Category Archives: Investment

How valuable is the accelerator experience for startups?

VentureBeat has coverage of a study done that seeks to quantify the value of joining an accelerator program like the HTRLaunchPad and it makes a pretty compelling argument for their value:

“Direct involvement may be the most important factor, even if it cannot be easily quantified. A 2007 Kauffman study found that angel investors can get outsized returns if they offer a high level of diligence and direct involvement. Thus, we think its critical that entrepreneurs and VCs consider an accelerator by whether its leadership has done their homework on their prosective members’ underlying markets, and by whether they have teams ready to dedicate time and resources to help their business.”


 “Based on these historical results, we found that companies in accelerator graduating classes from before December 2009 returned 11.3x on capital invested. These are fantastic returns for entrepreneurs, VCs, and accelerators.”

Bear in mind that the programs studied typically took an equity position of 6-9% in exchange for an investment of $15-20k. The numbers also reflect a couple of huge gainers (AirBnB, Dropbox). We don’t currently take equity positions in our startups.

Mark Your Calendars for the UVANY Venture Forum, Rochester March 4!

UVANY Venture Forum, Rochester: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know about Venture Capital & Private Equity Investors

When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 5:00p.m-8:00p.m.

Where: ARTISAN Works, 565 Blossom Rd., Rochester, NY

What: A panel of CEOs from leading growth companies in the Rochester area will discuss: “What they don’t tell you about raising venture capital and private equity” including key considerations once you get the investment capital and how the capital helps fuel growth.

Who: Panelists include:

  • iCardiac, Mike Totterman
  • vNomics, David Chauncey
  • Arnold Magnetics, Tim Wilson
  • Biomaxx, Chris Modesti

Moderated by Will Hoy, Harter Secrest

Also hear introductory remarks by Richard Glaser on “The New Rochester” and One Minute Entrepreneur Pitches from companies including: 5D Innovations, City Whisk, TouchStream Solutions and others following the panel discussion.

Register for the event at: or at


UVANY Offers Webinar on Scaling Your Business With Microsoft Azure

The Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY) is offering a free webinar, in conjunction with Microsoft, on scaling your venture with Azure. It’s this Thursday, February 13th from 1:30-2:30 or you can access it later on their site.

Information below (registration required) or you can learn more here.

Second in a series of webinars sponsored by Microsoft Ventures for the Upstate NY startup community  


How to scale your Startup to 10,000 users using Microsoft Azure


Featuring: Alp Tilev 

Technical Evangelist for Startups, Microsoft


Did you know that you csn use Windows Azure with any language or Tool?  (Not just .NET).  Additionally, BizSpark members get FREE Azure benefits which help you get your business off the ground quickly.
  • Learn how startups are using Windows Azure cloud tools to stay lean and scale across any language, OS or tool
  • Learn about commmon applications including Web Sites, Compute Intensive apps, Device Applications, Web APIs, Social Games and other software and e-commerce applications.

Live broadcast from the offices of Nixon Peabody LLP in NY, NY

Hosted by: Todd Tidgewell, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP


Click here to Register Now!

Serious Numbers: We’re Looking For Your Idea

12 software startup teams, 36 founders, 25+ mentors, 12 weeks,  nearly 1000 customer conversations, 3 pivots, countless iterations, 350 presentation attendees, over $500,000 in investment raised*.

That was last year’s HTRLaunchPad.

And we’re doing it again for 2014. If you have a software, web or mobile business idea we want to hear from you.

Because this thing works.

Apply Here (it’s free)

*estimated based on current deals in progress

Software Startups Defined: 2014 Edition

Note: We’re accepting applications through January 31, 2014.

Apply Here!

We’ve been asked to define ‘software startups’ a little more clearly and it’s a good question. First a little history. Software companies back at the beginning of time (1990ish) actually wrote software from the ground up. Most software is basically a form of a database with customization and a user-interface. Back then, if you were creating an application you typically wrote code for these components. This led to companies like Microsoft and Netscape which were ‘pure’ software companies.

Today this has changed radically. With open source components like databases and WordPress (a database), ecommerce plugins, hosted software and cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), people with ideas have easy access to software tools without doing extensive backend programming. This is particularly so at the early startup stage where issues like scaling to large numbers of users are less of a concern. So a software startup today is much more a business model made possible by software. That’s the kind of thing that we see in the HTRLaunchPad applicants.

The key phrase is ‘business model‘. The methodology we use with our teams has a specific goal: To find a scalable, profitable business model, enabled by the use of software. Scalable means it can grow exponentially into a larger market and business. Profitable means it can make money as it scales.

This definition generally excludes so-called ‘lifestyle’ businesses, companies where the founders serve a localized or niche market that can be comfortably profitable but may have a limited growth potential. However, today, because of global reach and widely available tools even these lifestyle businesses have more growth headroom. So that definition, once reviled by investors, is now also changing. Software and connectivity are unleashing the limits on many business concepts.

One example, to clarify our criteria, would be a plan to open a local business like a yoga studio or a pizzeria. They don’t fit the software-enabled model that offers a growth curve. However a really compelling pizza or yoga app with a revenue model might make the cut!