Buffalo, NY, September 16, 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 that it has selected Anthony Jones as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) and co-lead for its new underrepresented founders pilot program, Founders Go Big, providing much needed guidance from his years as a successful serial entrepreneur and attorney.
Launch NY provides pro bono mentoring and access to risk capital for high-growth startups. To date, Launch NY has funded 60 companies with over $3 million dollars, which has helped these companies attract over $61 million dollars from other funders to build their scalable businesses. Seed level startups are vetted and developed by Launch NY EIRs using lean startup methods that prepare the company to become investment-ready for up to up to 100k in seed funding from Launch NY, while approaching other investors as well. Founders Go Big, announced as Launch NY’s new diversity and inclusion initiative supported by JPMorgan Chase earlier this year, provides specialized resources for minority and women-led startups. Launch NY is building on its existing diverse portfolio comprising 45% minority- and/or women-led businesses, by offering tailored mentorship capabilities to attract and serve underrepresented entrepreneurs and providing access to a “Starter Funding Pool” that is set aside to provide $5,000 to $20,000 in initial funding as means to support completion of a business milestone before having to compete with other more resourced startups for larger amounts of investment capital from investors.
Anthony Jones, as the Founder and Executive Chairman of Flextime Nurses and an accomplished attorney, serial-entrepreneur and community activist, brings start-up experience in entertainment, media, sports, e-sports, technology, healthcare, fashion, fintech and commodities.
“I am proud to lend my experience to Launch NY’s growing seed fund. Starting my first businesses in Western New York, I understand some of the challenges associated with creating a successful enterprise in the region,” Jones said. “I’m especially happy to help some of our minority founders raise needed funds,” he continued.
Anthony Jones is graduate of Daemen College and University at Buffalo (UB) Law School. He has served as an Adjunct law professor at UB Law and, although he resides primarily in Georgia, continues to support Upstate entrepreneurs.
As an attorney, Mr. Jones focused his practice on the transactional aspects of entertainment and media law, film production law, sports law, fashion law and advising mid-stage companies and start-up ventures. Mr. Jones’ clients have sold a combined 100 million units worldwide, have won Grammys, have been nominated for Academy Awards, won Olympic Gold Medals, NBA, NFL and MLB championships.
As an advisor, Mr. Jones has worked with entrepreneurs and start-ups of all types, including: film production and distribution companies, e-sports developers, software developers, magazine and newspaper publishers, recording artists, professional athletes, oil and gas exploration companies and merchandising and retail industries. He has been instrumental in leading capital raising campaigns by drafting and negotiating Private Placement Memorandums for start-ups, drafting convertible debt note arrangements, restructured operation agreements, corporate buyouts, capital contribution agreements and catalog acquisitions.
“It was incredibly fortuitous that we met Anthony through a presentation to UB alumni in January about our work with startups in the region,” said Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY. “His background and passion for bringing his experience as a successful minority entrepreneur to others was perfectly timed for our Founders Go Big program kick-off. We’re so fortunate to have Anthony as the perfect role model to inspire others to believe that they can build a scalable business, as he generously offers invaluable coaching that equips these entrepreneurs with vital tools for the journey.”
The Founders Go Big program and participating minority- and women-led companies will be featured on the panel for the #LaunchHour Twitterchat from noon to 1 pm on September 16th, which the public is welcome to join on Twitter at #LaunchHour.