LAUNCH NY ANNOUNCES FIRST UPSTATE VIRTUAL INCUBATOR & CO-WORKSPACE
Online Environment Supports New COVID Work Arrangements and Remote Access to Resources
Buffalo, N.Y., October 4, 2021 – Launch NY, the first and only nonprofit venture development organization that provides high-growth startups in the 27 westernmost counties of the state with access to the most active seed fund in the state and pro bono mentoring, has announced a new virtual incubator and coworking space. Launch Station is an online platform where companies, mentors, investors, partner organizations and Launch NY staff can interact on a real-time basis in a virtual office location just as if they were physically sharing the same space.
Launch Station, the first virtual cowork space of its kind in Upstate New York, is supported by a $750,000 federal grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Department Administration earlier this year. Launch NY has moved beyond the typical videoconferencing tools most people are using today to recreate the incubator experience in a digital environment.
“In addition to making sure our most promising entrepreneurs can connect with critical resources — such as our mentors and investors from our Investor Network — and operate even in the face of the continuing effects of the pandemic, this is a powerful platform that restores what people have been missing in their work day for the past year and a half,” said Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY. “The added benefit of Launch Station is that it hosts many guests who may be funders, service providers, corporate partners and others who can be available in virtual office hours, formal presentations, or simply in a chance meetup where we know that so much business gets done in a typical in-person setting.”
Launch NY chose Teamflow as a platform vendor because of its unique ability to accommodate private offices and public spaces, where users can stop in to chat with each other just like they would in a typical physical incubator facility.
“We’re bringing back the presence of being in the office, the energy of working in the same room, the spontaneity of hallway conversations — the joy of feeling like a team,” said Launch NY Entrepreneur-in-Residence Don Delaria. “Plus we now can offer tangible benefits to the teams we mentor, like company ‘sales rooms’ with all the collateral and presentations virtually in the room.”
Launch Station is already housing six Launch NY portfolio companies and more than a dozen Launch NY team members, including Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Co-located companies include CaHill, HelixIntel, Eagle Hawk, Aviate Audio, Memory Fox and Zizo. Launch NY expects to onboard more regional startups in the coming weeks.
“Launch Station is a cool virtual workplace. Our team uses it for meetings, brainstorms and to access resources from Launch NY,” said Shane Nolan, CEO & Co-Founder of Aviate Audio.
LaVigne said future additions to Launch Station will a feature dedicated centers for Launch NY’s Founders Go Big program for underrepresented founders, and the Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator, as well as entrepreneurship e-learning modules from Cornell University and numerous other programming events.
Launch NY hosted a Twitter #LaunchHour on September 29, which included a virtual tour and more information on Launch Station, its features and how it benefits the regional startup community, plus the chance to meet its first tenant companies. Read the archived chat here, and for more information, contact Mia Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Launch NY, its programs, and other entrepreneurial opportunities, visit www.launchny.org, and follow Launch NY on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Investors interested in Launch NY’s Investor Network can access the no cost, no-obligation-to-invest sign up here.
About Launch New York:
The mission of Launch New York, Inc. (Launch NY), the only U.S. Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) directly providing venture funding to businesses in New York State, is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies that can transform the local economy and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture in the 27 counties comprising the western half of Upstate New York. Launch NY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit venture development organization that promotes economic development through best practices, including high-quality pro bono business mentoring, while operating the most active seed fund in New York State that provides access to seed capital as part of an array of #InvestLocal financing programs designed to facilitate funding for investment-ready companies which have the promise to drive significant economic impact and jobs for our region.
Launch NY is headquartered in Buffalo and has co-locations with partner organizations in Binghamton, Ithaca, Rochester and Syracuse. Since 2012, it has served over 1,272 companies, has more than two dozen experienced local entrepreneurs-in-residence and its National Mentor Network of 2,000 industry, business and investment experts. Launch NY mentored companies, including 27% women-led and 26% minority-led startups, that have created 4,453 jobs, attracted over $1 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY, and generated over $148 million in annual revenues.
Launch NY’s #InvestLocal Financing Programs include a nonprofit fund, for profit limited partner fund, and Investor Network. Those funded by Launch NY’s nonprofit fund started in 2016 include 74 portfolio companies comprising 32% women-led and 28% minority-led, have created 425 jobs, attracted nearly $70 million after receiving funding from Launch NY, and generated over $17 million in annual revenues. Launch NY also leads the premier Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator, one of six designated clean energy incubators sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as the Founders Go Big program, an innovative diversity and inclusion initiative introduced in 2020.