The 2012 Bright Buffalo Niagara Venture Forum is coming up on May 16-17 in Buffalo and looks to be better than ever. Started just three years ago in 2009 to address the entrepreneurial pipeline and investment needed to build a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Forum has grown and evolved to become the premier venture forum in Upstate New York. This year, Bright Buffalo Niagara has partnered with Albany, NY-based SmartStart/UNYTECH, giving this year’s event the widest geographic reach in its four-year history.
The event is a phenomenal opportunity for early-stage high-tech companies to present themselves before an audience of qualified investors, ranging from seed to angel to venture stage. It is also a great networking opportunity for service providers and other players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The partnership between Bright Buffalo Niagara and SmartStart/UNYTECH allows the two groups to merge their audiences and vastly increase the value of this already strong event.
SmartStart/UNYTECH, now in its 12th year, has highlighted 255 high-quality companies that have raised over $500 million in equity financing, including over $72 million directly attributable to their participation in the forum. The 2012 committee includes over 50 organizations with nearly two dozen investors already committed to the investor subcommittee
The Venture Forum has sold out the past three years with over 250 attendees each year. In just the past two years, nearly 100 early-stage high-tech companies from across the Buffalo Niagara region have presented as part of this event.
Read more Bright Buffalo Niagara Accomplishments:
- Nearly 100 early-stage high-tech companies from across the Buffalo-Niagara region have been highlighted over the past two years (almost 60 applications to present received in 2010 alone)
- NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli – the 2009 Forum Morning Keynote Speaker – announced a $15 Million “Appleseed Fund” in 2010 targeting early-stage and seed companies to help bridge the gap from concept to commercialization.
- JumpStart, Inc. – the 2009 Forum Luncheon Keynote – has been an instrumental partner in securing $445,000 in federal funding in Fall 2010 from the Economic Development Administration in direct support of building a “Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan” utilizing best practices from JumpStart and others to advance our entrepreneurial ecosystem across nineteen counties in Western and Central New York.
- Local angel network formalized association nationally through membership in the Angel Capital Association
- Local angel investor network doubled in size since 2009
- Co-investment discussions sparked with Canadian National Angel Capital Organization (Toronto, ON), US Angel Capital Association (2010 Forum Luncheon Keynote Speaker – Catherine Mott), BlueTree Allied Angels (Pittsburgh, PA), and Boston Harbor Angels (Boston, MA) including networking/introductions with regional angel groups
- Fostered substantial networking related to business partnering and investment leads; several presenting companies have moved on to due diligence discussions with investors
- Strengthened ties between U.S. and Canadian investors and entrepreneurs
- Featured in the Buffalo News, Buffalo Business First, WIVB Channel 4 News, and YNN Time Warner Cable.
- 2011 sponsorship support nearly doubled 2010 efforts and has tripled 2009 efforts