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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
NYS Events: SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum

Often when companies are looking for initial funding they will hear about venture capital. Venture capital (VC) is a type of equity financing for companies that cannot seek capital from more traditional sources because of reasons ranging from size to stage of development.  Companies interested in attracting VC investments might look to the SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum, a showcase for promising technology companies and business innovators, as a solution.

SmartStart Venture Forums was started 12 years ago and in 2007 merged with UNYTECH, the Upstate University forum that highlights early-stage university-originated startups. Since the forum’s inception over 255 high-quality companies have been highlighted to the VC community and 62 of these companies have raised over $500 million in equity financing. This includes $72 million attributed directly to their participation in the forum.

The forum displays promising early-stage companies from all of New York and beyond. It allows companies to meet with VC funds, seed investment funds, angel groups and investors to explain their technologies as well as introduce their company’s teams and plans for succeeding in the marketplace. Upcoming companies are also given exposure to experienced entrepreneurs for their potential involvement.

The forum is marketed and recognized by many East Coast and Mid-Atlantic venture funds as the place to discover new Upstate NY technology companies. Each year the forum recognizes standout company presentations with Best Business Presentation, Most Promising Technology and Most Likely to be Funded awards.

In May 2012, SmartStart UNYTECH and Bright Buffalo Niagara partnered to host a single event. The partnership was made to allow the two events to merge their audiences, the venture capitalists that SmartStart UNYTECH attracts and the angel investors that have been the focus of the Bright Buffalo Niagara forum. The 2013 SmartStart Venture Forum will be held in Albany this May with the exact date yet to be announced. Companies that are interested in applying should watch the SmartStart Venture Forum website as it currently lists the application link as coming soon.



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