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Launch NY


Buffalo, NY

Build to Scale Program

Venture Challenge

Project Name

Fast Forward for Tech-Driven Startups

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



Fast Forward for Tech-Driven Startups is a new initiative designed to catapult the growing pool of seed-stage companies spawned from the well-established Launch NY Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program and other ecosystem partners to the market entry and expansion phase for innovative technologies in Upstate New York. In its unique position as the only venture development organization serving the 27 westernmost counties of New York state, Launch NY will introduce Fast Forward to serve its high volume of startups that have progressed beyond customer discovery and minimum viable product development to help them scale commercial operations in technology-driven industry sectors, especially through a Series A or priced funding round and strategic partnerships. Additionally, specialized Fast Forward protocols will be created for high priority clusters including cleantech and underrepresented founders, aligning with its Emerging Cleantech Opportunity (ECO) Incubator and Founders Go Big (FGB) diversity, equity, and inclusion program, respectively. The project will provide development and implementation of Fast Forward curriculum, including a suite of evaluation and programming methods suited to identify and match the needs of more advanced startups by Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and other relevant tools, a Company Action Plan, and subject matter expert (SME) and industry mentor panels to augment one-on-one EIR support. Impacts will include accelerated company fundraising through Series A or priced funding rounds, strategic partnerships, product revenues, job retention and creation, and liquidity events that yield inclusive innovation economy growth in the region.

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Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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