Buffalo, NY, August 26, 2020 – Launch NY, Upstate New York’s first and only venture development organization to provide pro bono mentoring and the most active seed fund in New York State to high-growth startups across the 27 westernmost counties of the state, announced its Q2 investments from both its nonprofit Seed Fund and for-profit LP Fund, which totaled $385,000 across nine companies.
The startups, which reflect Launch NY’s multifaceted approach to investment, span from Buffalo to Syracuse and represent the food, technology, insurance and automotive industries, to name a few.
“Our region’s greatest resource is its brainpower,” said Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY. “Even amidst a global pandemic, we still had significant activity across all of our #InvestLocal platforms. Inventors kept innovating, entrepreneurs kept creating and investors kept supporting. I couldn’t be more proud of these fearless and formidable changemakers.”
Aviate Audio, a Buffalo company that has developed a unique wireless controller to put great music at a musician’s fingertips, was the 60th company added to Launch NY’s nonprofit Seed Fund portfolio and the 34th in its for-profit Limited Partner Fund portfolio.
“The Aviate Audio team is thrilled by the investment and proud to have a capable and supportive partner in Launch NY,” said Shane Nolan, Aviate Audio’s CEO. “The funding is backing our major release of Airpatch, a revolutionary device that wirelessly controls effects from any musical instrument, and our plans to grow this year with the introduction of multiple new products.”
The other companies that received funding from Launch NY in Q2 are:
- 3AM Innovations Inc., Buffalo, NY – developer of a tracking and monitoring platform that delivers real-time information to support the safety of first responders. The solution comprises wearables and a patented situational tracking software system designed to improve on scene awareness for those who risk their lives to save and serve others daily.
- BetterMynd Inc., Buffalo, NY – an online therapy platform that connects colleges with a network of licensed mental health counselors. The company created a tool that allows students to access a vetted network of diverse specialists who are available through the convenience and privacy of the student’s laptop or smartphone.
- Eat Me Ice Cream LLC, Rochester, NY – produces plant based frozen desserts in savory, smoky and tropical flavors. Its core values include creativity and imagination, taste experiences and awareness through connection, sustainable environments/food systems/future of food/eco packaging, women empowerment and cross cultural experiences.
- EagleHawk One LLC, Buffalo, NY – a drone-powered technology company revolutionizing the way commercial roofs are inspected and managed by helping customers detect unknown issues, mitigate risk and reduce roof maintenance costs. Currently, the drone technology is deploying antimicrobial applications to sanitize surfaces as another feature of building maintenance which is proving to be crucial during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Ellicottville Greens, Ellicottville, NY – grower and processor of high quality indoor herbs, leafy greens and micro greens through sustainable methods.
- Paradigm, Rochester, NY – manufactures devices, both for the retrofit and OEM markets, which reduce pollution in gasoline and diesel engines, resulting in substantial reductions in fuel and maintenance costs while improving engine uptime.
- The Perfect Granola LLC , Rochester, NY – granola manufacturer with a social purpose: sharing a portion of its profits with charities, and administering a student mentorship program. The Perfect Granola is distributed in Wegmans, Walmart, Hannaford, ShopRite, Tops and many other retailers, as well as New York State school lunches.
- Promptous, Syracuse, NY – provides a full-service self-insurance platform for small to medium-sized businesses that allows them to streamline claims and reimbursements, thereby making their annual dental plans 30 percent more cost-effective.
The LaunchNY Nonprofit Seed Fund LLC, in operation since 2016, is designed to provide $25,000 to $100,000 in investment capital to companies that meet Launch NY’s criteria. It has been supported by grants and donations from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund, among dozens of individual and organizational funders, and has invested over $3 million in Upstate NY startups to date. Fueled by grants and donations, all returns come back to this nonprofit fund to support investments in future startups in what is known as an “evergreen cycle.”
Launch NY’s for-profit Limited Partner Fund debuted in Q1 2019 and is designed to co-invest alongside Launch NY’s nonprofit Seed Fund, ultimately doubling the capital available for Launch NY client companies. These financing programs are offered through Launch NY’s #InvestLocal platform, which also supports deal-by-deal investments from accredited investors into these portfolio companies through its no cost sign up, deal-by-deal Investor Network, also offering Qualified Opportunity Funds with special tax incentives for investments in eligible businesses in the designated low income Opportunity Zones.
For more information about Launch NY, its programs, and other entrepreneurial opportunities, visit www.launchny.org and follow Launch NY on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.