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National Grid Invests $490,000 in Entrepreneurship Programs with University at Buffalo, Launch NY

National Grid today became the first company in Western New York to commit direct support to the University at Buffalo’s (UB) newly launched High-Tech Entrepreneurship Opportunity Program, designed to promote innovation and growth in entrepreneurship throughout the region by directly supporting companies in their earliest business formation stage when bringing new technology, products and services to the marketplace. 

In tandem, National Grid provided a second grant to Launch NY’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, which provides entrepreneurs support in the initial growth stages of business development while offering mentorship and long term advisement by matching experienced professionals with high potential startup companies. Both programs will work closely together to ensure that regional entrepreneurs are provided coordinated assistance in the critical start-up and initial growth periods of the business development pipeline.

Steve Holliday, National Grid’s global chief executive officer, and Ken Daly, president of National Grid – New York, were in Buffalo today to announce the grants that total $490,000.

“Our success as an energy company is directly connected to the communities and people we serve,” Holliday said.  “Growing the economy in any community is no easy task, so it is vital that we find ways to help the budding businesses that are at the cutting edges of innovation and technology.  We view our partnership with the University at Buffalo and Launch NY as an investment that should pay dividends for Buffalo and all of upstate New York.”

National Grid’s CleanTech Incubation grants to the University at Buffalo ($240,000) and Launch NY ($250,000) will support high-tech start-ups in the critical early stages of growth. The grant to UB will allow the university to work with entrepreneurs on the early identification, assessment, inventory, and triage of high-tech start-ups, and provide up to $10,000 in support of the most promising companies to foster their creation and success within the National Grid service footprint in Western New York.  The program will connect entrepreneurs and start-up companies with various business services that can assist their needs such as technology assessment, market research, business plan development, grant writing, product development, operations implementation, and related legal and accounting services. National Grid has been a long-time supporter of UB’s economic development efforts through grants and sponsorship of entrepreneurial programming and events.

Launch NY’s grant will support their Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which works to match experienced mid-career professionals with high-potential startup companies within the 27 counties of upstate New York. Through the program, Launch NY’s EiRs will conduct outreach efforts to these markets through educational seminars, events and partner programs; will offer readiness assessments to initial candidates for support; and will provide hundreds of hours of support to companies who are selected for the program, with the main objective of this phase being to help companies access capital and grow within our region.  In addition, Launch NY will pursue two key objectives: maintaining an index of support organizations available to companies within the region, as well as compiling a robust data set around entrepreneurial activity and outcomes, allowing it to track its own efficacy as well as serve as a resource on developments in the region.

“At Launch NY, we help start-ups bridge the gap in their most critical stage of growth,” said John Seman, chief executive officer of Launch NY. “This generous grant from National Grid will help provide much-needed support for Upstate New York’s most promising companies as they work to transform our economic landscape.”

National Grid’s CleanTech Incubation grant program supports the development of a self-sustaining entrepreneurial and innovation “ecosystem” in upstate New York that will stimulate and support high growth new businesses generating new jobs and new investment.

The program was created to support initiatives that facilitate formation of new ventures or growth of high potential small ventures and also to make buildings more marketable for the creation of new jobs in the clean tech industry and other advanced technology industry sectors.

Entry image: Ken Daly, NYS president, National Grid, Heidi Wagner, president/CEO, MedPath Solutions, John Seman, CEO, Launch NY, Steve Holliday, global CEO, National Grid, Marnie LaVigne, PhD, associate vice president for economic development, UB, Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid.

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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