Event puts spotlight on startup accelerators

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Luminate NY is among a group of startup accelerators that will participate in the Venture NY Series A Showcase at noon Dec.9. 

The Upstate Capital Association of New York, in partnership with Luminate and others, will host the virtual event. Venture NY will showcase 16 startups and include investor pitches and networking opportunities. 

A member-driven organization, Upstate Capital aims to increase access to capital and deal flow for companies and investors, respectively. It maintains a statewide network of capital providers, professional advisers and supporting organizations.

The collaboration with multiple accelerators and competitions is the first of its kind in the state, officials say.

“Attracting venture capital from outside the region has been part of Upstate Capital’s mission since 2003 when the organization was founded,” says Noa Simons, executive director of Upstate Capital. “This is an amazing opportunity to collaborate with several pillars of the broader regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and highlight how far Upstate New York has come in developing entrepreneurship and high-growth businesses here.”

In addition to Rochester-based Luminate, a business accelerator for optics, photonics and imaging startups, the following organizations have invited their top companies to participate:

43North: An accelerator program that hosts an annual startup competition, investing $5 million annually to attract and cultivate high-growth companies in Buffalo.

GENIUS NY: $3 million business accelerator competition in Central New York focused on unmanned systems, Internet of Things and big-data startups.

76West: A contest focused on fostering entrepreneurs and attracting national and international resources to build clean-energy businesses and jobs in the Southern Tier region.

Grow-NY: A competition focused on nurturing a food and agriculture innovation cluster in the Finger Lakes, Central New York and the Southern Tier. The competition attracts innovative, high-growth food and agriculture startups from across the globe.

Venture NY occurs in conjunction with Upstate Capital’s annual awards celebration, which highlights private equity and mergers and acquisitions and other venture investments during the year. The event also honors an individual for their impact in the Upstate New York investment community with a lifetime achievement award.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.

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