Bright Buffalo Niagara seeks company presenters for fall venture forum

Release Date: July 18, 2013

“Bright Buffalo Niagara helps high-tech companies grow while building our business environment to be increasingly fertile for new ventures.”
Marnie LaVigne, associate vice president for economic development
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Bright Buffalo Niagara, Western New York’s premier venture forum, is accepting applications from early-stage high-tech companies that wish to present at the annual entrepreneur showcase on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Companies interested in raising capital to grow their venture may register and submit an application at A new partnership with Buffalo’s upcoming international business plan competition will offer extra incentive for local entrepreneurs to participate.

The Bright Buffalo Niagara venture forum will be held at Statler City in downtown Buffalo and feature the opportunity for presenting companies to pitch their business plan in brief to investors and business leaders from across the region. Participants will be given either a 10-minute or one-minute slot to present to a panel of angel and venture capital investors.

This year’s venture forum will partner with Launch NY's business plan competition, which is planned for spring 2014 with $5 million in prizes. All 10-minute presenters at Bright Buffalo Niagara will advance to the second round of review when applying for the business plan competition. Event sponsors at the $10,000 or higher level will receive benefits at the business plan competition as well.

About 100 early stage companies have presented at Bright Buffalo Niagara, formerly known as the Bright Forum, since it was established in 2009.

The event has drawn 250-300 attendees each year, including entrepreneurs, angel and venture capital investors, potential business partners, industry leaders, elected officials and more. Since the forum’s inception, participants have gone on to raise more than $23 million in funding and have gained invaluable exposure to national markets and potential future investors.  

This year’s event will feature keynote remarks from Victor W. Hwang, CEO of Silicon Valley venture firm T2Venture Capital and author of “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley,” which highlights how society can foster innovative economies. The book has been praised as “an insightful, forward-thinking assessment of what makes Silicon Valley tick” and a “detailed analysis of the power of the environment on startup success.”

“Bright Buffalo Niagara helps high-tech companies grow while building our business environment to be increasingly fertile for new ventures,” said Marnie LaVigne, PhD, associate vice president for economic development at the University at Buffalo, which is the lead organizer of the event. “With the addition of our partnership with Launch NY's business plan competition, this year’s venture forum promises to be more exciting and beneficial to our local startup community than ever before. Presenting entrepreneurs will make valuable connections with investors to help their companies flourish, and they’ll have a unique opportunity to stand out among applicants from around the world for Launch NY's business plan competition.”

The deadline to submit an application is Aug. 15. Learn more, including sponsorship opportunities, at

Bright Buffalo Niagara 2013 sponsors:

  • Growth Stage: Launch NY; the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences at the University at Buffalo; Superior Group; and the University at Buffalo.
  • Startup Stage: Colligan Law, LLP.
  • Seed Stage: Buffalo Niagara Enterprise; Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; Erie County Industrial Development Agency; and Upstate Venture Association of New York.
  • Pre-Seed Stage: Hodgson Russ Attorneys; Insyte Consulting; and the Western New York Venture Association.

Media Contact Information