04.30.15

SCHUMER, IN PERSONAL CALL WITH EDA REGIONAL ADMIN, URGES FEDS TO APPROVE $617,000 FOR LAUNCH NY IN BUFFALO, WHICH IS ALREADY POSITIVELY IMPACTING UPSTATE JOB GROWTH – FED FUNDS, COUPLED WITH MATCHING GRANTS, WOULD PROVIDE $1.3M IN FUNDING FOR RESOURCES FOR START-UPS & ENTREPRENEURS TO GROW, EXPAND, & CREATE JOBS

Thanks to Initial Funds Secured by 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

Schumer Previously Secured $637,000 in Fed Funds to Help Start Launch NY – New EDA Funds Would Allow it to Create a Mechanism to Invest in Entrepreneurs in the Manufacturing, Medical Device Development, and Software Development Fields, as Well as Develop a Professional Mentoring Network & Provide Resources to Train Next Generation of Workers

Schumer: Round 1 of Federal Funding for Launch NY Was a Success; Time is Now to Fund Round 2 and Keep Innovation Engine Chugging

  

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. During the call, Schumer explained that he is pushing to secure a second allocation of federal funds for Launch NY, which recently applied for funding from an EDA program through the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide new start-ups and entrepreneurs in Upstate New York with the resources needed to succeed in the 21st Century business climate.

“Start-up companies are the job-creating engines that will power our economic growth in the 21st century. But as any entrepreneur knows, the first few years can be especially challenging,” said Schumer. “That is why I made a personal call to Acting Regional Administrator Williams and urged approval of a new grant to support Launch New York, which gives businesses some of the resources they need to get off the ground and create new jobs. I will fight tooth and nail to secure this funding for Launch NY and do everything in my power to grow local start-up companies across Upstate New York.”

Schumer highlighted in his personal phone call with Acting Regional Administrator Williams the success Launch NY has already had with the initial $637,000 in federal funding Schumer helped to secure in 2012. For example, the initial funding helped support SpinCar, a software company that offers consumers a “360 online view” of their potential purchase. SpinCar employs more than 25 individuals currently, and the company hopes to grow exponentially as they explore applying the technology to other product sectors. Schumer urged the EDA to continue to help build on successes like this by providing Launch New York continued federal support. Schumer said these EDA funds would enable the organization to grow their national mentoring network to connect local start-ups with highly-skilled professionals, and ensure that the new generation of entrepreneurs has the expertise and training to succeed. Launch NY is also building a capital investment fund to invest in new entrepreneurs, particularly in the medical and manufacturing fields. This is particularly important in attracting new companies to Upstate New York. The last round of funding for Launch brought Paul Shelter back to his Western New York home from California. He started Mitigate Injury, which developed CAREline, a mobile app that immediately connects offsite, injured employees to a triage center staffed by injury management professionals. The system ensures the best possible outcomes for this injured on the job, while reducing costs for employers. Shelter expects to create more than 80 jobs in the next five years. Empire Genomics in Buffalo, a diagnostic and clinical services company on the cutting edge of research and innovation in the area of molecular technology and research, currently employing 25 people, is another example of an early stage company that Launch NY has helped support.

“Having Launch NY available to assist us with its mentoring program has been invaluable,” said Paul Shelter.  “The program is based on best practices in starting a new business and Launch’s assistance has been perfectly timed in helping Mitigate Injury secure its first large-scale, national customers.  That, in turn, has resulted in us looking to hire additional employees sooner than we had anticipated.  We appreciate the leadership of Senator Schumer who has identified key support elements and programs like Launch NY that help companies like mine enter the marketplace as quickly as possible.”

“Upstate New York has struggled with loss of population and a shrinking traditional industry base for years. In 2010 and 2012, Senator Schumer secured federal funding from the Economic Development Administration to establish Launch NY LLC,” said Marnie LaVigne, President and CEO of Launch NY. “We are appreciative that Senator Schumer truly understands the importance of providing support and capitol to entrepreneurs in Upstate New York in order to create jobs and jumpstart our economy. We are thankful Senator Schumer is supporting a new round of funding for Launch NY to further expand its services providing support to high-growth potential businesses that create jobs.”

Schumer explained that in order to build on that existing success, Launch NY has applied for $617,000 from the Commerce Department’s Economic Adjustment Assistance Program (EAA), which would enable the organization to set up a national mentoring network that would connect Upstate start-ups with highly specialized professionals to provide advice and guidance to keep start-up companies competitive in the global marketplace. The funding would allow Launch NY to continue to provide additional support to local entrepreneurs and provide necessary resources to start-ups across Upstate New York. The funding match for this grant is $750,000, meaning Launch NY could potentially benefit from $1,366,000 as a result of funding through the EAA Program.

Schumer highlighted that as a result of the initial $637,000 in federal funds secured from the EDA that helped to found Launch NY, entrepreneurs and start-up companies across the region are already receiving access to vital support. The initial two year grant from EDA, which was matched by funding from the John R. Oishei Foundation and the Margaret Wendt Foundation, allowed Launch NY to begin implementing the Regional Entrepreneurial Action Plan (REAP). In the last two 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 supported the Buffalo Business Plan Competition. In addition, Launch NY has worked to establish an Entrepreneur In Residence Program (EIR) – that allows new start-up 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 start-up companies in Upstate New York.

This grant, coupled with the match, will help Launch NY establish additional relationships with new companies and attract even greater investment to the local economy. Traditionally, Upstate New York has seen a significant gap in venture capital which has limited the growth of state-up companies. However, with Schumer’s help and EDA funding Launch NY was able to begin working to address that gap by matching researchers and entrepreneurs with innovating ideas with investors and venture capitalists from across the Country. Continued funding for Launch NY, which is headquartered in Buffalo, but which has a reach that sprawls 27 counties in upstate New York, will allow for even greater investment and subsequent job growth.

Schumer has a long history of supporting Launch NY, in addition to securing the initial federal investment in the program in 2012, he also brought the Regional Administrator of EDA to Buffalo to visit Launch NY in 2011. Schumer has stepped in and helped Launch NY gain an expedited approval of its non-profit status from the IRS in 2013 – a process that without Schumer’s help could have taken over two years and would have put a significant amount of Launch New York’s funding commitments in jeopardy.

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