March 6, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Over $1 Million Awarded Through the Minority and Women-Owned Business Investment Fund

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Over $1 Million...

Five Emerging Companies in the Finger Lakes and New York City Receive Funding to Spur MWBE Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced over $1 million has been invested in five early-stage companies through the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Investment Fund. Based in the Finger Lakes and New York City, the companies have also received over $1.9 million in private matching funds and are expected to create more than 115 jobs by 2018.

"This investment fund supports high-tech innovation by connecting these companies with the resources they need to create new jobs and continue to grow and thrive," Governor Cuomo said. "As we continue to make great strides in our efforts to break down barriers and expand opportunities for MWBEs across this state, we remain focused on investing in a sustainable business climate to support a stronger New York for all."

The MWBE Investment Fund provides equity to support innovation, job creation, and high-growth entrepreneurship throughout New York by investing in State-certified MWBEs. In May 2015, Excell Partners was competitively selected to manage the fund and invest in early-stage MWBEs with significant growth potential, primarily in emerging technologies.

MWBE Investment Fund Awardees include:

Finger Lakes

IMSWorkX, Inc. in Rochester – $42,000
IMSWorkX, Inc. develops software solutions for the telecommunications industry.

Molecular Glasses, Inc. in Rochester – $100,000
Molecular Glasses, Inc. develops organic semi-conductors for OLED and organic electronic applications.

Splyce, Inc. in Rochester – $500,000
Splyce is a professional esports organization competing in nine games across North America, Europe, South Korea, and Latin America.

Viggi Kids, Corp. in Fairport – $250,000
Viggi Kids designs and manufactures children's products that inspire creative play and active exploration while learning.

New York City

Kinvolved, Inc. in Manhattan – $150,000
Kinvolved, Inc. helps schools and districts monitor student attendance through real-time text messaging with parents and guardians.


ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "New York State's investment in these businesses puts them on a path toward economic viability and success, creating more opportunities for more New Yorkers. MWBEs are vital to our local and state economies and we are proud to invest in them."

The MWBE Investment Fund builds on Governor Cuomo's record of achieving equal opportunity in state contracting through state programs that encourage MWBEs to become certified and provide them with technical and financial support. These programs provide MWBEs with the tools necessary to win larger contracts, promote job creation, enter new markets and strengthen our economy.

In March 2014, Governor Cuomo launched the “Bridge to Success” loan program to invest at least $20 million to expand access to short term bridge loans for New York State Certified MWBEs. The investment provides qualified MWBEs the short-term support they need to access up to $100 million in state contracts. Two-and-a-half years later, the goal is exceeded with 89 loans totaling over $13.5 million supporting more than $113.6 million in contracts for New York State MWBEs.

In February 2012, Governor Cuomo launched the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program, which provides technical and financial assistance to help MWBEs and small businesses secure surety bonding. Since the program launched, more than 445 MWBEs have graduated from bond readiness training and received more than $61 million in surety bonding authority as a result of New York State training, credit facilitation, and surety bond collateral support.

The MWBE Investment Fund also builds on Governor Cuomo's overall economic development strategy to assist high-growth, early-stage companies. In December 2014, the Governor launched the $50 million New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund to support entrepreneurs making the transition from research to marketplace, and incentivize them to stay and grow their businesses in New York. The fund was recently expanded to $100 million. ESD also administers the State's Innovate NY program, a seed stage business equity fund of up to $45 million to support innovation, job creation, and entrepreneurship throughout the state. The Innovate NY program is expected to leverage more than $450 million in additional private investment for small businesses.

To learn more about becoming a State-certified MWBE, visit www.ny.gov/MWBECertification or call (212) 803-2414. 

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