Buffalo, N.Y., October 21, 2020 – Launch NY closed its first for profit fund, Launch NY Seed Fund I, LP (the LP Fund) at over $5.4 million at the end of Q3, through the participation of more than 70 individuals and organizations as limited partners (LPs). Since its inception in early 2019, the LP Fund has already invested $872,500 into 36 companies. As a part of Launch NY’s #InvestLocal Financing Programs, the LP Fund invests alongside Launch NY’s Nonprofit Seed Fund, Launch NY Seed Fund LLC, as a returns-based investment fund allowing accredited investors the opportunity to make a profit in high-growth startups in the region that return profits in the spirit of doing good, while doing well.
“Despite all the unprecedented challenges we’ve all faced since the LP Fund’s debut in February 2019, Launch NY was able to bring our LP Fund to fruition as the first seed fund of its kind at this size serving our region exclusively while being open to all accredited investors and qualifying startups,” said Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY, Upstate New York’s first and only venture development organization to provide pro bono mentoring and the most active seed fund in the state. “Open access and inclusivity in all respects is the centerpiece of our #InvestLocal Financing Programs. Although our LP Fund has closed, we will continue to onboard accredited investors to our deal-by-deal Investor Network to augment the capital we provide startups who are vital to our efforts to recover from the impact of the pandemic. These may be uncertain times, but we are bullish about the resilience and commitment our entrepreneurial community has shown…and those who support them.”
The LP Fund works in tandem with Launch NY’s Nonprofit Seed Fund, which has been built through donations and grants to become one of the most active seed funds in the country and the most active in New York State since its inception in 2016. Based on Launch NY’s commitment to funding high-growth potential startups in economically distressed areas, the U.S. Department of Treasury designated the organization as one of only 17 venture funding Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) nationwide and the only one deploying its own capital in New York State.
In addition to accessing funds through Launch NY’s Nonprofit Seed Fund and LP Fund, companies receiving pro bono mentorship from Launch NY are eligible to raise additional capital through the #InvestLocal Launch NY Investor Network. The Investor Network’s latest feature is Circuit Clinical, a Buffalo-based startup and 2019 43North Winner, that connects patients to clinical trials through a turnkey research team. The latest companies featured, also including Aviate Audio, Paradigm of NY and Promptous, allows investors to select individual company investments for as little as $10,000. Investors are urged to sign up for time sensitive opportunities like Circuit Clinical, which closes November 1st, by taking advantage of the no cost, no obligation sign-up at https://launchny.org/investors/investor-network/.
Launch NY will also be hosting their monthly #LaunchHour Twitter chat on October 21st at 12 p.m. featuring Circuit Clinical. To participate in the event, follow @Launch_NY on Twitter and follow the hashtag #LaunchHour.
“This is a one-time opportunity to invest in one of the most exciting companies to come out of Buffalo and play a key part in offering products directly addressing the needs in today’s COVID-impacted economy,” said LaVigne. “It’s also an ideal way to become involved for those accredited investors who want to support #InvestLocal initiatives by selecting companies that match their interests.”
Finally, Launch NY closed Q3 with investments totaling $215,000 in the following companies:
- Aviate Audio, Buffalo, N.Y. – developer of a unique wireless controller for effects pedals. One or more pedals can be attached to the Airpatch dock, which can be turned on and off via a wireless controller that attaches to an instrument. After launching the Airpatch, Aviate plans to scale with additional products.
- Exotanium, Ithaca, N.Y. – focuses on improvement of cloud-native application security, performance optimization and cost reduction solutions. The services support the seamless customization and orchestration of cloud-native nodes and containers across private and public cloud environments.
- Heart Health Intelligence, Rochester, N.Y. – created a proprietary medical device called the Fully Integrated Toilet (FIT) seat to provide cardiac disease patients with self-contained, passive, daily in-home monitoring. The FIT seat incorporates ECG for measuring the electrical activity of the heart, PPG for measuring blood oxygenation and blood pressure, BCG for measuring cardiac function and estimating blood pressure and a body weight sensor.
- HelixIntel, Buffalo, N.Y. – produces a free maintenance management platform, the first of its kind, that combines equipment maintenance tracking with automatic maintenance plan optimization and the ability to seamlessly purchase services and parts from manufacturer-authorized suppliers.
- Promptous, Syracuse, N.Y. – an insurtech company that streamlines employer and employee group dental benefit programs, making them more cost-effective and outcome-based. Promptous’ mission is to improve financial and operational processes in the current dental insurance model for patients, employers and insurance brokers.