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Ted Eveleth, COO, Ener-G-Rotors—Albany NY
"Seed capital is vital to keep the best, most promising new companies from moving to CA or MA to get funding.”

Richard Frederick—Albany NY
"As a local entrepreneur, I understand the value of seed funding to the growth of early stage companies. I am interested in getting a seed fund started in Albany/Tech Valley.”

David Hochman, Executive Director, Business Incubator Association of NYS—Albany NY
"Business incubators can't successfully grow start-up companies without access to seed-stage investors. Start-up investing is the riskiest kind there is, and to do their job in our economy, even adventurous private investors need some form of public participation working side-by-side with them. There are many ways to accomplish this goal, but we need to get started at a scale commensurate with the size of New York's innovation system, and right away -- other states are already lapping us."

Spencer Warnick, Partner, Hoffman Warnick—Albany NY
"A state-supported seed fund fills a void in the process of growing NY companies and is required for the State to thrive and possibly even survive. I am a patent attorney in Albany and would love to help out with your program. I’m also on the Technology Accelerator Fund in Albany, which gives out $250-500K loans to start-ups that have revenue, and know first-hand the problems they face to get to this point. Many would benefit from more seed capital.”

M. Guven Yalcintas, Ph.D., Vice President, Research Foundation, SUNY - Albany NY
“Transferring university technologies to private partners benefits the public and helps the state economy. Seed funding is necessary to take our technologies across the “valley of death” to a safe harbor in the hands of private enterprise. Currently maturation funding, prototype cost and seed money do not exist for us to present our technologies to companies or help start up companies to take risk with our technologies. The concept of seed funding and its implementation will help us to save our technologies disappearing in “death valley” and generate unexpected revenues and new opportunities for New York State. It will give university researchers an additional boost to produce even more technologies.”

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Kevin B. Albaugh, President Intensive Energy Engineering - Buffalo NY
“It takes great ideas, great management, and available funds to get new businesses running, and it's a shame to see fundable ideas wither on the vine or go elsewhere. A public-private partnership for the critical seed funding phase will catalyze the formation of great companies in the state.”

Keith A. Blakely, Chairman, The InVentures Group - Buffalo NY
“NYS boasts some of the leading university and research institutes not just in the United States, but in the world. Without adequate financial and infrastructural support for early stage ventures, the discoveries, inventions, and expertise of these institutions will fail to fully achieve their full economic impact. Seed capital is a critical element and desperately needed for ventures willing to start and stay in New York State.”

William D. K. Clark, Ph.D. President, WDK Clark & Associates - Buffalo NY
"My consulting business focuses entirely on technology startup companies and lack of seed funding is the single biggest hurdle to continuing their progress to success."

Eric Cornavaca, CEO, Orius Innovations - Buffalo NY
“Seed funding coupled by a business oriented economic development focus, represents New York State’s best hope for becoming a competitive force in the Innovation Economy.”

Al Culliton, CFO ECIDA - Buffalo NY
“Professional venture capital money is not available to most western NY companies in their earliest stages when they are generating prototypes, protecting intellectual property, scoping potential markets, generating initial commercial sales and recruiting management … Many states have a formal venture capital effort dealing with early stage companies and New York must be very aggressive in providing such funding if we are to realize the potential of all the research dollars funneled into the region.”

Rupal Desai, Commercialization Manager, University of Buffalo STOR - Buffalo NY
"Without the seed funding we cannot grow the lush green trees of innovation and commercialization. This is the most critical fund required and, given the risk at that stage, we need the public and state to partner with the private fund."

Jim Finamore, Executive Director, Buffalo/Erie County Workforce Investment Board - Buffalo NY
"Innovation and Tech. Transfer are key to New York’s competitive position globally. Traditional economic development, involving state subsidies to reduce business costs will, by themselves, not make us globally competitive."

Robert J. Genco, Vice Provost and Director UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer, and Economic Outreach (STOR) - Buffalo NY
"As Director of the technology transfer office at the University at Buffalo, I am pleased that our faculty and staff are producing many unique and useful inventions. However, our start-up businesses need seed funding to bridge them over the "valley of death" between ample government, foundation, and industrial basic research funding, and venture capital and other private funding. We have the opportunity to build a viable and important component of our economy based on clusters of high tech companies spun out of university research."

Andy Hakes, President, AireXpert Technics—Buffalo NY
"Far too many NYS innovations either die on the path to commercialization or are exported to neighboring regions that actively support and nourish small company growth. Considering New York State's abundance of university resources, IT infrastructure and talent, early stage financing is the last critical element in absence.”

David Hartzell, President and CEO Cornell Capital Management - Buffalo NY
“Growth, innovation and high tech excellence have always been the hallmark of the small, start up business. When is Western New York going to start thinking (and acting) more like Silicon Valley and less like Detroit? $eedNY!!”

Jack McGowan, Project Manager, Insyte Consulting - Buffalo NY
“Private angel investors and Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants are important sources of funding, but are often not enough to meet the capital requirements of a seed-stage company. Our experience is that participation by a government-supported seed capital fund increases the likelihood that angels will invest in a startup company and provides the capacity to meet the company’s seed-stage funding need.”

David Tyler, Business Development Council Leader, Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited Niagara - Buffalo NY
“Creating new technology-based startups relies on three critical elements: technology/innovation, entrepreneurial talent/ability, and funding. Often missing from this equation is the critical component of funding especially at the early stage of company formation. There are many great entrepreneurs with great ideas in Upstate New York, but they often face the hurdle of finding sources of early stage capital that are aligned with their business models and industry space as most investors like to invest in “what they know” or industry sectors they understand. And while there are a growing number of technology-based businesses in Upstate, there is a mismatch of available early stage capital with these companies and technologies. For Upstate NY to grow more of these companies, and to be competitive with other states and regions that have government supported seed funds, NY must support the formation of new seed capital programs that go beyond what has been created to date. Otherwise, these opportunities that hold the promise of new job generation and growth will be challenged to stay here.”

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Mike Manikowski, Ontario County Office of ED and OCIDA - Canandaigua NY
“Early stage seed capital is essential if we are to commercialize the abundant innovation and discovery across all technology sectors in NYS. Our competitive future in a global economy depends on it.”

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Shahyaan Desai, Founder & CTO of Mezmeriz - Ithaca NY
"Seed funding allowed me to rapidly transition from doing research at Cornell to building my company without having to relocate the business out of state. My company was being wooed out of state with attractive incentives, but the state-run fund came through by forming a coalition of investors and made it possible for Mezmeriz to stay. We are now growing and hiring great people right here in New York.”

Pat Govang, CEO, e2e Materials - Ithaca NY
“In 2009, venture capital investments were down 65 percent. Not only is this needed yesterday, it’s not enough.”

Jonathan Greene, CEO, Widetronix Semiconductors - Ithaca NY
“Seed funding is an essential element to growing a high tech startup and is even more important in the current economic environment. New York State entrepreneurs are doing their part bridging R&D to market with SBIR and other grants. It is time the State stepped up and furthered that bridge to market.”

William Greener, Patent Attorney and Seed Fund investor, Bond Schoeneck & King - Ithaca NY
“Successful companies are engines that power our economy. Seed capital is the fuel that starts these engines.”

Alice Li, Ph.D., Sr. Technology Commercialization & Liaison Officer, CCTEC, Cornell University - Ithaca NY
"Seed funding is crucial in developing knowledge based economy in upstate New York".

Alan Paau Vice Provost for Technology Transfer & Economic Development, Cornell University - Ithaca NY
“The availability of seed capital in New York State will ultimately determine the state's ability to retain value from the science and technology output of its institutions of higher education. ”

Tom Schryver, CFO, e2e Materials - Ithaca NY
“We need to create a new economic paradigm in New York based on our strength in R&D and seed capital will not only help kick start business but help keep those growing businesses here.”

Zachary Shulman, Managing Partner, Cayuga Venture Fund - Ithaca, NY
“Seed Funding – the first outside money into a young company – is critical. It enables companies to incubate and get their products to the point of market introduction. While we have some seed funding resources in Upstate NY, we need more, and we need it to be institutionalized and supported at the state level. Such funding, if mandated to be deployed each year, would truly have positive impact in our region.”

Brad Treat, Founder & CEO of Mezmeriz - Ithaca NY
“By having a state-supported seed fund, New York is signaling to entrepreneurs that the state is serious about encouraging innovative new companies to start and grow here. A state seed fund says New York is looking forward and encouraging the businesses that will be part of growing new technology segments and acknowledges that today's tech startups are tomorrow's technology juggernauts."

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New York City

Bruce Toman, Technology Manager, CCTEC, Weill Cornell Medical - New York NY
“Universities in NY produce many inventions with great commercial promise. But there is insufficient high-risk funding to move inventions from their initial stage of glimmering promise and great risk to a proof of concept stage that can attract private investment. NY State innovation-based startups too often languish - as does their ability to create jobs -- due to insufficient funds to reach proof of concept. Neighboring states like Ohio and PA far outstrip in this regard.”

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Robert Brown, Partner & CEO, Boylan Brown, LLP - Rochester NY
“Considering the concentration of research universities and the abundance of intellect and infrastructure in Upstate NY, the lack of organized seed funding exposes the State's short-sighted view of our economy. Let's take advantage of these resources and support the transition to a new economy in NYS.”

Steve Gersz, Partner, Underberg & Kessler - Rochester NY
“It takes the right formula to create a tech company. We have the inventors, the facilities, the legal, accounting and academic support systems. We are missing the seed capital to start the reaction. Add this important catalyst and we can grow companies to create jobs, jobs, jobs in this important technology space.”

Thomas Gunter-Kremers, CEO, Rochester Adventure Park Project - Rochester NY
"Angels have confirmed I have great ideas but they don't want to fund me until I have customers. They act more like VCs now so who is left to fund seed companies?"

Greg Hammonds SynchronistiCapital - Rochester NY
"Seed funding is New York's "missing link" on the way to a growing, entrepreneurial-based economy. Both private and public seed funding should be fostered and enabled by policy-makers in Albany."

Rand Henke, CEO, Lighthouse Biosciences - Rochester NY
“Regarding the funding of seed stage innovation: I can think of no single activity that will better translate existing assets in the State of NY into greater economic and quality-of-life value for New York. Excell Partners and its associated network on innovators, universities, entrepreneurs and economic development organizations are excellently positioned to effectively place and manage seed investments that will translate to significant regional economic returns.”

Mark A. Indovina, COO, Tenrehte Technologies - Rochester NY
“The future growth of our economy is going to be fueled by small, innovative, nimble companies: startup companies. Without question we have a large quantity of intellectual capital and investment capital cultivated in NYS; however, over time, the vast majority is exported to other states. $eedNY is a positive step in reversing this unhealthy (for NYS) trend.”

Sasha Latypova, Executive Vice President, iCardiac Technologies - Rochester NY
“It’s critical to have seed funding to attract top entrepreneurial talent to NYS and specifically to the upstate region.”

Duncan Moore, Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship, Simon Graduate School of Business - Rochester NY
“Growth of any region depends on the growth of SMEs. Upstate New York lacks the seed funding that is critical to the translation of ideas from our first rate universities and research institutions to a position to attract Series A round funding. It is in the public good to create businesses which will grow and pay taxes and whose employees will pay taxes. These businesses will also be critical to retaining many of our 70,000 students in higher education system in Western New York.”

Ben Munson, CEO,—Rochester NY
"As a tenant at RIT's Venture Creations business incubator, I can tell you that the majority of pre-seed capital Newdigs raises will be allocated to payroll for the creation of knowledge-economy jobs for RIT graduates. This is exactly what Rochester needs!”

Thomas A. Pearson, MD, Ph.D., Albert D. Kaiser Professor and Chair, Dept. of Community & Preventative Medicine - Rochester NY

“Seed Funding helps to create opportunities for university products to remain in state, including the jobs and collaborate opportunities that go along with it.”

Mark S. Peterson, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise - Rochester NY
“It is essential that we foster the right climate to help create more start up companies throughout Upstate New York. These emerging businesses are the backbone of our knowledge based economy. Seed funding is a critical component to help spur entrepreneurial growth and ultimately economic success."

Kenneth J. Reed, Ph.D., VP, R & D, Cerion Energy - Rochester NY
“$30M is chicken feed in the overall budget of NYS, just delay one bridge construction project or one small highway project and you have this sum.”

J. William Reeves, Partner, Boylan Brown - Rochester NY
“Our region is playing catch up in the development of new companies to commercialize technology. A seed fund would be a major addition to our playbook.”

Graeme Roberts, President, iWrite Marketing—Rochester NY
"New York is full of talent in technology, services, and the creative field. Seed capital makes all the difference.”

Peter Robinson, VP and COO, URMC - Rochester NY
“While New York’s research institutions spend almost $4 B a year on research and development, the state is far behind in the amount of public resources dedicated to technology commercialization. Many of the innovations that emerge form our universities have tremendous commercial potential and could accelerate growth in sectors such as biotechnology, alternative energy, imaging, and optics. Without seed funding, however, many of these early stage ventures will never get off the ground."

Judy Seil, Executive Director, County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency - Rochester NY
“Seed capital is essential to the business community. NYS needs to keep intellectual capital here,and the availability of seed capital is a means of keeping entrepreneurs interested in our State!"

James Senall, President HTR - Rochester NY
“In the Rochester region, and throughout Upstate New York, we are slowly building our entrepreneurial innovation economy. We have technology, experienced human capital, and great support networks, but still lack sufficient seed funding to fuel the growth. Once this last piece of the puzzle is in place, our economic transformation will really go into high gear, and that will be very exciting.”

Larry Simpson, President, Blue Springs Energy - Rochester NY
“Most jobs come from small, for-profit companies. If politicians wish to create jobs, the optimal approach is facilitating support for the small, for-profit companies who require seed capital.”

J.C. Stoffel - Rochester NY
“The multi-billion dollar research expenditures in NY State needs significant $eed Fund support to get investable businesses that are ready for us venture investors."

Amy Tait, CEO, Broadstone Real Estate - Rochester NY
“Individual investors cannot shoulder this alone: Most high net worth individuals do not have the time, interest or long enough horizon to invest in a diversified portfolio of start-up companies. Leadership should come from university endowments. As a member of the screening committee for the Rochester Angel Investors Network, I have seen many deserving management teams and business plans go unfunded due to lack of capital.”

Mikael Totterman, CEO, iCardiac Technologies - Rochester NY
“Seed funding is critical to help get a product to prototype in order to attract Series A financing from in- or out-of-state venture capital firms. Additionally, seed funding helps round out and attract appropriate management talent.”

Mark W. Wilson, Initiatives consulting - Rochester NY
“Our state motto, Excelsior—‘Ever stronger; ever better’ stands as a powerful call to all who love New York. Our dear state has fallen well behind other states in its approach toward commercializing research. We need evergreen funding programs to bolster the proactive seeding of early-stage technology development.”

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Nasir Ali, President of the Tech Garden - Syracuse NY
“New York State’s strength in the new economy stems from its exceptional research institutions. While billions are spent on lab research, the technologist and entrepreneurs who can being ideas to market face a severe shortage of funding to bridge the gap between research insight and product readiness. State support is vital at this stage as most private sources are not in a position to finance technology development.”

Sean Branagan President, Communigration - Syracuse, NY
"New York State, especially Upstate, is a talented region and excellent source of new, high-tech start-up companies. I’ve seen this first-hand in my work with early-stage tech companies. But NYS is a national embarrassment when it comes to leveraging the talent and opportunity. Seed capital is the right tool for success."

Al Di Rienzo, President & CEO Blue Highway - Syracuse NY
“Seed funding now, more than in the past decades, is extremely important to the future economic health and viability of New York State. Given the present global financial environment, seed funding could be highly leveraged to recruit the best human capital and bring innovation to new heights. It’s time for aggressive seed funding, especially since it’s always more costly – in terms of human capital, physical resources, and funds – to make up for lost ground.”

Heather Erickson, President, MedTech - Syracuse NY
“New York plays host to hundreds of small and emerging bioscience companies that reflect the promise of our state’s extensive asset base. Ready access to seed capital is essential to move these companies and their inventions to market. Communities that help their entrepreneurs to connect with this essential early-stage financing are best positioned to compete for a share of the growing global healthcare marketplace.”

John Fieschko, Ph.D., Executive Director, CNY Biotechnology Research Center, SUNY College - Syracuse NY
"The scarcity of seed funding and early stage companies in Central New York is particularly obvious. The CNY Biotechnology Research Center in Syracuse will be completed by the end of 2010. The success of this facility as an engine of regional economic growth will depend upon the recruitment and housing of a steady stream of start-up companies. The creation and growth of these start-up companies is highly dependent upon adequate sources of seed and venture funding. I strongly advocate increased levels of state funding for start-up businesses."

William P. Fisher, Deputy County Executive, Onondaga County - Syracuse NY
“We are missing a tremendous opportunity to create great jobs and successful businesses by failing to have the right ecosystem to commercialize the innovative research happening in universities all across Upstate New York.”

Kelly A. Kinahan, President, Kinahan Associates—Syracuse NY
"Let's keep the best and brightest within New York State.  Collaboration with universities, hospitals and businesses, in addition to the support of seed funding, will create jobs within our communities and across the state.  For example, research and development can result into cutting edge technologies used in diagnostics and treatment for diseases both locally and around the world.”

Lee McKnight, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Syracuse University and President, Wireless Grids Corporation - Syracuse NY
“Alongside private funds, public seed funding can complement and accelerate commercialization.”

Seth Mulligan, Executive Director, New York AgriDevelopment Corporation—Syracuse NY
"NYS does not have an innovation problem -- there are amazing, well funded researchers and motivated entrepreneurs in this state. Instead, we have an "access to capital" problem. The latter should be easier to solve via sound public policy. Hmmm... maybe it is an "Access to Capitol" problem...”

Bob Trachtenberg, President and CEO, CNY Technology Development Organization - Syracuse NY
“State supported seed funds are the major missing component in the commercialization of R&D in New York State.”

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