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Launch NY rolls out resource navigator for startup firms

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Launch NY announced it has started a new resource navigator to help startup companies with the “identification and pursuit” of funding opportunities and other sources of support.

Those sources could include technical assistance, programs, and events, per a Nov. 10 news release.

The resource navigator is available on Launch NY’s website at https://launchny.org/entrepreneurs/resource-navigator/.

Headquartered in Buffalo, Launch NY describes itself as the “first and only” nonprofit venture-development organization to provide pro-bono mentoring and seed-capital access to early-stage startups in the 27 westernmost counties of New York state.

Entrepreneurs can use the resource navigator to find new and updated, time-sensitive information about funding sources from investors and lending institutions. It’ll also offers information on others providing direct investments, loans, and grants. Details on other entrepreneurship education, mentorship, technical assistance, and facilities resources available from economic-development organizations, higher-education institutions, incubators, and accelerators is also available, Launch NY said. 

The organization will “regularly” update the directory with the newest information. It is searchable by type of resource with special sections for inclusive and industry specific programs, as well as by region within Launch NY’s 27-county service area.

Marnie LaVigne

“Thanks to the support we received from NYSEG and RG&E, our team has been able to build this new web-based Resource Navigator that provides the most comprehensive directory of resources — most of them available at no- or low-cost — for startup founders and entrepreneurs in our ecosystem,” Marnie LaVigne, president and CEO of Launch NY, said in the release. “Entrepreneurs are incredibly busy trying to juggle multiple priorities in building their business, so now they can come to a single source to find what they need, including those all-important funding opportunities that often can only be accessed in a narrow time window. Our Resource Navigator is truly unique in featuring time-sensitive opportunities on the landing page, so we encourage founders to visit the Resource Navigator regularly.”

New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) provided grants totaling $150,000 for the development of the resource navigator, Launch NY noted.

“Launch NY’s new Resource Navigator will ensure that startup companies have access to vital information and assistance to tap the ever-growing but sometime overwhelming array of resources available to entrepreneurs in our region,” Joseph Rizzo, manager, economic development for NYSEG and RG&E, said. “The Resource Navigator will help these companies understand and connect with the support programs they need to grow their innovative startup companies in a timely manner.”

“The Resource Navigator vastly expands the opportunities and information available on Launch NY’s website, which already includes a wide array of tools and capabilities for both entrepreneurs and investors, in addition to the numerous person-to-person programs provided by Launch NY,” LaVigne said.

Besides its headquarters in Buffalo, Launch NY has co-locations with partner organizations in Syracuse, Binghamton, Ithaca, and Rochester. Since 2012, it has served 1,406 companies with more than 30 experienced local entrepreneurs-in-residence and its National Mentor Network of 2,000 industry, business, and investment experts. 

Launch NY says it has mentored companies — including 28 percent women-led and 28 percent minority-led startups — which have created 4,886 jobs, attracted $1.3 billion in co-investment and follow-on capital after joining Launch NY, and generated $218 million in annual revenue.    

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