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2022 Annual Awards Deal Nominations

Deals of the Year Award Categories


Upstate Capital is excited to announce our 7th Annual Awards Ceremony – Deal of the Year nominees. We have 5 award categories this year by investment stage: seed, venture capital, growth equity, private equity, and exit. Each year, Upstate Capital aggregates investment activity across Upstate NY to feature community highlights.

THE PROCESS

This year, 53 companies received nominations in 5 categories. Nominations came from individual submissions and screening deal flow information from the past 12 months. For the first time this year, in addition to the Upstate Capital Nominating Committee, which is comprised of members of the board of directors, selection committees have been created to choose each award.

The selection committees considered the following in their deliberations: whether the company received a nomination from an individual, ties to Upstate Capital members, impact on the local and regional economy and impact on technology advancement. Preferential consideration went to manufacturing-based companies for private equity and M&A awards and to technology-based companies for venture and growth awards.


SEED DEAL OF THE YEAR

The Seed Nominees raised between $500,000 and $5M in early-stage funding in the past 12 months. Here are the nominees:

Ognomy, Buffalo NY, led by Dan Rifkin, Founder & CEO, is a telemedicine platform for treating sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. The company raised $1M in 2022 led by Inspire Medical Systems and has raised a total of $2.5M from investors including Launch NY, Impellent Ventures, and Future Communities Capital.

Natrion, Binghamton, NY, led by CEO Alex Kosyakov, is developing clean power batteries designed to ensure cost effective renewable energy. The company raised $2M in 2022 from investors including TechNexus Venture, Illinois Venture, Tamarack Global, Mark Cuban, and other undisclosed investors. 

CAHill Tech, Clarence, NY, led by Carley Hill, Founder & CEO, is a platform for safety and training for the construction industry. The company raised $1M in 2022 from Western New York Impact Fund, Launch New York, Empire State Development Venture Capital Fund and TECHSTARS.

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ShearShare, Buffalo, NY, led by Tyrone Caldwell, Co-Founder & CEO, is a B2B platform designed to match salon and barbershop owners with stylists to book working space for rent. The company raised $2.3M in 2022 from investors including Fearless Fund, Level Up Ventures, 43North, New York Ventures, and others.

Breathing.ai, Albany, NY, led by Hannes Bend, is developing bio-adaptive screen experiences to improve performance and wellbeing using cameras with machine learning. The company raised $1.5M in 2022 from investors including GTMFund, Gaingels, and Expert DOJO.

Patient Pattern, Buffalo, NY, led by Steve Buslovich, Co-Founder & CEO, is the leading health plan platform for high acuity value-based care. The company raised $2M in January of 2022. Investors include StartFast Ventures, Jack Greco, and all existing Board Members.

VeriTX, Amherst, NY, led by James Regenor, Co-Founder & CEO, is a B2B digital marketplace focused on regulating digital supply chains. The company raised $4.5M in late 2021 from investors including Veteran Ventures Capital and Stony Lonesome Group.

Bounce Imaging, Buffalo, NY, led by Francisco Aguilar, Co-Founder & CEO, is a camera and sensor provider designing circular imaging to first responders. The company raised $4M in 2022 from investors including R42 Group, Good Growth Capital, Tanis Venture Management, and other investors. 

HELIXintel, Buffalo, NY, led by Jon DeWald, Co-Founder & CEO, is an inventory and management platform designed to track equipment maintenance. The company raised $4M in 2022 from investors including Munich Re Ventures, LAB Ventures Motivate Venture Capital, and other investors.

urbanXtracts, Warwick, NY, led by Founder & CEO Eran Sherin, is providing a hemp service to offer a seed-to-marker supply chain for stakeholders across the industry. The company raised $5M in 2022.

EcoLectro, Ithaca, NY, led by Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero, Co-Founder & CEO, is developing novel polymers designed for the energy industry. The company raised $5M in 2022 from investors led by Starshot Capital with Toyota Ventures, For Good Ventures, Techstars, and other investors as part of the round.


VENTURE DEAL OF THE YEAR

The Venture Nominees raised between $5M and $20M in equity investment in the past 12 months. Here are the nominees:

Ursa Space, Ithaca, NY, led by Julie Baker, Co-Founder & COO, is a provider of geospatial data and analytical services intended to gather data from radar satellites. The company raised $16M in 2022 from investors led by Dorilton Ventures with Paladin Capital Group, RRE Ventures, Necessary Ventures, and other investors as part of the round.

Owl Autonomous Imaging, Inc, Buffalo, NY, led by Co-Founder Eugene Petilli, is developing thermal imaging software focused on safe autonomous operations. The company raised $15M in 2022 from investors including State Farm Ventures, Stratminds VC, Wealthing VC Club, and other investors in this round.

As You Are, Syracuse, NY, led by CEO Kayla Wagner is developing Virtual Autism Diagnostic Evaluations for Children. The company raised $10M in 2022 from private investors.

NeuroGenesis, Rochester, NY, led by Tai Gilat, Co-Founder & CEO, is developing cell therapies focused on neurodegenerative diseases via use of the patient’s stem cells. The company raised Series A funding in 2022 from investors including Excell Partners, Rhodium, Morgan Stanley, and Empire State Development’s NY Ventures.

GDI, Rochester, NY, led by Robert Anstey, Founder & CEO, is manufacturing silicon anodes for use in battery technology to improve performance. The company raised $13.3M in 2022 from investors led by Helios Climate Ventures and EIT InnoEnergy with the US Army Research Labs and other undisclosed investors as part of the round with Fort Ghent Brokerage who acted as a placement agent on the transaction.

HowGood, High Falls, NY, led by Alexander Gillett, Co-Founder & CEO, is operating a SaaS data platform offering a database on food and personal care product sustainability. The company raised $12.5M in 2022 from investors led by Titan Grove with FirstMark Capital, Astanor Ventures and other undisclosed investors also participating.


GROWTH DEAL OF THE YEAR

The Growth Nominees raised more than $20M in equity investment in the past 12 months. Here are the nominees:

Centivo, Buffalo, NY, led by Ashok Subramanian, Co-Founder & CEO, provides self-funded health plans focused on affordable high-quality health care to Americans. The company raised nearly $81M in 2022 from investors in a deal led by Maverick Ventures and B Capital Group with Morgan Health and other undisclosed investors as part of the round. 

Ceipal, Rochester, NY, led by Sameer Penakalapati, Founder & CEO, is a human capital management platform built to optimize workforce management. The company raised $21M in 2022 from investors in a deal led by Camden Partners with Resolve Growth Partners, Topmark Partners, Evergreen Mountain Equity Partners, and Mistral Venture Partners also part of the round.

Bakx Therapeutics, Bearsville, NY, led by Sree Kant, Co-Founder & CEO, is developing orally active therapeutics focused on cancer treatment. The company raised $25M in 2022 from investors in a deal led by AB Magnitude Ventures Group with Sherpa Healthcare Partners and Ipsen Group also participating.

Kangarootime, Buffalo, NY, led by Scott Wayman, Founder & CEO, is developing childcare management software to enable childcare centers to scale and grow. The company raised $26M in 2022 in a deal led by Education Growth Partners with Cultivation Capital, Revolution/ROTR, Motivate Venture Capital, and Brian Horner as part of the round.

Viridi Parente, Buffalo, NY, led by Jon M. Williams, Founder, CEO & Chairman, is manufacturing renewable power systems for heavy machinery and storage applications. The company raised nearly $95M in 2022 in a deal led by Tom Golisano with support from Ashtead Group and National Grid Partners.


PRIVATE EQUITY DEAL OF THE YEAR

The Private Equity Nominees had a significant private equity transaction in the past 12 months. Here are the nominees:

EWASTE+, based in Victor, NY was acquired by Sidereal Capital Group in December 2021 for an undisclosed amount. The company provides certified electronic recycling and secure data destruction services and is focused on environmental sound processing methods designed to maximize value and recovery from end-of-life electronics. The deal team includes Nicholas Morreale, John Hawkins and Adam Harris from Paramax Corporation, Thomas Anderson and Vittoria Buzzelli from Harter Secrest & Emery LLP and Michael Cooke of Dejoy, Knauf and Blood LLP.

ICM Controls, Syracuse, NY, led by Joseph Bonacci, CEO, is manufacturing electronic control solutions specializing in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. The company was acquired by Lorraine Capital and Ironwood Capital in 2022.

Greenlight Networks, Rochester, NY, led by Mark Murphy, Founder & CEO, is building and operating fiber-to-home broadband services for residential and small businesses. The company was acquired by Oak Hill Capital in 2022 for an estimated $300M.

MacKenzie-Childs, Aurora, NY, led by John Ling, CEO, manufactures luxury home furnishings and personal accessories. The company was acquired by EagleTreeCapital in 2022.

Beekman 1802, Schenectady, NY, led by Jill Scalamandre, CEO, is a retailer of beauty and cosmetic products intended to help enhance their customers. The company was acquired in 2022 by Cohesive Capital Partners, Eurazeo and Cherng Family Trust for $92M.

ReSource Waste Services, Albany, NY, led by Gregory Leahey, President, COO and Board Member, provides construction and demolition waste recycling services focused on reducing waste sent to landfills. The company was acquired in 2022 by GCM Grosvenor.


EXIT DEAL OF THE YEAR

The Exit Nominees had a significant transaction in the last 12 months where a VC/PE-backed founder based in Upstate NY has sold substantially the entire business to a strategic or financial buyer and where substantial value was created and generated for the company’s owners and investors. Here are the nominees:

TCGplayer, Syracuse, NY, led by Chedy Hampson, Founder & CEO, is a platform focused on building the leading marketplace for the collectibles market. The company has reached an agreement to be acquired in 2022 by eBay for $295M. 

Ithos Global, Troy, NY. led by Ken Bubeck, Founder & CEO, is developing a regulatory compliance platform intended to offer tools and information clients need to make regulatory compliance a strategic advantage. The company was acquired in 2022 by Permanent Group.

CloudCheckr, Rochester, NY, led by Aaron Newman, is a cloud management platform designed to facilitate cost management, security, reporting, and analytics for optimizing Amazon Web Services and Azure deployments. The company was acquired by NetApp for $347M.

Rosie, Ithaca, NY, led by Nick Nickitas, Co-Founder, CEO, President & Board Member, operates an online grocery shopping platform designed to help grocers sell online with delivery and pickup. The company was acquired in 2022 by Instacart.


SELECTION COMMITTEE

FOR SEED AND VENTURE INVESTMENT OF THE YEAR

Olivia Goldstein Upstate Venture Connect, Marcia Mitchell ESD NY Ventures, Noa Simons Upstate Capital, Somak Chattopadhyay Armory Square Ventures, Jeremy Shure Grasshopper Bank, David Brown Impellent Ventures, Tom Quinn WNY Impact Investment Fund.

SELECTION COMMITTEE

FOR GROWTH, PRIVATE EQUITY, AND EXIT DEAL OF THE YEAR

Sam Ticknor Union Hill Advisors, David Bovenzi Grand Oaks Capital, Sean Moskal KeyBank, Clayton Besch ESD NY Ventures, Randy Bianchi Lakelet Capital, Marissa Wiley Nixon Peabody, Kathi Durdon CNYBAC, David Dinolfo The Bonadio Group

Celebrate with the nominees at the 7th Annual Awards Celebration in Rochester, NY. Join us to raise a glass and congratulate companies and colleagues for their successes, and start valuable relationships to cultivate in the coming year.


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