In 2009, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) joined an advisory board of community leaders made up of academic, public, private, and nonprofit sectors from both Canada and the United States who came together to form what is known today as Bright Buffalo Niagara or “Bright” for short.
The purpose of Bright is to provide programming to help connect entrepreneurs and investors, with the end goal of bringing start-up companies of all stages to commercialization. Bright focuses its efforts on the energy, life sciences, IT, and advanced manufacturing industry sectors. The geographic reach of this initiative extends further than Buffalo Niagara, as Bright works to make connections across New York State, Southern Ontario, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Bright believes that working to make connections as a super- region provides a larger pool of entrepreneurs and investors, bringing more benefit to Buffalo Niagara and all other regions involved.
The success of this effort relies on several key partners:
- Inventors who bring innovation
- Entrepreneurs who merge ideas into business opportunities
- Investors, both Angel and Venture Capital, who financially propel commercialization forward
- Professionals who support the operations of these new companies
- Others in the public and private sectors
Bright Buffalo Niagara’s primary focus is the annual Bright Buffalo Niagara Venture Forum. This year’s 2013 forum is just around the corner, taking place September 30-October 1.
The event will include: an investor dinner, Angel and Venture capitalist breakfast, 10-minute and 1- minute entrepreneur presentations, panel discussions, networking time, and remarks from keynote speaker Victor Hwang, CEO of Silicon Valley venture firm T2 Venture Capital and primary author of The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley.
A new, exciting twist on this year’s venture forum is Bright’s partnership with Launch NY’s business plan competition, a global contest with $5 million in prizes that opens for applications this fall and culminates in spring 2014. All 10 -minute company presenters in the Bright Buffalo Forum automatically make it past the first round of “cuts” when applying to Launch NY’s business plan competition.
So how can you get involved in the Forum? Start by visiting www.brightbuffaloniagara.com, get involved with the Bright Buffalo Niagara committee, register to attend the forum in the fall, and consider sponsoring and joining the Bright Buffalo Niagara committee. To learn more about all of these opportunities, contact Suzanne Chamberlain at the University at Buffalo at 716.881.1706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.