Federal funding to support post-pandemic economic survival & recovery for emerging entrepreneurs
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a $750,000 federal grant from the Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) for Launch NY, an Upstate New York Venture Development Organization (VDO) that supports and invests in high-growth, high-impact companies across 27 New York counties.
The mission of the CDFI program is to increase economic opportunity and community development for underserved populations in distressed communities.
“The ongoing pandemic has created challenges for emerging entrepreneurs in an extremely difficult business climate,” Higgins said. “This federal funding will help to connect local startups to the resources and guidance necessary to survive the pandemic and build opportunities for future growth.”
The grant was provided through the EDA’s Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. Launch NY was one of 44 awards nationwide.
The funding will support Launch NY’s Rebound and Innovate Project. In partnership with Cornell University, the project led by Launch NY will deliver digitally available curriculum and mentorship to entrepreneurs including online company resilience assessment, access to incubator-like facilities accommodating startups, one-on-one coaching, and access to Launch NY’s digital investor network. The intention is to use this newly created virtual service capacity long-term, supporting the ongoing engagement of 200 companies and 250 investors. It is anticipated to build $25 million in new capital, generating $14 million in annual company revenues and supporting 600 jobs.
Launch NY President and CEO Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D., said, “The Rebound and Innovate Project was inspired by the amazingly resilient entrepreneurs in our region who have shown incredible grit throughout the pandemic to drive our economic recovery, and now the SPRINT award will ensure that we can connect startups to the resources they need anytime and anywhere through expansion of our virtual office environment and our Investor Network bridging investors and companies digitally.”
Cornell University Center for Regional Economic Advancement Executive Director Tom Schryver said, “Launch NY has been a critical link in the upstate startup ecosystem and we have been thrilled to be Launch NY’s regional partner for the last five years. This SPRINT project deepens our relationship in providing mentoring to high-growth startups and entrepreneurs as they transition to a post-pandemic future, and also lays the foundation for leveraging Cornell’s distance learning expertise and assets to help develop the next wave of entrepreneurs.”
In October, Higgins announced $375,000 in federal funding for Launch NY to help sustain and expand the products and services capitalized by Launch NY’s Seed Fund. The SPRINT Award brings the federal investment in Launch NY’s work supporting high-growth startups to nearly $3 million.