Launch NY Announces New CRM, Grants Administrator

Launch NY Announces New CRM, Grants Administrator

Buffalo, N.Y. – Launch NY, the first and only nonprofit Venture Development Organization and venture-funding Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to provide pro bono mentoring and seed capital access to early-stage startups in the 27 westernmost counties of New York State, has hired Erin O’Brien into a new full-time position as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Grants Administrator.

Erin’s day-to-day responsibilities include managing Launch NY’s CRM system, as well as grant applications and submissions, pre- and post-award development, reporting, and compliance with sponsor requirements. Launch NY is in a unique position of administering a variety of funding sources that range from five to seven figures. It has private and public grants that support not only its mentorship and entrepreneur support services but also its nonprofit investment fund, which is the most active in New York State by number of transactions and was ranked among the top five nonprofit seed funds in the country by SeedRound in 2022. Launch NY also administers private investor capital through its limited partner funds and Investor Network, which encompass more than 300 accredited investors with opportunities to support individual companies for as little as $10,000.

Erin brings more than four years’ experience in nonprofit grant administration and over seven years in election, banking, and nonprofit compliance. Previously, she served as Grants Compliance Administrator at the International Institute of Buffalo, Onboarding Case Manager at HSBC Bank, and an Aide to the Erie County Democratic Committee. She has an undergraduate degree from Canisius College in Political Science, International Relations, and German and European Studies, and an MA from George Washington University in International Affairs.

A native Buffalonian, Erin said “I’m excited to be joining Launch NY and the fast-growing, fast-paced startup ecosystem here in Upstate New York, and thrilled to leverage my public- and private-sector experience to help support Launch NY’s vital mission.”

“With her experience in grants administration, as well as compliance, Erin’s background is perfect for this role, given the diversity of revenue streams we manage on a day-to-day basis. It’s a vital role because it enables all the other work that we do to support, connect, and grow the startup founders, mentors, and investors in our communities,” said Marnie LaVigne, PhD, President and CEO of Launch NY.

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 and one of the top 5 nonprofit seed funds in the country 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 1,481 companies, who have received support from more than 30 experienced local entrepreneurs-in-residence, plus access to more than half a million industry, business, and investment experts through Launch NY’s National Mentor Network resources. Launch NY has mentored companies, including 34% women-led and 33% minority-led startups, which have created 4,916 jobs, attracted over $1.95 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY and generated $228 million in annual revenues.

Launch NY’s #InvestLocal Financing Programs include a nonprofit fund, for-profit limited partner fund and Investor Network. To date, Launch NY has invested over $10.2 million in 87 startup companies that have created more than 500 jobs, attracted nearly $195 million in follow-on funding, and generated over $60 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.

Get Started

For more information about Launch NY, its programs, and other entrepreneurial opportunities, visit, and follow Launch NY on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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