Startups, Meet Funds.

Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund Investments

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 with $10M from Governer Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative to deploy as part of the Innovation Hub.

The goal of the Innovation Hub 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.

Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund will invest 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.

We designed the Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund to be cyclical. By providing students, faculty, staff and researchers with the support they need to take a kernel of an idea and turn it into a product or service that benefits society, we are catalyzing the next generation of great startups right here in Buffalo.”

Christina Orsi, Associate Vice President for Economic Development
University at Buffalo

Portfolio companies funded by this Innovation Hub initiative:

Buffalo Automation

Buffalo Automation.


Buffalo Automation is an artificial intelligence (AI) startup primarily focused on autonomous marine navigation. Their flagship product, AutoMate is a predictive boat navigation system that uses AI, neural networks, and thermal imaging technologies to guide large commercial ships. It has been implemented in multiple commercial ships operating in the Great Lakes, with customer interest around the world. A consumer version called Pegasus has been designed for smaller recreational boats, water taxis, and ferries. Buffalo Automation’s newest product is an app called Mayday that uses AI
to detect watercraft, or can be trained to detect anything that might need AI.

A $250,000 investment from the Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund will accelerate Buffalo Automation’s growth, helping the company secure additional customers and will be used in part for continued product development.


Buffalo Automation.

Thiru Vikram

CEO, Buffalo Automation

yellow dots pattern.

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.

The Innovation Hub is funded through a $32 million Buffalo Billion II grant commitment from New York State and supports innovation at UB and its leading research partners — including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Jacobs Institute, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Kaleida Health.