Launch New York, a nonprofit venture development organization headquartered in Buffalo that seeks to boost startup activity in Western and Central New York, has made seed fund investments in companies based in Buffalo and Rochester.
Launch NY and the Z80 Labs technology incubator, which provided matching funds, are investing a combined $25,000 in Buffalo Automation Group, a robotics and artificial intelligence startup company founded by University at Buffalo students. The company is developing autonomous navigation systems for cargo ships that sense environmental threats before they appear.
In Rochester, Launch NY is providing up to $50,000 to Evoke Healthy Foods, which makes ready-to-eat, muesli-based cereals that are billed as healthy and convenient. The company was launched in 2011 and the product is sold in Wegmans Food Markets, among other locations.
The Launch NY Seed Fund is a nonprofit fund fueled by grants and donations. Returns come back to the fund to support investments in future startups in what is known as an "evergreen cycle."