U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $300,000 in federal funding for Excell Partners, Inc. in Rochester to fund the Excell Upstate New York Seed Fund. This funding was allocated through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Seed Fund Support Grant Program. Specifically, Excell Partners will use these federal funds to assist innovative local startups to establish a presence throughout Upstate New York. Schumer previously wrote to the EDA to support Excell Partners, Inc.’s application for federal funding.
“This federal investment is great news for Rochester and all of Upstate New York. With this federal funding, Excell Partners will be able to invest in both local Rochester and Upstate entrepreneurs, providing a shot in the arm to the Upstate economy,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud of the role I played in securing this federal funding and will continue to fight tooth and nail to ensure that Rochester receives the federal investment it needs to bring meaningful economic development to the region.”
“There are so many hardworking New Yorkers all over our state who have great ideas to start and grow businesses. With this funding, Excell Partners will be able to support entrepreneurs throughout Upstate New York by giving them the investment and technical assistance they need to be successful,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Local businesses are an essential part of our economy, and I will always fight in the Senate to ensure that they have the support they need.”
Excell Partners CEO Theresa B. Mazzullo said, “This grant will allow Excell to continue strengthening the due-diligence and deal-structuring capabilities in Upstate NY, building up the next generation of investor leadership and increasing access to capital in the region. Government support has been instrumental in helping local entrepreneurs raise capital and build a high-caliber entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
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 www.eda.gov.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter to the EDA appears below:
Dear Secretary Ross:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Excell Partners (EP) for funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s Seed Fund Support Grant Competition. Such funding will enable Excell Partners to provide funding seed-stage ventures in Upstate New York.
Excell has over a 12-year track record for providing seed stage funding to early stage companies. Excell has served as one of the primary and often only source of venture capital available to pre-revenue ventures. To date, Excell has invested $11.9M in 52 companies that have attracted over $348 million in follow-on funding leveraging Excell’s investment by more than 29 times.
With funding, EP will provide funding seed-stage ventures in Upstate New York. This will provide the critical technical resources to advance the very early (pre-seed and seed) stage companies, thereby leveraging the academic research emerging from the universities across Upstate New York. I applaud Excell Partners for its commitment to academic research and economic growth, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.
Thank you for your consideration.