BUFFALO, NY - August 13, 2013 –National Grid today became the first company in Western New York to commit direct support to the University at Buffalo’s (UB) newly launched High-Tech Entrepreneurship Opportunity Program, designed to promote innovation and growth in entrepreneurship throughout the region by directly supporting companies in their earliest business formation stage when bringing new technology, products and services to the marketplace.
In tandem, National Grid provided a second grant to Launch NY’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, which provides entrepreneurs support in the initial growth stages of business development while offering mentorship and long term advisement by matching experienced professionals with high potential startup companies. Both programs will work closely together to ensure that regional entrepreneurs are provided coordinated assistance in the critical start-up and initial growth periods of the business development pipeline.
Steve Holliday, National Grid’s global chief executive officer, and Ken Daly, president of National Grid – New York, were in Buffalo today to announce the grants that total $490,000.
“Our success as an energy company is directly connected to the communities and people we serve,” Holliday said. “Growing the economy in any community is no easy task, so it is vital that we find ways to help the budding businesses that are at the cutting edges of innovation and technology. We view our partnership with the University at Buffalo and LaunchNY as an investment that should pay dividends for Buffalo and all of upstate New York.”
National Grid’s CleanTech Incubation grants to the University at Buffalo ($240,000) and LaunchNY ($250,000) will support high-tech start-ups in the critical early stages of growth. The grant to UB will allow the university to work with entrepreneurs on the early identification, assessment, inventory, and triage of high-tech start-ups, and provide up to $10,000 in support of the most promising companies to foster their creation and success within the National Grid service footprint in Western New York. The program will connect entrepreneurs and start-up companies with various business services that can assist their needs such as technology assessment, market research, business plan development, grant writing, product development, operations implementation, and related legal and accounting services. National Grid has been a long-time supporter of UB’s economic development efforts through grants and sponsorship of entrepreneurial programming and events.
“National Grid and UB have a long, successful history of working together to advocate for economic growth in Western New York, and this grant of $240,000 will help accelerate those efforts by giving entrepreneurs the boost they need to start a successful high-tech company,” said Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD, vice president for research and economic development at UB. “We are proud and grateful to continue partnering with National Grid to help innovation-based businesses in our region thrive.”
Launch NY’s grant will support their Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which works to match experienced mid-career professionals with high-potential startup companies within the 27 counties of upstate New York. Through the program, Launch NY’s EiRs will conduct outreach efforts to these markets through educational seminars, events and partner programs; will offer readiness assessments to initial candidates for support; and will provide hundreds of hours of support to companies who are selected for the program, with the main objective of this phase being to help companies access capital and grow within our region. In addition, LaunchNY will pursue two key objectives: maintaining an index of support organizations available to companies within the region, as well as compiling a robust data set around entrepreneurial activity and outcomes, allowing it to track its own efficacy as well as serve as a resource on developments in the region.
“At LaunchNY, we help start-ups bridge the gap in their most critical stage of growth,” said John Seman, chief executive officer of LaunchNY. “This generous grant from National Grid will help provide much-needed support for Upstate New York’s most promising companies as they work to transform our economic landscape.”
National Grid’s CleanTech Incubation grant program supports the development of a self-sustaining entrepreneurial and innovation “ecosystem” in upstate New York that will stimulate and support high growth new businesses generating new jobs and new investment.
“We have witnessed significant progress and success with our economic development programs and deep focus in the Buffalo region, and the University of Buffalo is often at the core,” Daly said. “We’re pleased to continue our partnerships with UB and now, with LaunchNY, we look to a broader effort that will nurture new tech business across the upstate region.”
The program was created to support initiatives that facilitate formation of new ventures or growth of high potential small ventures and also to make buildings more marketable for the creation of new jobs in the clean tech industry and other advanced technology industry sectors.
About the University at Buffalo’s Office of Economic Development
The University at Buffalo's Office of Economic Development (OED) builds business, community and academic collaborations to encourage technology-based economic development. The OED works across the entire University to facilitate access to the institution’s rich assets in research and development, talent and workforce development, and numerous other areas that are important to growing our region’s economic vitality. In collaboration with internal and external partners, OED provides a point of coordination designed to meet customer needs, starting with its website at www.buffalo.edu/businessengagement.
LaunchNY is a non-profit venture development organization with a mission to create jobs by providing guidance, mentoring and investments to help emerging companies succeed within the 27 counties of Upstate New York. LaunchNY works to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies to catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York through regional collaboration with ecosystem partners.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com