Endeavor Launches in Western New York with Grants from Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, HSBC Bank USA, Wegmans Food Markets and Farash Foundation to Support High-Impact Entrepreneurs

During this time of economic uncertainty, Endeavor will help ensure that WNY’s most promising entrepreneurs have the resources they need to scale their businesses

Endeavor, a global organization that supports and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs, has launched a new office in Western New York (WNY) to fuel growth and economic development in the region.

Leveraging partnerships with The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, HSBC Bank USA, Wegmans Food Markets, and the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, as well as backing from local business leaders, Endeavor WNY will support founders and companies in WNY that have passed through the initial startup phase and demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.

“While we’ve been preparing to launch Endeavor in Western New York for more than a year, our arrival obviously comes at a very important time. When economies turn down, entrepreneurs turn up. We see enormous potential to help Buffalo and Rochester’s most innovative entrepreneurs scale up and multiply their impact on the region by investing in, mentoring and inspiring the next generation,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.

Founded in 1997, Endeavor has helped 2,000 entrepreneurs build more than 1,200 companies in 35+ markets throughout Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and North America. Companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs generated combined revenues of $20 billion in 2018 and have created 3 million jobs in their local economies. Endeavor Entrepreneurs commit to mentoring and investing in the next generation of founders.

Endeavor WNY will identify high-impact entrepreneurs in and around Buffalo and Rochester and provide them access to a global network of markets, industry leaders, investors, and talent, helping to expand their ventures into enterprises that can propel the local economy and have a large impact in the community. The new office will be Endeavor’s eighth affiliate in the U.S., with offices previously launched in Atlanta, Detroit, Colorado, Louisville, Miami, Northwest Arkansas, and Puerto Rico.

“With all of their unique assets, including their global funding network, Endeavor WNY will significantly increase overall capacity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of this region,” said Lavea Brachman, Vice President of Programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “By reaching both communities of Buffalo and Rochester, this will be an opportunity to foster entrepreneurship connectivity and cross-city collaboration, as well as encourage inclusive economic growth.

”I’ve been a banker to local businesses for nearly my entire career, and I’ve seen first-hand what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, and how startup businesses make powerful contributions to our communities,” said Gregory Duval, Regional Executive and Managing Director for the Great Lakes Region, HSBC Bank USA. “I’m excited to be working alongside Endeavor to support local entrepreneurs, who will help us restart the Western New York economy and support our economic well-being over the longer term.”

By focusing on scaleup companies that are generally Series A-stage and beyond, Endeavor WNY will have a unique, additive role in WNY’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The office’s efforts will build on the work of other organizations that have helped drive early-stage startup creation and venture capital investment in WNY in recent years, such as the University at Buffalo, RIT, 43North, Launch NY, Z80 Labs, Techstars Buffalo, the WNY Venture Association, the Rochester Angel Network, the Buffalo Angels, NextCorps, Luminate, Excell Technology Ventures, Varia Ventures, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Greater Rochester Enterprise, the Upstate Capital Association and others.

“Supporting growth in our region is a priority for Wegmans,” said Colleen Wegman, President of Wegmans Food Markets. “Endeavor WNY’s goal is to ensure these high potential entrepreneurs will have the support they need to grow and establish themselves in our community.”

“The Farash Foundation is delighted to be among the funders helping to bring this economic engine to upstate New York and specifically to Rochester,” said Holli Budd, Foundation executive director. “This meshes directly with our Foundation’s continuing focus on encouraging entrepreneurship, a key priority for our founders.”

The organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit governed and supported by a founding board of directors made up of:

  • John Somers (Endeavor WNY Board Chair) – CEO, Harmac Medical Products 
  • Greg Duval – Regional Executive and Managing Director, HSBC
  • Gene Gramza – Managing Partner, Buffalo, Ernst & Young
  • Scott Stenclik – CEO, Aleron
  • Deborah Biedenkopf – CEO, MB2Group 
  • Christine Whitman – CEO, Complemar Partners 

“By their nature, entrepreneurs embrace uncertainty, face adversity head-on, and solve big problems. That’s why it’s such an important time to have Endeavor WNY help founders in Western New York receive the support, connections and resources they need to scale their businesses. Together, we will tackle the challenges ahead and create new opportunities for the local economy,” said Endeavor WNY Board Chair John Somers.

The office will be led by John Gavigan, who will serve as the founding Managing Director. Gavigan is a WNY native with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, team builder, and community leader in both Buffalo and Rochester. Most recently, Gavigan served as principal at Gamilax Services, COO at SomaDetect, and Executive Director of 43North.

“We’re living through extraordinary times and entrepreneurs are likely to usher in a wave of innovation and creativity. New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation in our country, so it’s critical that we build on the recent growth of Western New York’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure the strength of our local economy for generations to come,” said Endeavor WNY Managing Director John Gavigan. “I’m greatly honored to have the opportunity to lead Endeavor WNY and help meet the needs of the growing pool of scaleup companies in our community.”

Endeavor WNY has also welcomed Alan Rosenhoch as the office’s Entrepreneur Selection & Growth Account Manager. Rosenhoch spent the last dozen years at Invest Buffalo Niagara, where he most recently served as director of domestic business development.

To learn more about Endeavor, visit www.endeavor.org. Interested entrepreneurs can connect with the WNY team by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]