Launch NY receives $150K grant to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs

Sixth award from NYSEG and RGE CNY award will boost Launch NY’s Resource Navigator


Buffalo, N.Y., February, 6, 2024 – It’s hard for entrepreneurs to find resources that match their needs. Launch NY is solving that problem with a new investment on behalf of the innovators in central and western New York.


Launch NY is pleased to announce it has received a $150,000 injection of funding to build on the work it started with its Resource Navigator, a first-of-its-kind tool that gives entrepreneurs a roadmap to nonprofit, government and private sector resources through New York state.


The grant funding comes from New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric, both longtime supporters of Launch NY. NYSEG and RG&E have invested more than $900,000 in Launch NY over the past decade.


“Our investments in Launch NY underline a deep commitment to fostering the diverse entrepreneurial talent in the communities we serve,” said Joe Sayre, Senior Economic Development Specialist NYSEG and RG&E. “Our company and numerous other public and private entities have created tremendous programs to support founders who are building our new economy, so we are eager to see that these resources are being tapped fully.”


The grant will support an expansion of Launch NY’s digital and mentorship infrastructure to ensure that entrepreneurs, especially those who are underserved and underrepresented in our region, can access critical resources to help them grow their startup businesses. Through a previous grant from NYSEG and RG&E, Launch NY built the Resource Navigator, which goes far beyond typical business directories to highlight time-limited funding and programmatic resources.


The new grant will fund a new website, digital communications, and outreach events to connect entrepreneurs to these vital opportunities. Additionally, Launch NY’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, who serve startups as expert pro bono business mentors, will provide concierge-like support for the Resource Navigator.


“With our ‘mentorship first’ philosophy to helping entrepreneurs who have a high-growth potential idea, we are thrilled to leverage this generous award from NYSEG and RG&E to ensure that our ecosystem resources are truly working together,” said Marnie LaVigne, PhD, president and CEO of Launch NY. “We’re committed to making sure all local founders can access programs and funding opportunities that accelerate success in creating jobs and wealth in our region.”




About Launch NY: Launch NY is the only nonprofit venture development organization and U.S. Treasury-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that serves and directly funds startups in the 27 westernmost counties of New York state. The core mission of Launch NY is to identify, support and invest in high‐growth, high‐impact companies and to catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York through regional collaboration with ecosystem partners. Since its inception in 2012, Launch NY has served more than 1,500 companies which have gone on to raise more than $1 billion, generate over $240 million in annual revenues and support more than 5,000 jobs. Launch NY delivers its mission via mentorship and capital access programs, starting with pro bono mentoring through its Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, Founders Go Big program for underrepresented and underserved founders, and Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator. These programs prepare entrepreneurs for investment capital from multiple sources, including Launch NY’s InvestLocal Financing Programs comprised of non-profit and for-profit investment funds, and Investor Network deals marketplace that features hundreds of accredited investors. Through these vehicles, Launch NY is the most active seed investor in New York state.


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