Recap: Annual Awards Celebration

Upstate Capital hosted its 5th 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. The 2020 Annual Awards Celebration was sponsored by UBS, Excell Partners and Rand Capital Corporation. At the December 9, 2020, online event, the following winners were announced:

2020 Covid Response of the Year

  • Quadrant Biosciences – On September 22, 2020, the Clarifi COVID-19 Test Kit obtained Emergency User Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. They have raised over $30M in venture capital this year.

2020 Investment of the Year

  • Seed/Angel Deal of the Year: Atlast Foods – The company is an operator of a technology company intended to develop and produce plant-based whole cut meats. They raised $7M in seed funding in 2020.
  • Venture Capital Deal of the Year: RealEats – The company raised over $2M of seed funding in a deal led by Excell Partners. Armory Square Ventures and other investors also participated in the round. The company is a provider of meal preparation and delivery service intended to deliver healthy, chef-cooked meals.
  • Growth Equity Deal of the Year: Heart Health Intelligence – Heart Health Intelligence is an operator of a medical device startup intended to transform the healthcare system by facilitating the transition from reactive to proactive and preventive care.They raised both a seed round in April and had a much larger investment transaction later in 2020, with General Catalyst and Austin McChord of Datto fame coming in to lead the company. Launch NY, Excell Partners, Impact Capital, Rochester Institute of Technology Venture Creations and Tech Coast Angels also participated in the early round.
  • PE Exit of the Year: Bush Industries & Lorraine Capital – Bush Industries, which designs and manufactures furniture, was acquired in 2020 through a leveraged buyout deal, strengthening the company’s presence in the Jamestown community. The management team is now leading the $200M company. Both mezzanine and debt investors provided capital. This was an exit for Buffalo-based PE firm Lorraine Capital, with Upstate Capital members KeyBank and Freed Maxick also participating in the deal.

2020 Dealmaker of the Year

Sean Moskal, Vice President, KeyBank– “Sean exemplifies all the qualities we look for in a deal-maker and is an apostle for the upstate New York deal community. Sean has over 14 years of industry experience and brings a unique international experience to a network. He previously worked internationally in Malaysia and Hong Kong and holds an MBA and a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He’s also very active in the community as a Director of the 100 Club and on the Board of Directors of Upstate Capital. Sean was nominated for his outstanding work in 2020, having helped over 70 plus clients complete PPP loan process applications. He went above and beyond in this process when after successfully converted all of his applications, he voluntarily reached out to help his colleagues in the state and beyond to help them complete theirs.” – Randy Bianchi, Lakelet Capital. 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dick Frederick, Eastern New York Angels – “For his many contributions to the Upstate investment ecosystem, including building great companies, the Eastern NY Angel Fund, and helping countless entrepreneurs and angel investors gain knowledge and skills through teaching, coaching, consulting and mentorship.” Dick retired from the Upstate Capital Association of New York’s Board of Directors this year.

Check out the full Annual Awards Celebration: