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Innovation Hub.

Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund

Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund is an early-stage, evergreen venture capital fund dedicated to funding and growing the next generation of outstanding businesses in Buffalo.

We are committed to starting and growing more technology companies in Buffalo / Niagara.

The initial fund has been capitalized by NYS Empire State Development with $10M to deploy as part of the Innovation Hub Initiative.
The Innovation Hub Initiative goal is to accelerate the commercialization of technology being developed at UB and our research partners at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Center, the Jacobs Institute and Kaleida Health, by connecting innovators to the resources they need to start and grow companies right here in WNY.

We intend to invest these funds over five (5) years in pre-seed and seed investments, reserving some capital to make follow-on investments in portfolio companies who show the best progress. We will partner with exceptional entrepreneurs and help them build valuable companies that grow in Buffalo. The fund is administered by State University of New York Research Foundation at University at Buffalo.

Eligibility

Calling all technology based startups created by an Innovation Hub Partner's faculty, researchers, students or staff.

Innovation Hub Partners:

University at Buffalo.
Roswell Park.
Hauptman Woodward.
Kaleida Health.
Jacobs Institute.

General Eligibility Criteria:

  • In the process of developing scalable, technology-based businesses
  • Projected to have $25 million in revenue within 10 years – life sciences
  • Projected to have $10 million in revenue within 5 years – other
  • Have less than $1 million in annual revenue
  • Have raised less than $250,000 in prior equity

Investment Process

The following is intended to prepare you in compiling the appropriate information and to set reasonable expectations about the fund’s application, due diligence and investment processes.

Pre-Screening Application and Review

Seeks to understand certain basic financial information of the company to determine both eligibility and fundability according to the fund’s investment thesis.

Feedback provided within five business days.

Full Application

The full application intends to capture comprehensive information on your overall business opportunity. In addition, you will be asked to upload several documents and to consent to a credit/background check of company officers. 

Feedback provided within ten business days.

Due Diligence #1

Based on information provided in the funding application, this review/analysis will looking for any obvious red flags which might prohibit a successful funding outcome.

Assessment complete within fifteen business days.

Internal Presentation

Assuming a positive outcome up to this point, the applicant will be invited to make their first investment pitch to a team of internal reviewers, including a 20-minute presentation followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.

Presentation scheduled and key findings summarized within fifteen business days.

Due Diligence #2

During “Defensive Due Diligence,” the fund management team and/or its Due Diligence Partner will conduct additional primary
and secondary research, supplementing the information provided in the funding application.

Process complete within twenty business days. 
Delays in providing quality responses to requests could significantly extend the time of this step. 

External Advisory Board Presentation

Assuming a positive outcome up to this point, the applicant will be invited to make an investment pitch to an external Advisory Board, including a 20-minute presentation followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. 

Feedback provided on the outcome within five business days of the presentation.

For more information on the investment process:

Download the Seed Fund Investment Process: Full Details (PDF)

Portfolio Companies

Frequently Asked Questions

Application

To be considered, start the process by telling us about your business venture.*

* In order to access the Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund Pre-screen application form, you will need to set up and account with Survey Monkey Apply if you do not already have one. This is the platform the Innovation Hub utilizes to manage applicants to a variety of our programs. 

innovation hub.

Learn more about Innovation Hub resources and services. We offer a variety of programs, services and networking events to help you connect to the right expertise to advance your business.

We are here to help you achieve your goals and take your ideas to the next level. Programs and resources are available to help you access the funding and incentives you need at every stage of your business.

University at Buffalo incubators offer affordable, flexible spaces, programs and support for technology based startups created by the Innovation Hub partner’s faculty, researchers, students or staff.

As a premier public research institution, UB offers a wealth of resources. Whether you need co-working space or a state-of-the-art class 10,000 cleanroom, we can help.

Starting a business can be an arduous task. The university aims to make that task easier by providing promising entrepreneurs with access to valuable resources. 

PARTNER INSTITUTIONS

Empire State Development is supporting UB, Roswell Park, Hauptman-Woodward, Kaleida Health and Jacob's Institute to help commercialize technologies generated through research.

Innovation Hub logo.
Roswell Park logo.
Hauptman Woodward logo.
Kaleida logo.
Jacobs Institute logo.