What You Need to Know about the Critical Path Life Science Accelerator


Question:  Why apply to this program? Describe the benefits.

Answer: After completing the Critical Path Life Sciences Accelerator program, founders will be ready and confident to sit down with a group of life sciences investors and take them through a comprehensive analysis of their business. You’ll experience mock board meetings, build a network of mentors, hear feedback from sector experts, determine your regulatory pathway, and actively solicit feedback from current/potential customers. This program is designed to take you from a company that can offer a great 10-minute pitch, to one that can go into a two-hour deeper dive with smart investors and knock it out of the park. Additionally, participating founders will give and receive coordinated feedback from a selected group of their peers as they go through the program together.

Question: Who should apply?

Answer: Just about any life science company that is actively seeking angel/venture capital to support its growth. Applicants are limited to those headquartered in 27-county LaunchNY operating territory (http://www.launchny.org/who-we-are.html#whoweserve).

Question: How do I apply for the program?

Answer: Applications are OPEN NOW! Simply click here to Apply online. But make sure to complete your application before the deadline on Friday August 26!

It’s FREE to apply! Start your application!

Question: Why is an accelerator program run through VilCap Communities different than other accelerators?

Answer: Village Capital is a global leader in entrepreneurship and one of the key contributors to Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Tour that made a stop in Buffalo last year. Critical Path is a direct result of Village Capital’s exposure to our region’s budding ecosystem and targeted investments in life sciences.

Village Capital’s method of peer-selection and venture development reliably identifies the most promising ventures, providing an efficient and inclusive alternative to conventional due diligence.

To learn more about Village Capital and their peer-selection investment model, click here.

Question: Who is going to facilitate the program?

Answer: One of the most important benefits of Critical Path will be its facilitator: Holly Hillberg. Holly’s track record speaks for itself in the positions she’s held: VP of R&D for Johnson & Johnson, as well as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Carestream Health, after leading the successful spinout of Eastman Kodak’s medical imaging division and forming Carestream. Holly’s management and industry experience are integral pieces to Critical Path and companies should be chomping at the bit to access some of her vast expertise.

Question: What should I expect from the program?

Answer: You should expect a huge return on your investment of time. Critical Path combines a highly specialized curriculum with top-level experts, from both Upstate NY and across North America, serving as mentors. This program will ask a lot of you, in the form of long days during the workshops and homework assignments as well. But coming out of it, you will feel far more confident and positioned to raise the capital needed to take the next step and reach your goals.

by Alan Rosenhoch, Business Development Manager

Workforce Data: How Important is this for Business Attraction?

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A region’s ability to demonstrate the availability of talented workers has become increasingly essential to all economic development activities. The availability of current and local labor data is critical when answering labor-related questions when courting prospective companies considering relocation to a community. In fact, Area Development 2015-2016 Corporate Survey illustrates the importance corporations place on labor when making location decisions. The availability of skilled labor, is considered “very important” or “important” by 100 percent of the respondents this year.

This past April Invest Buffalo Niagara engaged University of Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI) to conduct an in depth study of the regional labor market. The study will update the 2010 assessment and build upon it, incorporating new analyses and research-driven supports for:

  • talent attraction
  • underemployment,workforce development and training,
  • employer costs,
  • employer union success stories, and
  • the expansion of workplace best practices

The geographic scope of the work will be the eight counties of Western New York, with an in-depth look at county-by-county comparisons for selected analyses, including differences in labor force size and composition, workforce skill and educational attainment levels, organized labor, wages and other payroll costs.

This work will engage experts and stakeholders representing employers, workforce development groups, organization labor and human resources, to provide insights on scope and research approach. Like the 2010 study, the report will be designed to produce a body of relevant, readable and strategic material to support understanding, decision-making and program implementation by labor market and regional economic audiences.  Invest Buffalo Niagara expects to release the results of the study in January of 2017.

Both Geico’s recent commitment to adding 600 jobs to the region as well as Sumitomo Rubber Industries recent expansion are good indicators that businesses view Buffalo Niagara as having a strong workforce but having the data to support these decisions is critical. Information resulting from the study can also help Buffalo Niagara plan for the future.

by Graham Smith, Research Director