Buffalo, N.Y. – Launch NY, the first and only nonprofit venture development organization that provides the 27 westernmost counties in New York with pro bono mentoring and access to seed capital, has received two grants from New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), totaling $150,000 for the total project of $300,000. The grants will support the introduction of a new targeted Opportunity Navigator Program to assist companies with identification and pursuit of funding from investors, lending institutions, and others offering direct company grants including NYSEG and RG&E Programs that address innovation, as well as COVID-19 relief.
The Opportunity Navigator Program will also be implemented to serve Launch NY’s Founders Go Big Program, introduced in 2020 to provide underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs access to mentorship and equity capital. The project will connect business owners with an array of financing and other business support resources such as new COVID-19 relief programs that support businesses, expanding Launch NY’s existing digital resources.
“This latest award to Launch NY will ensure that companies have both vital information and assistance to tap the ever-growing but sometime overwhelming array of resources,” said Joseph M. Rizzo, Manager, Economic Development for NYSEG and RG&E. “Opportunity Navigator will help these companies understand and connect with the support programs they so desperately need in the wake of this difficult past year.”
“We are thrilled to be able to work side-by-side with so many resilient entrepreneurs to offer even more assistance to help them recover and flourish,” said Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D., President and CEO of Launch NY. “The creation of this new digital resource couldn’t have come at a better when we’re seeing a huge diversity of resources that can help our companies respond to the new market conditions that present challenges but also opportunities to scale their business.”
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 Invest Local 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 1,210 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 4,301 jobs, attracted over $1.30 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital, and generated over $146 million in annual revenues. Those funded by Launch NY starting in 2016, including 73 portfolio companies comprised of 33% women-led and 27% minority-led, have created 318 jobs, attracted over $69 million, and generated over $16 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.