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Wilson Foundation gives $3 million to Buffalo startup incubator

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1011871681 Marnie LaVigne KIRKHAM

Marnie LaVigne, president and CEO of Launch NY. (Robert Kirkham/News file photo)

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The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation will invest $3 million over the next two years in Buffalo-based startup incubator Launch NY. 

The money will be used to support Launch NY's Seed Fund, which invests in high-growth startup companies in the Buffalo area and Western New York.

Launch NY helps startup companies by providing them with access to capital and free mentoring.

Launch NY has received $10 million from the Wilson Foundation since 2016. Launch NY President and CEO Marnie LaVigne said the money will be used to expand its team, "which is providing unique diversity, equity and inclusion programs and building even more capital access." 

Launch NY's Seed Fund has invested $4.3 million into startups since 2016, enabling those companies to raise $85 million from outside investors. It is the most active fund in the state, LaVigne said. 

The Wilson Foundation concentrates its investments in four areas, one of them being entrepreneurship and economic development.

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