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

Rep Your City in this Startup Throw Down


Last April I spent four days in Las Vegas, the first two meeting with site selection consultants at the Business Facilities LiveXchange and the following two days at the Collision Conference encouraging dynamic tech startups to apply to the 43North Business Plan Competition. Two days suite and tie, two days sport coat and t-shirt. Two very different atmospheres. While I had attended LiveXchange before, it was really exciting to experience Collision. Forbes calls it a “burgeoning schmoozefest of startups, investors, influencers, and next-gen business and technology leaders,” and it most certainly is. Well organized, well attended, it’s a great event for any tech startup – – and a great place for investors to find that diamond in the rough.

Collision is jam packed with energy, from the compact exhibit floor (called ALPHA) featuring 1,000 of the world’s top startups (companies must apply for the chance to exhibit), to the various stages (both large and small) showcasing some of the most influential investors, tech giant leaders as well as up-and-comers. The media presence is huge, with all major outlets represented. Last year, USA Today’s Jon Swartz wrote “Buffalo’s tech scene reboots the city” after 2014 43North winner triMirror’s Jenny Tcharnaia and I met him at Collision and told him all about Buffalo.

And what happens when so many high-profile and high-energy people gather for three days in one city? Parties. Lots of them. Schmoozing your way into the right party at Collision can mean access to investors you’d otherwise have been dreaming about.

This year, Collision (April 26-28 in New Orleans) has a new feature: the Launch Pad PITCH competition, in which 24 companies from eight rising markets will compete on the Launch Pad Stage with the opportunity to present in front of 10,000+ attendees and a chance to be named Best Startup at Collision. Buffalo has been selected as one of these eight rising markets, presenting WNY startups with a huge opportunity.


Applicants must have raised less than $3M in private capital. Three Buffalo companies will be selected to represent our great city in NoLA against the best our competing “Rise of the Rest” cities have to offer.

Apply HERE!

By Alan Rosenhoch, BNE Business Development Manager

Business Incubators – A Western NY Invention

by Tony Kurdziel, Business Development Manager

A recent post by Chris Finn, BNE Research Manager, detailed the accolades enjoyed by University of Buffalo’s Technology Incubator. However, most people do not know that business incubators* are a western New York invention. In 1956, Massey Ferguson announced it was closing its 850,000 square-foot tractor factory in Batavia, NY. The Mancuso family ultimately purchased it, and Joseph Mancuso started the daunting task of filling the facility with new business. Since there was little chance of another single tenant leasing the entire facility, Mr. Mancuso divided the building for many users, and provide multiple forms of support for the small companies that might fill the space. Now run by Mr. Mancuso’s son, Tom, the Batavia Industrial Center is a hub of grassroots economic development in Batavia, with a mix of “traditional” heavy industry, high-tech office users, craft manufacturers and fine arts.

Perhaps because of the legacy started by Joseph Mancuso, western New York is blessed with nearly one incubator in every county. For entrepreneurs that are looking to take their concept “out of the garage” and into larger production space, or for Canadian companies that are looking to test the U.S. market, our regional incubators offer tremendous variety, value and opportunity. Here, by county, is a list of different facilities in our region. Please explore them and find the incubator that suits your business.


Technology Incubator at Fredonia



University of Buffalo Technology Incubator


z80 Labs



Batavia Industrial Center (discussed above)



Harrison Place


*We used the National Business Incubator Association’s definition of business incubator to select these facilities for feature. “Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are most vulnerable. These programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms. The most common goals of incubation programs are creating jobs in a community, enhancing a community’s entrepreneurial climate, retaining businesses in a community, building or accelerating growth in a local industry, and diversifying local economies.”