SEP 9, 2015

Two centers to aid Launch NY clients
Business. The Buffalo News

Entrepreneurs working with Launch NY have access to business, technical and legal experts through new partnerships funded with a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce…..

Through new affiliations with the Innovation Center of the Rockies and New York State Science & Technology Law Center at Syracuse University’s College of Law.

SEP 9, 2015

Innovation Center of the Rockies to offer aid to New York startups
BizWest Staff . BizWest

The Boulder-based Innovation Center of the Rockies will offer advice from its network of technical and business experts to clients of an economic-development agency serving 27 counties in upstate New York.

The agreement with Buffalo-based nonprofit Launch New York Inc. was funded through a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and will match ICR domain expert advisers to Launch NY clients with the goal of overcoming obstacles and challenges limiting company growth.

AUG 14, 2015

Another Voice: Steve Case’s visit to Buffalo documents the city’s new entrepreneurial spirit
David J, Colligan. The Buffalo News

On Sept. 30, Steve Case’s Best of the Rest bus tour will arrive in Buffalo. This is a significant achievement for the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem that locals have been feeding and nurturing for the last decade……….

No doubt, Case will also spend time with Launch NY’s Entrepreneurs In Residence: 12 highly experienced mentors who support these new startups daily.

Mr. Colligan is a partner in Colligan Law of Buffalo and chairman of Launch NY.

AUG 4, 2015

New federal dollars to aid Upstate NY start-up companies
James Fink, Reporter. Buffalo Business First

A new pool of federal funds is being allocated to foster growth in the region’s fast-growing entrepreneurship network.

The $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and funneled to the Launch NY Inc. is being earmarked for start-up entrepreneurs in 27 Upstate counties including Erie and Niagara.

AUG 4, 2015

Buffalo on ‘Rise of the Rest’ radar
Jerry Zremski | News Washington Bureau Chief . The Buffalo News

Billionaire businessman Steve Case, who has been touring the country to promote – and invest in – up-and-coming business markets, is bringing his “Rise of the Rest” bus tour to Buffalo.

His Sept. 30 visit will give Buffalo companies the chance to compete for $100,000 in startup funds, but in a telephone interview on Monday, Case said that’s just one reason for his trip. “Our goal is to go there to Buffalo to try to get a better understanding of it and then be a megaphone to tell the city’s story,” said Case, the co-founder of America Online and now the chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm.

……. local attorney David Colligan, who chairs the board of Launch New York – which aids entrepreneurs in 27 upstate counties – termed Case’s visit “fantastic news.”

AUG 3, 2015

U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $500,000 to Spur Entrepreneurship in New York
Public Affairs Department. United States Economic Development Administration

Today in Buffalo, New York, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Representative Brian Higgins announced a $500,000 grant to Launch NY Inc., a non-profit venture development organization, to create an entrepreneur mentorship program in the region. According to grantee estimates, companies assisted by this project will create or retain an average of five jobs per company, with increased payrolls and revenues.

AUG 3, 2015

Federal grant to aid startup companies in upstate New York
Robert J. McCarthy, News Political Reporter. The Buffalo News

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate setting Monday to announce a new federal grant to encourage entrepreneurs in upstate New York.

At the former Trico Products windshield wiper factory now transformed into a gleaming new “innovation center,” other federal officials joined Gillibrand to highlight a $500,000 award from the Economic Development Administration to create an entrepreneurship mentoring program that will assist startup companies in 27 upstate counties. The money will be directed toward Launch NY, a nonprofit venture development organization.

JUL 21, 2015

TTG10 Pitch Winners Sponsored by LaunchNY
The Tech Garden (the

A huge thank you to LaunchNY for sponsoring the pitch competition  event and giving Upstate and Central New York startups an opportunity to collaborate and pitch!

JUL 17, 2015

Maidbot Takes First Place in Launch NY Pitch Competition
Jerimiah Cotman. Southern Tier Startup Alliance

On Thursday, July 16, Micah Green of Maidbot presented the pitch for Maidbot at the Launch New York Pitch Competition held in Syracuse at The Tech Garden and returned to Ithaca with First Prize!

JUN 25, 2015

Launch NY starts seed fund
Bennett J. Loudon, Staff Writer. Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Launch NY has received a $200,000 grant from theJohn R. Oishei Foundation to kick off fundraising for a new seed fund to help entrepreneurs creating new high-growth companies based on hard science.  Launch NY President and CEO Marnie LaVigne said her organization is hoping to raise $5 million for the fund and invest in the first company by the end of this year.

JUN 22, 2015

Oishei Foundation grant backs Launch NY seed fund
Business Desk. The Buffalo News

The John R. Oishei Foundation will provide a $200,000 grant to support the creation of Launch NY’s nonprofit seed fund, aimed at filling a critical gap in early-stage funding for upstate startups.

MAY 8, 2015

Event to bring together green energy manufacturers, investors
David Bertola. Buffalo Business First Reporter- Buffalo Business First

At the upcoming Upstate Venture Association of New York Venture Forum, renewable energy manufacturers and financiers will talk about what’s driving growth of the renewable energy sector in Upstate New York.

Launch NY President and CEO Marnie LaVigne will give opening remarks, and will be followed by Jennifer Tegan, managing director of Cayuga Venture Fund, who will provide an overview of Upstate Venture Association of New York.

APR 30, 2015

Press Release. Office of U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

Thanks to Initial Funds Secured by Senator Schumer Launch New York Businesses have Already Created Approximately 1,000 Jobs in Upstate New York Businesses; Additional Funds Would Provide More Start-Ups & Entrepreneurs Across 27 Counties in WNY, CNY, Rochester-Finger Lakes & S. Tier Regions With Resources Needed To Create More Jobs

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, on a personal call, urged Acting Economic Development Agency (EDA) Regional Administrator Tonia Williams to award funding to Buffalo-based Launch New York to create jobs, as well as support and bolster businesses in Upstate New York communities. Launch NY, headquartered in Buffalo, aims to spur economic development across 27 counties in the Western New York, Central New York, Rochester-Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier regions.

APR 14, 2015

#LaunchHour TweetChat – MEDIA FACT SHEET
Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President & CEO. Launch NY

TweetChat: #LaunchHour“Show Me the Money!” Breaking through the Myths and Mystique of Startup FundingA look at the funding process, how to decide when or if you’re ready, the pros & cons of the options available, when to use or not use them, and other funding sources and resources in Upstate NY.

APR 14, 2015

Effort to boost Erie County startups gets $200,000
The Buffalo News

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is providing $200,000 to Launch NY to pay for programs and services meant to boost startup companies in Erie County.

APR 10, 2015

Earl Wells/Danielle DelMonte — e3communications. Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation

BATAVIA, NEW YORK – The Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC), the real estate arm of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), today unveiled the Innovation Zone which will be located in the Upstate MedTech Park in Batavia.

Facility funded by National Grid’s CleanTech Incubation Program

Participating in ribbon cutting:

Steve Hyde, President and CEO, GCEDC,
Dennis Elsenbeck, Regional Director, National Grid
Brian Bell, CEO & Director, First Wave Technologies
Dr. James M. Sunser, President, Genesee Community College
Dr. Marnie LaVigne, CEO, Launch NY

MAR 31, 2015

Science Inspires Business Opportunities in the New Buffalo
Jenna Kavanaugh, Marketing Director. Buffalo Niagara Enterprise Blog – Development Discussions

In 2006, Empire Genomics, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine, was born. At the time, formalized support systems for entrepreneurs were limited, with few resources to help catalyze ideas into businesses.  But Dr. Nowak still found doors that opened to opportunity………..Dr. Marnie LaVigne, currently president and CEO of Launch New York, was leading those efforts at the CBLS and Nowak credits her for the inspirational encouragement and support she provided in the early stages of Empire Genomics’ development.

FEB 27, 2015

Buffalo’s Start-Up Sector Taking Shape
Dan Miner, Reporter. Buffalo Business First

Buffalo has seen a huge influx of resources aimed at scalable start-up companies in recent years and now boasts an assortment of incubators, accelerator programs, investment vehicles and physical facilities aimed at that space.    …………..  Launch NY is starting to get verbal commitments from nonprofit groups in its bid to raise a $5 million to $10 million fund aimed at relatively small investments in early-stage companies across Central and Western New York, said Marnie LaVigne, the organization’s president and CEO.

FEB 18, 2015

Launch Hour discussion: Getting a business off the ground
Dan Miner, Reporter. Buffalo Business First

What is the biggest obstacle in turning an idea into a business?

That was the question posed Wednesday to a crew of innovation-minded tweeters based in Upstate and Western New York.

The answers rolled in.

FEB 4, 2015

Launch NY altering its path to success!
David Bertola, Buffalo Business First Reporter. Buffalo Business First

Launch NY has expanded its stable of entrepreneurs in residence to support new and growing tech industries, and is casting its net nationwide to expand its roster of experts.

JAN 21, 2015

Launch NY Targets Investment Fund
Dan Miner, Reporter. Buffalo Business First

Launch NY is seeking to raise a fund of somewhere between $5 million to $10 million aimed at relatively small investments in early-stage companies across Central and Western New York.  The goal is to finalize the fund and start making investments in the $25,000-$100,000 range by the end of 2015, said Marnie LaVigne, the organization’s president and CEO.

JAN 21, 2015

Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. University of Buffalo School of Management

Registration Underway for Start-UP CEL, an Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship Program

So you’ve got a great new concept. Or maybe you madea great discovery or innovated a new product design.You’re ready to pursue your idea and form a business. Nowwhat? It can be challenging to build an effective team andnavigate the complex pathway to launching a successfulinnovation driven enterprise. Put quite simply, we know it can be a long and difficult journey

OCT 31, 2014

ASi of Tonawanda wins $1million in 43North Contest
David Robinson, News Business Reporter. Buffalo News

ASi, the hometown contestant in a global competition, took home the $1 million grand prize in the 43North business plan contest.

The Town of Tonawanda metal forming company, which has been in development for seven years, beat out 10 other finalists for the contest’s top prize Thursday. The runners-up each received prizes of either $500,000 or $250,000 and will be required to move to Buffalo for at least one year.

OCT 22, 2014

Launch Ny seeks $1.4 million in additional funding
Buffalo News

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, are advocating for additional federal funding for Launch New York, a Buffalo-based program that supports entrepreneurs and startups in 27 upstate New York counties.

OCT 20, 2014

LNY2013 Annual Report
Launch NY

Launch NY 2013 Annual Report

OCT 19, 2014

Venture Adventure Startups seek more capital
Matt Glynn , News Business Reporter. Buffalo News

OnCore Golf is chasing the entrepreneurial dream of turning a startup into a thriving company.

The Buffalo-based company has the product to pitch: a hollow metal core golf ball that promises to fly straighter. But developing and marketing the technology is only half the battle: OnCore also wants more capital to follow through on its growth plans. The company has attracted about $1 million in investment from the InVentures Group, an angel investor group in Tennessee, and some private individuals in Buffalo and Florida.

AUG 18, 2014

New Launch NY CEO Continues to Boost Area Entrepreneurs
Stephen T. Watson. Buffalo News

Marnie LaVigne spent nearly a decade at the University at Buffalo working to grow the area’s life sciences economy, first as director of business development for the school’s bioinformatics center and later as associate vice president of economic development.

Last month, she took a new job, as president and CEO of Launch NY, but she’s got the same office in UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. And she’s got the same mission of promoting startup activity in the region.

AUG 11, 2014

PreSeed Funding Seen as Challenge in WNY
Dan Miner, Reporter. Buffalo Business First

The Western New York entrepreneurial scene has made progress on the subject of venture capital in recent years, but stakeholders say one area remains a major vacuum.

“First money in,” or pre-seed capital that doesn’t require matching funds or a working business model, is seen as a key bridge over the proverbial Valley of Death, the gap between a great idea and early-stage business.  More….

JUN 23

Marnie LaVigne to become CEO of Launch NY
Dan Miner, Reporter. Business First

Marnie LaVigne, one of the University at Buffalo’s most recognizable faces in the area of economic development, is leaving the university to spearhead a nonprofit she helped found.  LaVigne will become chief executive officer of Launch NY, which was created in 2012 to support high-growth business ventures.

JUN 23

University at Buffalo’s LaVigne named CEO of Launch NY
Matt Glynn, News Business Reporter. The Buffalo News

Marnie LaVigne, an economic development leader at the University at Buffalo, was named chief executive officer of Launch NY, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote startup activity in upstate New York.

LaVigne, associate vice president for economic development at UB, will leave the university and take over as CEO in July, according to a joint announcement by UB and Launch NY.


43North Competition Receives 6,932 Applications
Dan Miner. Buffalo Business First

Entrepreneurs submitted 6,932 applications to the inaugural 43North business plan competition, roundly besting organizers’ initial hopes of at least 1,000.


Launch NY receives $125,000 Grant to launch Entrepreneur Institute
David Bertola. Buffalo Business First

Launch New York Inc. has been awarded a $125,000 grant to fund The Entrepreneur Institute.  The institute is being created to develop the pool of entrepreneurs and enhance relationships among those who provide resources to them in Upstate New York. It will connect entrepreneurs, resource providers and investors.


43 North Business Competition
David Robinson. Buffalo News

State officials Wednesday launched a global business plan competition that dangles $5 million in prizes to attract entrepreneurs with the best ideas for starting a new business in the Buffalo Niagara region.  Like the reality TV show, the 43North business plan competition, named for Buffalo’s latitude, dangles a grand prize of $1 million, plus free office space and support services for a year, to the entrepreneur whose idea is picked by a panel of local judges as being the most promising venture to emerge from the contest.  In return, the winning business must agree to start its venture in Buffalo and remain here for at least a year.

Overall, the competition aims to help launch 11 promising new businesses – with prizes ranging from $250,000 to $1 million – in an attempt to ramp up small- business growth in a region that has trailed the rest of the country in new business startups.


Global $5 Million Business Competition Launched in Buffalo
David Robinson. Buffalo News

State officials today launched a $5 million competition that aims to attract entrepreneurs from across the globe with the best ideas for starting a new business in the Buffalo Niagara region.  The 43 North business plan competition, named for Buffalo’s latitude, kicked off today with the launch of a website ( that organizers hope will attract upwards of 1,000 ideas for new businesses, all competing for a $1 million grand prize to help get that venture off the ground.  The competition, which plans to announce its winner at the end of October, also will include six runner-up prizes of $500,000 apiece and four more for $250,000 each.


‘43 North’ and Buffalo’s $5M carrot
James Fink. Buffalo Business First

Buffalo’s next Synacor or Liazon may come from a global business plan and start up competition that is offering a $1 million grand prize. The “43 North” competition, formally announced Wednesday morning — but in the works for more than one year, is aimed at attracting the attention of entrepreneurs hoping to earn some of the $5 million allocated to bring cutting-edge start up companies to Buffalo.


Nation’ largest business competition launched
Rick Moriarty. Post Standard

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today launched what he said is the largest business competition in the country — $5 million in cash prizes for those with the best business plans and who agree to operate their business in Buffalo.   Details of the competition were announced at a press conference at One Canalside, a newly rehabbed building overlooking Buffalo’s waterfront.  The competition is called 43North. It gets its name from the latitudinal line that runs through Western New York.  The competition’s top cash prize is $1 million. In addition, 43North will award six $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes.

JAN 15

Entries Open for Rochester Business Plan Contest
High Tech Rochester

The goal of the 2014 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurship among all who enter while recognizing and rewarding the most promising new ventures and start-up companies. Registration opens on Monday, January 6, 2014 and goes thru Friday, January 24, 2014.  The registration fee is $150 per company and includes participation of two company representatives in a series of preparatory workshops.

JAN 13

New Website Lists Resources for Entrepreneurs
Tracy Puckett, University of Buffalo News Center.

The University at Buffalo and Launch NY announce the debut of a new website connecting current and would-be entrepreneurs to upstate New York resources that offer assistance in starting, growing and managing a business.he website,, is structured according to five stages of business development: explore, start, demonstrate, launch and grow. Each stage is defined, with recommended activities identified and appropriate resources listed.

JAN 10

Exec on Board to Lead Competition
David Bertola. Buffalo Business First

The  $5 million international business plan competition being run through Launch NY,  includes a $1 million top prize and requires the winner to relocate to Buffalo, is gearing up for an early-February launch.  The international business plan competition, part of Gov. ’s Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan, will be the largest annual business plan challenge in the U.S., based on award amount and is intended to attract entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.


$5 million Business Plan Competition Spotlights Region
Matt Glynn. The Buffalo News

The competition is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative. Organizers of the competition – whose official name is yet to be announced – say it will be the largest annual business plan challenge in the nation based on award amount. It will award a total of $5 million in prizes, with a top prize of $1 million.

OCT 31

Build It Buffalo to Attract Entrepreneurs Worldwide
Ashley Hirtzel. WBFO 88.7

A new business competition is expected to attract entrepreneurs from around the world to Western New York. The “Build It Buffalo” business plan competition is expected to be the most ambitious the United States has ever seen.  The competition is expected to attract 1,000 applicants from around the world.  The estimate comes from similar competitions held at Rice University and Mass Challenge in Massachusetts that attracted 1,000 people, but didn’t have a prize pool like “Build It Buffalo.”

OCT 29

Build It Buffalo: $5 Million Business Competition
David Bertola. Buffalo Business First

Entrepreneurs from around the world will be invited to Buffalo to take part in a business plan competition where winners will divvy up $5 million.    John Seman, CEO of Launch NY, said the business plan competition, called Build It Buffalo, would seek to attract 1,000 applicants worldwide. The top award will be $1 million, with additional secondary awards of $500,000.


Bright Buffalo Niagara Forum September 30
Dan Miner. Buffalo Business First

The event will begin Monday, Sept. 30, with a reception and VIP dinner for investors at UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center. The main programming will take place at 8 a.m. the next day, Oct. 1, at Statler City on Delaware Avenue. Participants will give 10-minute presentations to potential investors.

All presenters will also automatically make the first cut of Launch NY’s inaugural business plan competition, which includes more than $5 million in prizes and is expected to culminate in mid-2014. That competition is part of the Buffalo Billions initiative championed by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

AUG 19

Launch NY Working to Grow Companies
Bennett J. Loudon, Staff writer. Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

If you’re trying to start a new company Ed Bizari wants to help.   Bizari has been the Rochester area’s entrepreneur-in-residence since June 1 for Launch NY, a non-profit organization with the mission of creating jobs by providing assistance to new companies in 27 upstate New York counties.  Launch NY has headquarters in Buffalo and staff in Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca.

AUG 13

National Grid Invests $250,000 in Launch NY Programs
Posted by WCPerspective In College, Regional. Buffalo Rising

National Grid also provided a grant to Launch NY’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, which provides entrepreneurs support in the initial growth stages of business development while offering mentorship and long term advisement by matching experienced professionals with high potential startup companies.

AUG 12

National Grid to Announce Award to Launch NY Program
Associated Press. Wall Street Journal

National Grid CEO Steve Holliday also is expected to announce a separate grant to the Launch NY Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program. That program matches experienced professionals with high potential startup companies.


Local Initiative Seeks to Eliminate Brain Drain
Christopher Michel. Olean Times Herald

Continuing its mission to improve the local economy, Family Partners Group Inc. has started a new initiative aimed at helping fledgling businesses succeed.

“Many of us are very concerned about what is considered the ‘brain drain’ in our community — the migration of young people and families out of this area,” said Larry Sorokes, chair of the Family Partners Group. “At the same time, there’s been a change in the picture of economic development because there really isn’t anyone that’s going to come in here and save us, but we can help ourselves. Our economic future is really in our hands.”

MAY 22

NYPA awards Launch New York $5.4 million
David Bertola. Buffalo Business First

The Western New York Power Proceeds Act authorized the New York Power Authority to deposit net earnings from market sale of unused electricity into Western New York Economic Development Fund.  This grant to Launch NY will be utilized as seed capital to assist area startup companies gain market traction in their commercializing of transformational technologies and ideas.


Brooks named Entrepreneur in Residence for Launch NY
Kevin Tampone. Central New York Business Journal

“Launch NY’s goal is to have an entrepreneur in residence in each major city it covers”,  said John Seman, Launch NY president and CEO. “We want to be the group that connects the different organizations that currently exist” he added. ” We want to work with them and help support their efforts and the entrepreneurs in residence are a key to achieving that goal”


Launch NY Introduces IdeaCrossing

LaunchNY, a non-profit organization which devotes financial and managerial resources to accelerating the growth of high-potential startups in order to create jobs in the region, has teamed with a variety of cross-regional economic development and entrepreneurial support organizations to introduce IdeaCrossing® to Upstate New York.

JAN 27

New Business Ecosystem Nurtures Startups
Jonathan D. Epstein. The Buffalo News

“The entrepreneurial environment is really where the future is going to be,” said John J. Seman, president and CEO of Launch NY, a new nonprofit entrepreneurial support organization that brings management expertise and investment dollars to encourage the growth of technology and other startups in 27 counties, including Erie.

“It’s light-footed, it’s flexible, it’s adaptable, it’s changeable. You don’t know where the next opportunity comes from, but you continue to look, because you know it’s going to be there. You accept some level of failure because you get some … success,” he said.


Guiding startups through ‘valley of death’
David Robinson. Buffalo News

For years, entrepreneurs throughout the Buffalo Niagara region have been complaining about how hard it is to get the financing they need to take their ideas for promising new products through the cash-gobbling development stage and bring it to market.


Launch NY targeting high-growth startups
David Bertola. Buffalo Law Journal

Launch New York will target high-growth entrepreneurs – those that project $20 million to $30 million in annual sales within a five-year period.

FEB 14

Schumer, Higgins Push Feds to Fund ‘Launch New York’ Initiative Led by UB
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise . WKBW release

(WKBW release) New York Senator Charles E. Schumer and New York Congressman Brian Higgins on Tuesday urged the Commerce Department and the Economic Development Administration  to support the application and provide funding for a new Venture Development Organization called “Launch New York”.