2019 Annual Awards Winners Announced

Upstate Capital Announces
Winners of the 2019 Annual Awards Celebration

Upstate Capital hosted its 4th Annual Awards Celebration to celebrate the investment ecosystem across Upstate New York. The marquee event highlights the most interesting deals and most active dealmakers across the state in seed, venture, private equity and corporate finance. Over 100 companies and individuals were nominated from all across New York State for awards that recognize individuals and teams that build businesses and conduct transactions. At the December 4, 2019 event at Arbor Loft in Rochester, the following winners were announced:

 2019 Investment of the Year

  • Seed/Angel Deal of the Year: Vital Vio – Vital Vio produces germ-killing LED lighting solutions for hospitals and other germ-intensive environments.  The technology originated out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is led by its CEO, Colleen Costello. Vital Vio has raised over $2M to continue growing their business in Troy NY.

  • Venture Capital Deal of the Year: LC Drives – LC Drives produces liquid-cooled motors and generators in Potsdam, NY.  This is the first breakout company from the Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University. After 7 years, LC Drives secured a $15M Series A investment from Koch Engineered Solutions earlier this year.  This is one of the largest Series A venture rounds from 2019 and the first big venture round on record in the North Country since Upstate Capital has been tracking deal activity.

  • Growth Equity Deal of the Year: AeroSafe Global –  AeroSafe Global is a cold-chain packaging and logistics company based in Rochester NY. The company primarily serves the pharmaceutical industry with their innovative packaging, re-use business model where they recycle their packaging, coupled with advanced data and analytics which provide valuable knowledge and insights to both the company and its customers.

  • Private Equity Deal of the Year: eHealth Technologies – eHealth Technologies is a Healthcare IT company based in Rochester. The company provides medical record retrieval and organization. Since their founding in 2006, they have become a national leader in the space. eHealth Technologies raised $41M from Aldrich Capital Partners earlier this year to continue growth both in Rochester and around the country.

  • Exit of the Year: LeverPoint Management – LeverPoint Management is a back-office fund solutions firm for venture capital and private equity investors based in Latham, NY.  Hamilton Lane was an investor in the company. In August this year, LeverPoint agreed to be acquired by Ultimus Fund Solutions, creating the leading independent and integrated fund solutions platform for registered and alternative asset managers.

2019 Dealmaker of the Year

  • John Koeppel – “John Koeppel leads a highly experienced team of private equity lawyers at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, LLP, one of top corporate/deal focused firms in Upstate NY. John takes a proactive and practical approach to getting deals done. John’s expertise in deal structuring and negotiations is at the very top of the profession, especially on complex structures that utilize Qualified Opportunity Zones, Qualified Small Business Stock, etc.  While we use him as our lead deal lawyer, his business acumen and negotiation style really enables hard deals to get across the finish line,” says Randy Bianchi, President of Upstate Capital’s Board of Directors as his reason for John’s nomination.

2019 Dealmaker of the Year

  • Lindsay Stencel – “Lindsay continues to be committed to sharing her talent and time with emerging startups in the Upstate ecosystem. She has built the most active seed fund in NYS (LaunchNY Seed Fund LLC) and is on pace to close on 15+ new and 10+ follow-on transactions in that fund, along with an additional 15+ transactions from the LaunchNY Seed Fund I, L.P.,” says Alex Killian, Linsday’s colleague and Investment Associate at LaunchNY.

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Judy Albers – Judy Albers has dedicated most of her career over the past 20 years to innovation and entrepreneurship in Upstate New York. She is a skilled professional in entrepreneurial education, and in launching pre-seed and seed stage start-up companies. Her particular expertise is in science entrepreneurship and the translation of academic research into high-tech start-ups. She also has experience managing seed stage venture capital funds. In Rochester, she worked at Trillium Group and Excell Partners before joining SUNY Geneseo as a professor of entrepreneurship. Judy has been instrumental in helping to launch countless startups based on technology innovation in the region. She has served as a mentor to hundreds of students, and has been a staunch advocate for student and early stage entrepreneurs for decades. She retired in May 2019 from SUNY Geneseo.

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