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Thanks To Initial Funds Secured By Schumer & Gillibrand, Launch New York Businesses Have Already Created Approximately 1,000 Jobs In Upstate New York; Schumer & Gillibrand Previously Secured $637K In Fed Funds To Help Start Launch NY

 New, Additional Funds Secured By Schumer & Gillibrand Will Provide More Entrepreneurs In Upstate NY With Resources To Start-Up Companies & Create Jobs – $245K In Fed Funds Will Allow Launch NY To Invest In Entrepreneurs & In Upstate Economy

 Schumer, Gillibrand: Launch NY Has Been A Huge Success; Additional Fed Funds Will Keep Job-Creating Engine Chugging

 U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $245,460 in federal funds for Buffalo-based Launch New York. This funding was allocated through the federal Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Seed Fund Support program and will allow Launch NY to provide funding for start-up companies in Western New York. Specifically, this funding will bolster the Launch NY Seed Fund, which is aimed at helping entrepreneurs at the earliest stages in their development. This early investment will help start-ups access the initial seed funding they need to get off the ground and attract further investments. Schumer and Gillibrand said this funding is a critical component of making the full implementation of the Launch NY Seed Fund a reality. 

“Start-up companies are the job-creating engines that power our economic growth in the 21st Century. But as any entrepreneur knows, the first few years can be especially challenging. That’s why I was proud to secure the initial funding that helped kick-start Launch New York, which gives businesses the resources they need to get off the ground and create new jobs,” said Senator Schumer. “Today’s fantastic news of additional funding will further build on Launch NY’s success, by enabling it to provide local entrepreneurs the seed funding they need at their earliest stage of development. I will continue fighting tooth and nail to secure the federal funding Launch NY needs and do everything in my power to grow local start-up companies to create jobs across Upstate NY.”

“Upstate New York is ripe with opportunity and this funding would enable local businesses and entrepreneurs to unlock new investments and expand their operations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I wrote to the Department of Commerce pushing for this funding because Launch NY’s mentorship and other support programs will help our businesses and entrepreneurs with the resources and knowhow they need to create growing, thriving businesses. Providing startups with these resources will continue to help boost the local economy, revitalize our communities, and create new jobs allowing for long-term economic growth.”

“In addition to mentoring more than 600 companies comprising more than 1,500 jobs, Launch NY is adding the powerful impact of seed funding. This award will allow us to fully capitalize and invest our fund that started this year and drive growth of our most promising startups to build our new economy,” said Marnie LaVigne, President & CEO of Launch NY. “We appreciate Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand’s continued support of Launch NY.”

As a result of the $637,000 in federal funds Schumer and Gillibrand helped secure from the EDA, Launch NY was able to begin helping entrepreneurs and startup companies all across Upstate NY by beginning to implement their Regional Entrepreneurial Action Plan (REAP), which is aimed at helping to transform university-led research and scientific advances into business success and job creation. Over the last several years, Launch NY has met with nearly 7,000 entrepreneurs, 1,300 investors, and over 2,500 resource providers. Launch NY has been the driving force behind the Bright Buffalo Niagara Venture Forum, the NEXT Conference held near Syracuse, and is working to support the Buffalo Business Plan Competition. In addition, Launch NY has worked to establish an Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program (EIR) that allows new startup companies to gain access to qualified and experienced entrepreneurs that can help mentor and guide their early-stage company. Launch New York has provided coaching to 169 entrepreneurs with over 450 employees in their initial two years. Launch has also focused on helping to spur investment in these early-stage companies and has already facilitated the investment of more than $2 million into startup companies in Upstate New York. 

The EDA’s Seed Fund Support program provides funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the feasibility, planning, formation, launch, or scale of cluster-based seed funds that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth. EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds. More information on EDA’s grant process and investment process can be found at


Copies of Senator Schumer’s and Senator Gillibrand’s letters to the U.S. Department of Commerce appears below:


Dear Secretary Pritzker:

I am pleased to write in support of Launch NY, Inc.’s application for funding under the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies Seed Fund Support Grant program.  Such funding will enable Launch NY to scale up its new seed fund program.

Launch NY is a nonprofit venture development organization formed to create jobs by supporting high-growth potential businesses and entrepreneurs in Upstate New York.  Launch NY collaborates with private enterprise, academia, government, and other service providers to facilitate innovation and support entrepreneurial efforts in the region.  The organization has provided pro bono mentorship to more than 500 new businesses and has introduced a new seed fund in 2016, which has already made its first investment in a startup company.

With funding, Launch NY will scale up its new Launch NY Seed Fund program.  This full scale seed fund will be able to expand support for entrepreneurs and startup companies.  The Upstate New York region is ripe with opportunity for entrepreneurship, with nearly $3 billion expended annually in research and development.  Despite this significant expenditure, the region receives only 3% of the venture capital invested in the state each year.  An expansion of its seed fund will improve Launch NY’s ability to assist promising startups and promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.  I applaud Launch NY for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.


Thank you for your consideration.  




Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator



Dear Assistant Secretary Williams,

I write in support of the application submitted by Launch NY for funding from the Seed Fund Support Grant competition through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies Program. This funding will help support Launch NY’s the scale-up of their Mentorship-Driven Seed Fund. 

Established as 501(c)(3) in 2013, Launch NY is a critical venture development organization serving Upstate New York, leading innovation and entrepreneurial efforts for the region by facilitating a collaboration of private enterprise, academia, government, and other service providers. The organization has provided pro bono mentorship to more than 500 new businesses, and introduced a new seed fund in 2016 that has already made its first investment in a startup company. In order to achieve maximal impact and avoid duplication of services, Launch NY collaborates with more than 200 partner organizations, including university technology transfer offices, business accelerators and incubators, centers of advanced manufacturing innovation, and federally-funded innovation clusters. 

The requested funding will be used to fully scale-up the new Launch NY Seed Fund. While the Upstate NY region is ripe with opportunity with nearly $3 billion in annual research and development expenditures, it only receives 3% of the venture capital invested in the state annually. Funding Launch NY’s Seed Fund will ensure that the most promising startups have access to high quality business mentoring in combination with vital seed capital to advance their products and services to the marketplace, offering opportunities for new companies and the creation of new jobs.




Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator