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12 Western New York and 3 Ontario, Canada Companies Selected to Present in Statewide Venture Forum

Release Date: May 5, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The final slate of presenting companies has been chosen for the 2012 Venture Forum, a collaboration between the Bright Buffalo Niagara Forum and the Center for Economic Growth's (CEG) SmartStart UNYTECH Forum.

A total of 32 high-growth early stage companies will be featured, including 12 from Buffalo and three from Ontario, Canada. The 2012 Venture Forum will be held May 16-17 in Buffalo. Since its inception three years ago, the Bright Forum has featured nearly 100 high-tech companies.

Opening remarks will be made by Steven Cohen, Empire State Development's deputy commissioner, and Satish K. Tripathi, PhD, president of the University at Buffalo. Tripathi was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to serve as co-chair for the Western New York Regional Council.

A sample of this year's presenters includes: Collectors Proof, coo/ture, Empire Genomics, For-Robin, Graphene Devices Ltd., Isolation Sciences LLC, Ladybug Teknologies Inc., Precision Scientific Instruments Inc., QuaDPharma Inc., Silicon Wolves Computing Society LLC, Simulated Surgical Systems and Tonus Therapeutics, who will present their business plan to more than 50 angel and venture capitalist investors from the Northeast, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Niagara-Canadian, Boston and New York City corridors.

Three Ontario companies will also present at this year's forum, including Expose Retail Strategies Inc., PlantForm Corporation and RNA Diagnostics Inc., to promote the forum's mission of connecting Canadian investors and entrepreneurs to the U.S. market for co-investment opportunities. The full list of presenters can be found at www.brightbuffaloniagara.com.

"Each year our field of presenters grows stronger, which is attracting more and more investors from within the region and well beyond, who want to take advantage of these investment opportunities," said Marnie LaVigne, UB associate vice president for economic development.

She said that in the past, the Bright Buffalo Niagara and SmartStart forum events combined have led to investments of more than $70 million in 60 companies. This is the fourth time Bright Buffalo Niagara has hosted a venture forum as part of its ongoing efforts to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our area. Other regional entrepreneurship support activities designed to help prepare startups and young companies for raising capital include pre-seed workshops, lectures and mentoring sessions.

This year's featured keynote speakers will include Victor Thorne, director of Ohio TechAngels; Mark E. McGough, president and CEO of Ioxus Inc.; and Donald J. White, research fellow, Procter and Gamble, to name a few.

"By hosting a joint forum this year, we were able to attract a more diverse group of speakers and more out-of-state investors who are beginning to recognize the ever-increasing levels of entrepreneurial activity in New York State," said LaVigne.

About Bright Buffalo Niagara:

Bright Buffalo Niagara is a collaborative effort of the University at Buffalo and numerous public and private organizations seeking to connect investors to the region's high-tech industry -- including opportunities in energy, life sciences, IT and advanced manufacturing.

Bright Forum: www.brightbuffaloniagara.com

About CEG:

CEG is the leading economic development organization in New York's Tech Valley and serves as the Capital Region's designated Regional Technology Development Center (RTDC). A private, nonprofit, membership-based organization, CEG drives economic growth by working with partners in business, government and education on strategic initiatives to grow local companies, attract new industry and investment, and prepare communities for future growth.

SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum: www.smartstartvf.org

UNYTECH (Upstate New York Technology Group): www.unytechny.org

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
Director of News Content, Architecture and Regional Planning, Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4655
chsu22@buffalo.edu
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