Business growth and expansion requires capital. Accessibility and cost of capital are key factors in a company’s determination of how to fund growth. For early-stage, high-growth companies in particular, raising funds from venture and angel investors in exchange for equity is critical.
The Buffalo Niagara region has a range of resources in the venture and angel capital realm. Leaders in the region have made growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem a major priority and the results have been measurable. In recent years, the amount of equity capital raised by Buffalo-area companies has increased significantly. In 2018, Buffalo-based early-stage companies raised $207.9 million compared to around $6 million in 2014, according to Buffalo Business First. That’s quite an increase!
To initiate a conversation with these types of funding sources, a company should, at a minimum, be prepared with an executive summary and/or pitch deck that is shareable – i.e. not confidential.
Below is a list of some of the angel, seed, and venture funding resources available in Western New York (WNY):
43North – dubbed the world’s largest business plan competition, 43North is an annual competition that awards $5 million every year to its winning companies, with investments ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000. The application period is typically in the spring.
Armory Square Ventures – a seed and early-stage venture capital fund targeting deals in Upstate New York. Armory Square particularly focuses on tech companies with a web, mobile, or technology-enabled service.
Buffalo Angels, LLC – a member-managed seed investment fund.
Excell Partners – a venture capital fund that invests in seed and early-stage high-tech startups in New York State, focused on the Upstate NY area. Excell has the dual mission of generating returns and supporting economic development.
Impact Capital – a venture capital fund building a diversified portfolio of established, revenue-positive companies.
LaunchNY – a Venture Development Organization (VDO) providing both pre-seed, proof-of-concept funding and complimentary support services to high-growth companies located in a 27-county region of Upstate NY.
Lorraine Capital – a private investment firm focused on acquiring controlling positions in businesses, focused on Upstate NY and the Northeastern US.
NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund – a $100 million venture capital fund, managed by Empire State Development (New York State’s economic development agency) investing in seed and early-stage companies throughout NYS. The fund promotes commercialization of new technologies and encourages job creation.
Rand Capital – a business development company that focuses its equity investments in early or expansion-stage companies.
Richmond Capital Partners – a venture capital fund with an investment range from angel rounds in early-stage post-revenue companies to growth capital for companies with revenues above $100 million.
Summer Street Capital – a private equity fund focused on investing in lower middle market companies.
Talis Equity – a venture capital firm, providing capital and operational expertise to early-stage medical technology and business-to-business software-as-a-service companies.
WNY Impact Investment Fund – an innovative for-profit investment fund featuring collaboration between corporate, private and philanthropic investors who pooled their capital to seek both financial and social returns supporting the WNY resurgence.
WNY Venture Association – a not-for-profit organization with the mission to elevate the economic growth of the Buffalo Niagara region by proactively increasing the size and sophistication of the angel investors base, and the quality of investments opportunities throughout WNY.