Release Date: June 23, 2009
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The 2006 grand opening of the University at Buffalo's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences was hailed by local and university officials as a milestone in Buffalo's transformation from rust-belt city to a hub for groundbreaking life sciences research and industry.
Evidence of that transformation and how much UB and its Center of Excellence is a driver of the region's new economy will be apparent at the 2009 Explore Buffalo Niagara Investor High-Tech Forum to be held June 25 in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo.
The High-Tech Forum is a highlight of the Explore Buffalo Niagara 2009 program, which kicked off last month at the Center of Excellence with its Investor and Entrepreneur Energy Forum and which fosters networking opportunities and support for local entrepreneurs. The forum also is part of Buffalo Citybration, taking place June 25-28.
The event will be streamed live on the Web at http://buffaloniagara.org/Home/Event/HighTechForumFeed in order to more fully engage the wider investment community.
UB's Center of Excellence is part of UB's emerging Downtown Campus. New projects on the campus include renovation of the former M. Wile building into a Downtown Gateway Complex for community and economic resources, and construction of a 10-story global vascular treatment and research building with Kaleida Health. This new building also will be home to a UB Biotechnology Incubator for new companies spun off from UB medical discoveries.
With more than two dozen homegrown companies in the life sciences, energy, IT and advanced manufacturing sectors presenting, the High-Tech Forum is designed to facilitate and grow investor and entrepreneur involvement in the local high-tech economy.
Among the more than 250 attendees will be dozens of institutional and individual investors who will be on hand to hear local companies make their pitches.
A major part of the day-long event will be the "Expert High-Tech Investor Panel," which will include representatives of regional, national and international investment firms, including Credit Suisse, Polaris Venture Partners, Summer Street Capital, Trillium Group and the Office of the New York State Comptroller; it will be moderated by Dan Penberthy, chief financial officer and executive vice president of Rand Capital in Buffalo.
The purpose of the event is "to help start-up and expanding high-tech companies obtain funding for their critical early-growth stages, where some are trying to increase their existing business and others are launching their first product or service," said Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D., director of business development for the UB Center of Excellence and its UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology.
"Growing our region's high-tech economy -- that's what the UB Center of Excellence is all about." said LaVigne. "We coordinate resources of the university and public sector partners in a way that supports industry growth, while driving critical products and services into the marketplace.
"Whether a technology or business originated at the university or elsewhere, we have assembled a powerful network of support resources from UB and our community, industry and government partners."
At 9 a.m., New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli will give the keynote presentation on "Fueling the New York State Economy." Rebecca Braun, president of JumpStart Ventures, will give the luncheon address starting at noon on "JumpStarting a High-Tech Economy: Lessons from Cleveland."
Starting at 11 a.m., participating high-tech firms seeking to raise funds will give 10-minute investor presentations on their companies.
At 3:30 p.m., another set of companies seeking funding will give what is known as "one-minute pitches" in a rapid-fire format to showcase their innovations and business plans.
The full program for the High-Tech Forum is available here.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.