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Venture Forum draws 300 to Buffalo

By Journal Staff


More than 30 companies from around the state participated this week in the 2012 Venture Forum in Buffalo.

The event, which took place Wednesday and Thursday, was a partnership between two long-running venture forums: Buffalo Niagara’s Bright Forum and the Albany–based Center for Economic Growth SmartStart UNYTECH Forum, an upstate New York event that travels to different locations.

Three companies from Central New York, iMuzik, Georeader, and Full Circle Feed, were among the 33 that pitched to angel investors and venture capitalists during the event. The forum drew an audience of more than 300, including nearly 60 investors from New York and elsewhere.

“The high quality of the presenters we attract each year is a testament to the wealth of innovation we have in upstate New York,” Jeff Lawrence, Center for Economic Growth executive vice president for technology, said in a news release.

The featured keynote speaker was Victor Thorne, director of Ohio TechAngel Funds, the largest angel group in the United States. Events took place at the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts and Statler City and at the Albright Knox Art Gallery.

“These forums give us the opportunity to showcase our very best early-stage companies,” Marnie LaVigne, University at Buffalo associate vice president for economic development, said in the release. “Investors travel from all over upstate New York, the eastern United States and Ontario, Canada to attend because they see the value and promise in the technologies emerging from our region.”

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