U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $750,000 in federal funding awarded to Launch New York, Inc. in Buffalo. This funding was allocated through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge and will support innovation-driven entrepreneurship to build regional economic resiliency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This EDA investment will fund Launch NY’s Rebound and Innovate: Full-Scale Virtual Office and Investor Network Platforms program to help foster economic opportunities and overcome challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including access to virtual mentorship, capital, and financing programs for technology-based startups. Headquartered in Buffalo, Launch NY is a development organization that works across 27 westernmost counties of Upstate New York and has created over 4,100 jobs.
“The pandemic has shown us in no uncertain terms that we must invest in economic resiliency and innovation, and with this federal funding Launch NY will be able to send a shot of new energy into the regional economy to jumpstart recovery,” said Senator Schumer. “By investing in our Western New York entrepreneurs, we’re not only giving them the tools they need to be successful, but also ensuring the future of the WNY economy and its ability to withstand economic storms. I am proud to deliver this funding that will bring meaningful economic development to the region and will continue to fight tooth and nail to make sure Western New York’s economy gets the federal investment it needs.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has stunted economic growth and far too many entrepreneurs in New York are struggling to keep their doors open, let alone grow their businesses. We need to take proactive measures using technology and economic innovation to bolster support for our communities, aid local businesses, and create sustainable jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This forward-thinking funding is great news for Launch NY and Buffalo businesses investing in their communities, and will help workers get valuable experience and contribute to Buffalo’s economic growth. Our regional economies rely on innovative startup incubators like Launch NY for new economic opportunities, and I will keep fighting for the resources they need to thrive as we recover from this economic crisis.”
“We have all learned how important businesses are to our economic well-being during the pandemic, and we are more committed than ever to supporting hundreds of high-growth entrepreneurs in our region each year with mentorship and seed capital in novel ways. We envisioned a powerful virtual community that brings business expertise, technical assistance, and funding together in one place, and now the SPRINT award will help us to make our vision into a reality, welcoming hundreds of investors to join us through our unique Investor Network,” said Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President & CEO, Launch NY.
“Launch NY has been stalwart in supporting seed and early stage startups in our region and we’ve been proud to partner with them for the past five years. In a post-pandemic future startups will be even more important than ever as engines of job creation. This program brings together Launch NY’s proven mentorship and seed capital funds with Cornell’s experience in delivering top-notch entrepreneurial advising and education programs, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to broaden and deepen our partnership with EDA’s critical support through the SPRINT program.” – Tom Schryver, Executive Director, Center for Regional Economic Advancement, Cornell University
Launch NY is one of fewer than twenty venture funding Community Development Financial Institutions in the United States. While working to serve low-income communities, this funding will help the Buffalo-based company support businesses that lack traditional funding sources. Late last year, Senator Gillibrand successfully sent a letter of support to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce advocating for Launch NY to receive the 2020 SPRINT Challenge funding. Launch New York operates in the following counties: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.