Rep Your City in this Startup Throw Down

collision

Last April I spent four days in Las Vegas, the first two meeting with site selection consultants at the Business Facilities LiveXchange and the following two days at the Collision Conference encouraging dynamic tech startups to apply to the 43North Business Plan Competition. Two days suite and tie, two days sport coat and t-shirt. Two very different atmospheres. While I had attended LiveXchange before, it was really exciting to experience Collision. Forbes calls it a “burgeoning schmoozefest of startups, investors, influencers, and next-gen business and technology leaders,” and it most certainly is. Well organized, well attended, it’s a great event for any tech startup – – and a great place for investors to find that diamond in the rough.

Collision is jam packed with energy, from the compact exhibit floor (called ALPHA) featuring 1,000 of the world’s top startups (companies must apply for the chance to exhibit), to the various stages (both large and small) showcasing some of the most influential investors, tech giant leaders as well as up-and-comers. The media presence is huge, with all major outlets represented. Last year, USA Today’s Jon Swartz wrote “Buffalo’s tech scene reboots the city” after 2014 43North winner triMirror’s Jenny Tcharnaia and I met him at Collision and told him all about Buffalo.

And what happens when so many high-profile and high-energy people gather for three days in one city? Parties. Lots of them. Schmoozing your way into the right party at Collision can mean access to investors you’d otherwise have been dreaming about.

This year, Collision (April 26-28 in New Orleans) has a new feature: the Launch Pad PITCH competition, in which 24 companies from eight rising markets will compete on the Launch Pad Stage with the opportunity to present in front of 10,000+ attendees and a chance to be named Best Startup at Collision. Buffalo has been selected as one of these eight rising markets, presenting WNY startups with a huge opportunity.

But you MUST APPLY BY JANUARY 31!

Applicants must have raised less than $3M in private capital. Three Buffalo companies will be selected to represent our great city in NoLA against the best our competing “Rise of the Rest” cities have to offer.

Apply HERE!

By Alan Rosenhoch, BNE Business Development Manager

Buffalo Niagara: Looking Back at 2015

Buffalo Niagara is a region on the rise. We are enjoying incredible new venues and amenities at locations like Canalside and Larkinville and Business First recently reported that Buffalo Niagara is the hottest construction market in the northeast according to latest employment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Buffalo, is up 28.6% from 21,000 construction jobs in October 2010 to 27,000 jobs in October 2015.

For those stuck on the adage, you must see it to believe it, we certainly invite you to visit and see all we have to offer. But this year we’ve had the good fortune to have our region’s momentum and efforts recognized in leading publications. Here is a look back at just some of the national press received in 2015:

Millennials Are Moving To Buffalo & Living Like Kings   |  gothamist, January 28, 2015

“If moving to New York City is like dating the most popular kid in your high school only to discover ‘all the blemishes that aren’t visible when gazed upon from a distance,’ then Buffalonians will tell you that moving to their city is like dating the girl next door who’s undergoing a She’s All That-style transformation.”

“Starting a business, like paying rent or buying a drink is also less daunting in Buffalo.

 

Elon Musk’s Boldest Bet Yet: Buffalo NY, Solar Hub  |  YAHOO! Finance, June 29, 2015

“Henry Ford had River Rouge; Musk and SolarCity have a Buffalo solar panel manufacturing plant named Riverbend.”

“SolarCity’s plant is part of a construction push in the Nickel City unlike any in memory . . .”

 

Entrepreneurial Spirit Is Driving Buffalo Forward  |  The Huffington Post, June 11, 2015

“Buffalo is channeling its legacy of hard work – dating back to its heyday as a turn-of-the-twentieth-century giant – into a new push for entrepreneurial progress.”

“This concept of exacting change through entrepreneurism is what’s driving Buffalo forward. It’s a bold venture for a city to bet on bright ideas and put them into action. But it’s a critical step, with potentially high reward, in restoring the brightness to America’s City of Light.”

“A number of factors including [Buffalo’s] access to an international border, a strong labor force, and low operations cost are gaining attention.”

 

The Wind and Sun Are Bringing the Shine Back to Buffalo  |  The New York Times, July 20, 2015

“…the Queen City of the Lakes is suddenly experiencing something new: an economic turnaround, helped by the unlikely sector of renewable energy.”

“The effort has capitalized on the city’s unusual strengths in renewable energy — think Niagara Falls — and the infrastructure that was built to harness it.”

“One result of the investments is newly vibrant neighborhoods, many with reused buildings hosting apartments, shops and restaurants that have attracted young workers from other cities.”

 

Buffalo’s Tech Scene Reboots the City  |  USA TODAY, August 23, 2015

“…this western New York city of 261,000 is slowly transforming into an attractive destination for tech entrepreneurs.”

“…reasonable real estate prices, a thriving university system and medical research facility pumping out talented graduates, and its proximity to New York and Toronto to draw young entrepreneurs.”

“…the city of “Good Neighbors” is shedding its decades-old image, and in the process is drawing comparisons to Austin on steroids, brimming with funky culture and Art Deco architecture that can leave visitors slack jawed.”

 

Why Buffalo is Rising (Again), and Why It’s Only the Start |  Huffington Post, September 19, 2015

“The local economy’s current turnaround is happening because people of all ages, backgrounds, experiences, and areas of influence — sole proprietors and CEOs, state and local officials, artists and academics, economists and environmentalists — have come together to make it work.”

“…the greatest melding of vision, strategy, creativity, and cooperation that this city’s ever known…”

2015 was a good year for Buffalo Niagara but we are even more excited for what is to come. As Steve Case discussed when he visited during the Rise of the Rest Tour, now is the time to double down – and we are taking that challenge to heart.

by Jenna Kavanaugh, Director, Marketing

Allegany County: Connecting Agriculture and Industry

Land for future development along the I-86

Land for future development along the I-86

In November, members of BNE’s team had the opportunity to tour the many aspects of Allegany County to visit firsthand the resources and assets it has to offer.  Hosted by Allegany County’s Department of Planning and Development, we met with leaders from the county’s Chamber of Commerce, real estate owners and brokers and college officials.

A stop during our tour was Alfred University, home to the Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology, a leader in ceramics engineering and R&D.  The BNE team toured Incubator Works, a resource for business start-ups that need manufacturing and lab space while their product goes through the commercialization process.

The county also has the advantage of being home to Alfred State College, one of the most advanced technical colleges in the nation.  A drive through its Wellsville Campus highlighted the academic programs in the trades that the school has to offer and the hands-on work experienced by the students.

Other visits during our tour were a number of available real estate options, with some properties in proximity to the Wellsville Airport.  Other notable stops on our tour include the Beef Haus Restaurant, a Wellsville landmark and Northern Lights Candle, an employer of more than 200 people and a supplier of candles to major retailers nationwide.

In the end, BNE left the visit with a better understanding of the real estate options, academic resources and infrastructure assets that are available in the county.  Most importantly, it gave us a renewed connection with our partners and the knowledge to help businesses grow and expand there.

Constuction of the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center at Alfred State College

Constuction of the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Center at Alfred State College

Lufkin manufacturing facility located in Wellsville, NY

Lufkin manufacturing facility located in Wellsville, NY

by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager

Development Opportunities in Buffalo Niagara

DTDev-thumbs

Buffalo is a City on the Rise. The growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and significant development projects such as SolarCity and IBM are driving demand for new amenities and residential living.

Buffalo will add over 12,000 new employees by 2018, the vast majority of whom will locate downtown. The Central Business District’s 97% occupancy rate is driving Mayor Byron Brown’s goal of completing 2,000 residential housing units in the downtown area during this time frame. Close proximity to major employers, access to public transit, a vibrant restaurant scene and many entertainment offerings make downtown an attractive housing option.

To view development opportunities – including over 20 unique parcels ready for redevelopment – please see the 2016 Downtown Development Guide.

Sponsored by National Grid, the guide is the result of a collaborative partnership between Mayor Byron Brown, Chairman of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, CBRE Buffalo, and Buffalo Place.

by Jenna Kavanaugh, Director Marketing & Communications

Can Buffalo Startups Stay in Buffalo?

TROVE Predictive Data Science

TROVE Predictive Data Science

Buffalo business leaders are backing their community; some are developing venture capital firms to back scalable companies in Western New York and others are supporting seed-stage investment funds. But acquiring capital is a big hurdle nearly all startup face. Can startups in Buffalo secure outside funding and maintain their location in Buffalo? As the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Buffalo receives more attention and build-out, the question is becoming even more salient.

A recent case study can be found with TROVE Predictive Data Science. TROVE was spun out of not-for-profit CUBRC, a leading Research, Development, Testing and Systems Integration company located in the Buffalo Niagara region, which had developed a novel technology in the field of data fusion. As a young startup, the core team of (now former) CUBRC employees was focused on bringing their new technology to market and securing the capital to do so.

That capital ended up coming from two key corporate partners, significant players in TROVE’s primary industry vertical. Both of these partners were located on the West Coast and were initially convinced that the company’s development and growth should take place in their own backyard.

BNE staff worked directly with the TROVE leadership, putting forth a strong, data-driven argument as to why the Buffalo Niagara region is the ideal location for TROVE to grow. BNE provided an extensive data package, comparing the Buffalo region to that of Spokane on a series of levels, particularly focusing on the abundance of talent coming out of the region’s multitude of colleges & universities. Additionally, BNE coordinated the incentives process, culminating in an offer from Empire State Development of up to $600,000 in fully refundable tax credits.

When presented with this compelling information, the new investor team fully bought into the idea that TROVE’s technical team can and should be built out in Buffalo. This model can be repeated.

Trove staff

As we saw in late September when Steve Case and his Rise of the Rest tour came through Buffalo, there are some investors that fundamentally believe that their portfolio companies can and should succeed where they are best positioned, regardless of proximity to the fund. So often a situation like this means the demise of the local workforce and its economic spinoff, but we were able to secure the project in Buffalo, providing opportunities for nearly 40 highly skilled future employees in an exciting new field.

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

Healthcare Software Start-Up Launches in Buffalo Niagara

Dr. Steven Buslovich, founder, Patient Pattern and Margaret Sayers, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner at capacity of UB’s Center for Computational Research (CCR)

Dr. Steven Buslovich, founder, Patient Pattern and Margaret Sayers, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner at U.B.’s Center for Computational Research (CCR)

The growing complexity in navigating the health care system, particularly for elderly patients, is compounded by the lack of specialists in the industry to diagnose and assess geriatric needs.  Buffalo, NY will be home to a new company, Patient Pattern that will address this issue.  Patient Pattern has developed a web-based application giving doctors, home health care providers, health care advocates, family members, and in some cases even the patients themselves, a platform to develop highly customized and comprehensive care plans, ultimately resulting in greater control and optimal outcomes.  Patient Pattern provides their services to local care management companies, post-acute care programs, hospitals and home care agencies to help them understand how to best care for their complex patients.

Patients, with input from medical professionals and caregivers, undertake a validated assessment through a smart survey, which learns from each response and tailors subsequent questions based upon those responses. The end product is a Comprehensive Care Plan that summarizes the current situation, tracks progress or decline and delivers recommendations along the way to improve decision-making and preparedness.

Patient Pattern was originally founded in western Connecticut and operated virtually as it refined and developed its software.  As the company considered locations for launching the product, they were attracted by the Start-Up NY Program and the potential to align with the University at Buffalo.

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise supported Patient Pattern in its relocation to the region by introducing the company to Start-Up NY and other potential incentive programs, and also by assisting with site selection and facilitating introductions to potential local partners in the healthcare sector.

Patient Pattern will hire 20 people and invest $355,000 at its new location in the University at Buffalo’s Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The high-level computational capacity of U.B.’s Center for Computational Research (CCR), as well as opportunities to collaborate with the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for clinical trials, were key factors driving Patient Pattern’s desire to partner with U.B.

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

Buffalo Niagara by the Numbers

EconGuideCover

Site selectors and corporate real estate executives look to match business with locations that meet specific project criteria. Communities need to have comprehensive and accurate data readily available to respond to such opportunities.

We developed the Buffalo Niagara Economic Guide to provide a snapshot of our region and feature some of the data most frequently requested by companies locating investment projects including:  major employers, new companies, average salary by occupation, average cost of sites, infrastructure, education, quality of life and more.

Click here to download the 2015 Buffalo Niagara Economic Guide

Click here to generate demographic reports on the Buffalo Niagara Commercial Listing System

by Jenna Kavanaugh, Marketing Director

CFA One-Stop Access to $750M in State Funding

Consolidated Funding Applications (CFA) are due 4:00 pm on Friday, July 31st!

The signs of summer are in full affect in Western New York. The days are getting longer, the grass is getting greener (and longer), and the Consolidated Funding Application submission period is open!

As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, the Consolidated Funding Application has streamlined and expedited the grant application process by allowing interested parties to apply for over $750 million through 20 economic development assistance programs offered by state agencies and authorities.

The online CFA portal is now open to applicants across New York State.

Businesses, community organizations, not-for-profit groups and any other stakeholders interested in learning about the CFA process and accessing state economic development assistance are encouraged to attend one of the scheduled public workshops hosted by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.

The workshop schedule is as follows:

Monday, June 15th
1:30-4:00pm
Jamestown Community College – Cutco Theatre
260 North Union Street, Olean NY 14760
Register here

Monday, June 29th
1:30-4:00pm
Niagara Falls Conference Center – Cascades Ballroom
101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls NY 14303
Register here 

The workshops will include an overview of available funding programs, eligibility and selection criteria, and instructions on how to use the online CFA application systems.  Further, the 2015 CFA Resources Manual, the 2015 Regional Economic Development Council Guidebook and other important information can be found on the REDC website.

by Matt Hubacher, Research Manager

 

Growing by Takeoffs and Landings

As both an economic development professional and lifelong Buffalonian, watching the companies that I help establish a business in our region grow and succeed is incredibly exciting and rewarding. Each company that we assist is unique; some begin with a large scale operation while other companies start small and grow their business over time.

Headquartered in Kansas, Executive AirShare is fractional ownership aircraft company that began with regional hubs in the central U.S.  In 2009, they decided to establish a northeast location to expand their business and reach new markets.  A successful location needed to meet four major criteria:

  • Appropriate space for both corporate aviation services and back office operations
  • A potential customer base
  • Available workforce, including pilots
  • Available incentives to assist with first year expenses and startup costs

BNE assisted Executive AirShare with the coordination of potential incentives and helped facilitate discussions for runway services and leasing hanger space.  In 2010, the company leased 26,000 square feet of hanger and office space at 485 Cayuga Rd, Cheektowaga, NY.  BNE was then able to assist them with their marketing efforts for a grand opening event and the launch of their first northeast location.

Since October of 2010 Executive AirShare has refurbished an 8,300 square-foot private aviation terminal and 53,000 square-feet of hangar space, doubling the size of its operations at Buffalo in less than three years.  Much of the added hangar space is being used to support demand for jet aircraft management services for a growing list of Western New York-based companies. The Buffalo based aircraft now totals seven in the fractional and managed fleet, with one or two additional aircraft that rotate into Buffalo from central U.S. bases.  This facility operates with 17 full-time employees based in Buffalo and supported by additional flight crew from other locations as needed.

by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager

Three Ways Buffalo, NY Impresses Brazil-based Start-up

Joox

As one of the most rewarding parts of my job, I play host to companies when they visit Buffalo Niagara undertaking due diligence in their site selection process.

Recently, four representatives from Joox, a Brazil-based technology startup, spent six days in the region as they prepare to establish their first US location. The group shared with me their thoughts on the Buffalo Niagara region:

Impressive start-up community – on the day the team arrived, the University at Buffalo (UB) hosted its Commercialization Lecture Series, featuring a panel of seven companies that have found success through New York State’s Start-Up NY tax incentive program. The program offers companies significant tax benefits, but also the opportunity to partner with academic institutions. Joox is approved for Start-Up and this panel provided ideas and insight for their collaboration with UB. Over their weekend stay, the group attended – and presented at – Buffalo Unconference, a gathering for people to share and learn in an open environment. Unconference gave the Joox team another look into the flourishing start-up community that calls Buffalo home. They expressed how excited they are to become members of this burgeoning community.

Welcoming business community – as a primary part of their visit, the Joox team met with nearly a dozen companies in the Buffalo area to explore potential partnerships and collaborations. The team was thrilled by the high caliber of private sector companies, and also with how excited each company was to represent not only themselves, but the talent, expertise and creativity of the region. The Joox team commented on the discernible pride that each of these individuals showed in their community.

Great place to live – Whether showing the livable, walk-able community that is the Elmwood Village, bustling with great restaurants and retail, or experiencing the power of Niagara Falls for the first time, there is nothing more rewarding than hosting people in our region, especially when they come from different parts of the world. Two of the company employees are moving from Brazil to Buffalo and bringing their families. They had a chance to tour neighborhoods, enjoy local fare, and experience the spectacular sites and attractions they can enjoy when they move here.

Buffalo was one of four stops on the Joox’s team’s trip across the US. Here is what one of the team members emailed after their visit:

We are in San Francisco right now, we´ll be heading back to Brazil Tuesday afternoon. We had some really good meetings here and in other cities, but nothing compared to what we´ve achieved in Buffalo. I am happy to see that Buffalo offers the best options for the partnerships that we need for this beginning. Buffalo, in many ways, is the best city I have visited in the US so far (and I have been to at least 10 great ones).

All indications are that they will be setting up their office here in the Buffalo Niagara region sometime this year. Their time spent here was productive and welcoming thanks to our supportive start-up and business community.

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager