Launch NY Newsletter – February 2018


Launch NY

Launch NY News & Updates Upcoming Events
Launch NY has Invested Over $900,000 in 23 Upstate NY Startups

Since the Launch NY Seed Fund’s (LNYSF) first investment in Rachel’s Remedy in March 2016, 22 of Upstate NY’s most promising startups have received funding from Launch NY, making the LNYSF the most active seed fund in Upstate NY. Almost half of these investments have included co-investors from inside and outside the region, totaling more than $3.1MM in co- and follow-on investments. The latest additions to the LNYSF portfolio include software, sensor technology, smart wearables, advanced chemical, and food companies. Read more about them in our latest press release.

Launch NY President & CEO Named to Power 250

Congratulations to our President & CEO, Marnie LaVigne on being named one of Buffalo Business First’s 2018 Power 250!

#LaunchHour TwitterChat: Government Procurement: Making the US Government Your Best Customer
How can your company access the $888M dollars the federal government spends annually with small businesses? Tap into this huge opportunity by joining us on Wednesday, February 21st, at noon for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat, to learn all you need to know on the government procurement process. Our panelists include entrepreneurs and resource providers experienced in government contracting, including Dan Wasserman, Mammoth Health Innovation (@MammothHealth), Dan Keating, iVEDiX (@ivedix), and more!

Prepare Your Startup to Hire the Right Talent

Join Viaduct on March 22nd for their Scaling Your Business: Adding Talent webinar! Increase your startup’s odds of success by learning how to build the right team. This webinar is about helping CEOs and founders avoid critical mistakes when it comes to finding, evaluating, and selecting talent for your company. Register for the free event today!

February 21, 2018
#LaunchhHour TwitterChat: Government Procurement: Making the US Government Your Best Customer
12:00 – 1:00 PM

February 21, 2018
Money Smarts for Small Business
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Syracuse, NY

February 22, 2018
UB RIS2E Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lecture Series
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Buffalo, NY

March 7, 2018
WNY Venture Association Forum
7:30 – 9:00 AM
Buffalo, NY

March 7, 2018
RocGrowth Candids
6:00 – 7:00 PM
Rochester, NY

March 22, 2018
Viaduct Webinar: Scaling Your Business:Adding Talent
10:30 – 11:30 AM

Startup Spotlight

Creating Strong Remote Teams Through a Digital “Place”

Walkabout Workplace is a cutting edge remote work space application startup, headquartered in Buffalo, NY. Walkabout Workplace aims to tackle the common problem faced by remote teams – missing face to face engagement, like walking down the hall to get a quick answer.  What should take a few minutes can now take hours and the reliability of today’s collaboration tools can be hit or miss and confusing. Their online workplace is a “place” to go to work with your remote team and clients via live video, screen share, and simple to use tools.

“Launch NY has helped us many ways in our successes to date. First, the online resources that Launch NY offers on its site are critical for a new business startup. They have everything you need to get your ideas down in writing, set goals, evaluate markets, and more. Next, Launch NY has supported us with an awesome entrepreneur-in-residence, Manoj Pooleery, who has imparted his wisdom that has helped us fast track our success.  Last, but not least, all of the people at Launch NY have been extremely supportive and helpful in introducing us to prospective clients and investors.” – Antoinette Forth, Co-Founder & CEO, Walkabout Workplace

Read more about Walkabout Workplace’s entrepreneurial journey on


#LaunchHour TwitterChat Tips Launch NY Resources
LaunchHour TwitterChats are monthly virtual chats featuring important topics for startups and entrepreneurs. Join us monthly to hear from industry experts on our panel. If you missed us you can view our past TwitterChats in our archive and checkout some great tips from previous months below!

January 17, 2018
#LaunchHour: Funding 101: Managing Investor Relations
View the whole chat on Storify.

Q2. How do you identify and engage with potential investors? How do you or how should startups prospect for investors?

  • Elisa Miller-Out – Chloe Capital (@ElisaMillerOut) – Find events where they will be speaking or attending and try to connect with them before you need their investment. Research them ahead of time to see if they’re a good fit for your company based on their other investments #LaunchHour
  • Jennifer Tegan – Cayuga Venture Fund (@jrtegan) Research investors who might be a good fit then – NETWORK. Talk to CEOs in their portfolio. Reach out to people who might know them via LinkedIn. Try to get a warm intro from a contact. If that’s not possible, try to connect with them at a meeting. #LaunchHour
  • Rachel Jackson – Rachel’s Remedy (@RachelsRemedy) – I asked all of my contacts for introductions and tried to use as many resources as possible to find the right funding. #LaunchHour
  • Mike Annunziata Farther Farms (@nunzi46) – We send monthly update letters to investors and broad group of prospects. We consider the information therein largely “public”. It’s a great way to communicate progress and also demonstrate discipline and focus (all of our letters are single-page PDFs) #LaunchHour

Q3. How do you or how should a startup grow your network of potential investors?

  • James Shomar – StartFast Venture Accelerator (@JamesShomar) – Get online to all the major platforms. Network & use your contacts to find warm intros if possible. Reach out before you need the money. #LaunchHour
  • Mike Annunziata Farther Farms (@nunzi46) – Is this investor just money or do they play a strategic role? In the end, an entrepreneur’s main job is to build a business, not raise capital. Build a business and the capital will find you. #LaunchHour
  • Manoj Pooleery – Launch NY EIR (@mphisocial) – Identify which investors are in your “industry” very early on and working those leads diligently is key #LaunchHour

View the whole chat on Storify.

Join us for our next #LaunchHour TwitterChat, this Wednesday, February, 2018!


Upstate NY Resource Network
 Check it out here >

Upstate NY Rainforest Canvas Study
 Check it out here >

5 Business Stages – Where are you?

Each stage contains critical deliverables for moving forward. Starting with the Explore stage, see where you are on the path to success.
 Find out here >

Entrepreneur Toolkit 
The toolkit is a set of templates and links designed to help start, launch and grow your business in upstate New York.
 Check it out here >

Is Launch NY a fit for you?
Launch NY provides entrepreneurs experienced mentoring using best practice processes and connections to specialized resources both in and beyond the Upstate NY ecosystem.Thus preparing you to compete for and win the funding and additional resources needed to move forward.  Apply Now! >

Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Introduction
Meet Don DeLaria

Don’s career has spanned a number of industries with a variety of companies both big and small. After investment banking, syndicate, and institutional equity sales, Don founded Deephaven Financial Group, where he led investor relations efforts for numerous companies. He later moved into the movie business with Regal Entertainment Group, to a stock loyalty start-up, Loyal 3 and to Zep, Inc., a specialty chemical company.More recently, Don has led business development efforts for a specialty chemical distributor and two companies engaged in the field of artificial intelligence.

Don enjoys giving back by mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs through local incubators and accelerators.  He mentored at the ATDC in Atlanta (the oldest incubator in the U.S.) prior to moving to the Buffalo area. He’s also a member of the Western New York Venture Association and Buffalo Angels. He’s especially skilled at the LEAN start-up method and facilitating and implementing LEAN processes to drive enhanced efficiency.

Read more about Don and our other EIRs on our website.
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