BUFFALO, N.Y. – Bright Buffalo Niagara, Western New
York’s premier venture forum, has selected 35 early-stage
high-tech companies to present to investors at the Oct. 1
Participating companies represent a wide range of services and
products in the sectors of energy, software, life sciences and
more, including a producer of graphene-based materials, a firm that
provides services to expedite drug discovery, and a web-based
product that helps nonprofits connect with volunteers.
Twenty companies will give 10-minute presentations to an
audience of investors, while 15 others will have one minute to
pitch their business. Ten-minute presenters will automatically make
the first round at Launch NY’s upcoming international
business plan competition, planned for 2014 and offering $5 million
Bright Buffalo Niagara’s format, including networking and
exhibition opportunities, will give companies that were not
selected to present the chance to connect with the investor
community as well.
The Worldwide App Inc., one of this year’s 10-minute
presenters, will discuss one of its major products: a smartphone
application that allows users to vote for their favorite short
films from independent film festivals, giving these films a shot at
attracting attention from audiences around the world and filmmakers
the chance to “represent their hometown in Hollywood,”
said founder Crystal Callahan. Callahan, who grew up in Buffalo,
worked for many years on the West Coast and then returned to
Western New York to establish The Worldwide App’s East Coast
headquarters. The company was founded in May.
"As a Buffalo native who is returning home to do business after
working in the Silicon Valley and Hollywood, Bright Buffalo Niagara
gives me hope that Buffalo is ready, willing and able to innovate,
and its stakeholders are actively investing in this wave of the
future,” said Callahan.
Bright Buffalo Niagara has launched a redesigned website that
provides greater ease for registering and finding critical
information about the venture forum.
to explore the website, which includes video from last year’s
presentations, a full schedule of events for this year’s
venture forum, streaming updates from the Bright Buffalo Niagara
Twitter account and more. Attendees or supporters tweeting about
this year’s event are encouraged to use the hashtag
Bright Buffalo Niagara will be held at Statler City in downtown
Buffalo on Oct. 1, with VIP activities on Sept. 30. In addition to
company presentations, the venture forum will include speaker
programs targeted to investor and entrepreneur audiences, an
exhibition hall featuring displays from presenting companies and
others, and an evening networking reception.
The event will feature keynote remarks from Victor W. Hwang, CEO
of Silicon Valley venture firm T2 Venture Capital and author of
“The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon
Valley,” which highlights how society can foster innovative
economies. The book has been praised as “an insightful,
forward-thinking assessment of what makes Silicon Valley
tick” and a “detailed analysis of the power of the
environment on startup success.”
Hwang will be available for phone interviews prior to the
About 100 early stage companies have presented at Bright Buffalo
Niagara since it was established in 2009, with 250-300 attendees
each year including entrepreneurs, angel and venture capital
investors, potential business partners, industry leaders, elected
officials and more. Since its inception, Bright Buffalo Niagara
participants have gone on to raise more than $23 million in funding
and have gained invaluable exposure to national markets and
potential future investors.
Bright Buffalo Niagara 2013 sponsors:
GROWTH STAGE SPONSORS: Launch NY; UB’s New York State
Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences; Superior
Group; and the University at Buffalo.
START-UP STAGE SPONSORS: Colligan Law LLP.
SEED STAGE: Buffalo Business First; Buffalo Niagara Enterprise;
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; CareerBuilder; Erie County
Industrial Development Agency; Insyte Consulting; Phillips Lytle
LLP; UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic
Outreach; and Upstate Venture Association of New York.
PRE-SEED STAGE: Dopkins and Company LLP; Freed Maxick CPAs,
P.C.; Hodgson Russ Attorneys; HSBC; Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman
LLP; the Research Foundation for the State University of New York;
Wilmington Trust; Woods Oviatt Gillman LLP; and the Western New
York Venture Association.