?
A7. Most entrepreneurs have great product/service ideas but are usually off in terms of what customer would value in a solution #LaunchHour (@ken_rother)
A7. The BMC is a constant reminder to get out of day to day weeds and focus on what’s most important for your business today #LaunchHour (@patientpattern)
A7. I learned you don’t really need a full business most of the time when first starting #LaunchHour (@NicholasCoriano)

For our full archive, click here.

Upstate NY Ecosystem Map
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 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 >

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 >
EIR Introduction
Meet Al Culliton

Al brings a 40+-year business career in leadership and management roles in both the private and public sectors providing financial services and economic development assistance to companies of all sizes and industry types.  In response to the specific needs of the Upstate entrepreneurial community, and in addition to his overall management of Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s economic development operations and programs, he co-founded Launch NY with regional partners and conceived and ran the ECIDA’s Niagara Region Ventures Fund which has invested to date over $9 Million in 34 start-up and early-stage companies and experienced a cash-on-cash return in excess of $20 Million. In recognition of his leadership in economic development, he was named 2011 Economic Developer of the Year by the New York State Economic Development Council. Al worked as a senior loan officer/manager for M&T Bank and Chase Lincoln First Bank (now part of JP Morgan Chase) managing lending teams and providing financial, mentoring and other business services to a broad range of commercial accounts in and beyond Western New York.
For more on Al and our other mentors, please visit,

We appreciate your interest in our work and mission, and we are always eager to share our vision with those who just want to learn more about the “entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Please feel free follow us on our social media channels or explore our website, and refer others interested in our organization and services.

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