Get up to $100k in pre-seed funding and mentorship for your startup

In UB's Cultivator program, we surround early-stage startup founders in Western New York (WNY) with mentorship and support to help build our region’s next great companies.

We pair you with entrepreneurs-in-residence and subject matter experts who have walked in your shoes. Together, we roll up our sleeves to help you validate your market potential, establish marketing plans, gear up to fundraise, and connect with investors and customers.

UB Cultivator Startup ventures Program.

Turn your adventure into a profitable venture

Cultivator has two phases. If your company advances to Phase 2, you’ll receive a $100k investment and free co-working space.


We help you build a customized path to success with:


Up to $100k in early-stage funding


Mentorship from entrepreneurs-in-residence and subject matter experts

Co-working space.

Co-working space


Connections to investors, customers and talent


Market and customer discovery


Marketing and revenue growth strategy


Fundraising preparation


We help medium- to high-growth, early-stage startups located in the following Western New York counties: Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany.

No previous affiliation with UB is required, and we strongly encourage historically underrepresented founders to apply.

counties map.

What type of company is the right fit?

Cultivator is designed to support businesses developing products or platforms that aim to serve national or international markets, like software or new, innovative manufactured goods.

While small businesses with a local or regional focus play a very important role in our community, they are not a fit for Cultivator.




Many of our startup services, including the Cultivator, are funded by Empire State Development through the Innovation Hub initiative.
We thank them for supporting the next generation of startups.

Additional resources for startup growth

Build your business and connect with a diverse network of entrepreneurs in our two business incubators—the Incubator @ CBLS downtown and the Incubator @ Baird near North Campus.

E-Law Center.

Tap into legal services at our Entrepreneurship Law Center if you're not ready to engage outside counsel, but still need quality legal guidance.

Seed Fund.

Take your business to the next level with up to $250,000 from our venture capital fund, the Buffalo Innovation Seed Fund.