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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
Resource Spotlight: Excell Partners, Inc.

Got $eed? 

An important step for all companies, especially those that are trying to commercialize new technologies, is acquiring funding or seed investments. The commercialization process can be costly and investing in very early stage technology can be risky. This high risk means there are few venture funds that make seed investments.

Fortunately, there is a solution for innovators in the Upstate New York region.--- Excell Partners, Inc.. Founded in 2005, Excell was formed in partnership with the University of Rochester and the State of New York to support technologies emerging from the universities and communities across upstate. For the last six years, Excell has been the primary source of seed funding for upstate NY’s high tech start-ups. 

Seed investing is the stage at which a high tech start-up is beginning to form its company by assimilating the management team, developing a go-to-market strategy and building a working-grade prototype for beta testing. The company is still in formation and does not yet have revenue. At this point, the company is at its highest risk for failure. Capital is critical and yet, because of the extremely high risk, it is the most challenging capital to raise. That is why Excell has chosen to focus exclusively on seed-stage, high-tech ventures. Excell provides both the capital and the critical support services needed to keep the companies out of the Valley of Death. 

In making their decision to invest, Excell looks to invest in companies with new technologies that solve a big and growing problem; that have the potential to grow quickly and that will yield a significant return on Excell’s investment. Overall, Excell looks at three key areas; the technology, the management and the market. 

Recently, the federally-funded Innovate New York program awarded $35 million to six investment fund entities across the state. As one of the award winners, Excell will receive $5.14 million, allowing them to continue to invest in high-tech companies in the area. Companies that are in need of seed funding should look to see if they fit Excell’s necessary criteria to apply. For more information on Excell and how to apply for funds, please visit their website at www.excellny.com.

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