Weekly Feature

2016-11-24 / Local News

Not-for-profit receives funding for future endeavors throughout WNY

Higgins Higgins Launch NY, an organization devoted to supporting and investing in high-growth, high-impact local companies for 27 counties in the state, received a $245,460 federal grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, according to a press release from Rep. Brian Higgins’ office.

The award was funded through the EDA’s Seed Fund Support Program, which is aimed at filling the gaps in early-stage capital for startup companies.

“I have worked closely with Launch NY since its inception, which has only strengthened my confidence in this impressive organization’s leadership to build upon its success in structuring and piloting its new seed fund to scale up the operations successfully,” said Higgins in a letter of support for Launch NY’s application sent to the EDA in June.

“With the tremendous progress we are making transforming the region’s economy from traditional industries to new innovation-driven sectors, Launch NY fills a vital missing piece of our resource network,” Higgins added.

“Congressman Higgins has understood what it takes to create an innovation-based economy and the vital role of Launch NY’s efforts in not only mentoring over 600 startup companies employing over 1,500 people, but also providing vital seed funding. This grant will give us a real shot in the arm when it comes to raising the full fund to support our most promising entrepreneurs,” said Marnie LaVigne, president and CEO of Launch NY.

An EDA grant totaling $637,000 helped to kick off the Launch NY initiative in 2012.

The award was matched by the John R. Oishei Foundation.

Launch NY also received a $500,000 EDA grant in 2015 and $2.5 million from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation earlier this year.

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