Z80 Labs, launched in summer 2012, is Buffalo’s first Internet-focused technology incubator, providing entrepreneurs the ability to build new and innovative tech companies in Buffalo, New York. Startups invited to locate in Z80 Labs are given a wide array of services including office space, tech support, collaboration tools, weekly education programs, specifically-assigned mentorship teams, access to the Z80 Speaker Series, amenities and infrastructure from local companies, as well as expert advice from renowned industry advisors. Z80 Labs is funded by Softbank Capital, with additional funding from SCP Incubator via a grant from New York State and ESD. Corporate support is being provided by The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions, and Synacor. Z80 Labs is located in The Buffalo News headquarters in downtown Buffalo.
Z80 Labs’ mission is to serve as a catalyst, transforming Buffalo and Western New York into a technology hotbed. By creating an environment that gives entrepreneurs exposure to industry leaders typically available only in New York City or Silicon Valley, Z80 Labs will kick-start entrepreneur-driven tech businesses within an accelerated environment, bolstering the local economy. Each incubator participant will be assigned at least one mentor, dedicated to them and their burgeoning company. Z80 Labs’ concentration will be digital media, mobile and Net-based companies, providing valuable support across a wide range of service areas to help Buffalo-based entrepreneurs grow into self-sustaining businesses.
“By creating Z80 Labs, we’re kick-starting the best technology concepts in the Buffalo area,” said Jordan Levy, co-founder of Z80 Labs as well as co-founder of Seed Capital Partners LLC, partner at Softbank Capital and chairman of the board, Synacor. “Buffalo offers an incomparable quality of life, and we’re lucky to have some of the best and brightest talent here. With Z80 Labs serving as an innovation center, we’ll ensure that talent stays in Western New York, developing and delivering their next-gen tech businesses.”
Ron Schreiber, co-founder of Z80 Labs and partner at Softbank Capital said, “We’ve been fortunate to have built two immensely successful companies here in WNY and hope we can inspire others to stay in the Buffalo-area and build great tech companies right here in our home town.”
Z80 Labs will be funded by Softbank Capital, Levy and Schreiber, with additional funding from SCP Incubator LLC via a $4 million Innovate NY grant provided by Governor Cuomo through ESD. Corporate support in services and personnel will be provided by The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions and Synacor. Additional corporate sponsors will be added in the future.
The Z80 Labs Investment Committee will serve as a selection committee, meeting regularly to review and accept top applicants. The founding committee is Jordan Levy; Ron Schreiber; David Kimelberg, CEO of Seneca Development Corporation; Ron Frankel, president and CEO of Synacor; and Eric Reich, co-founder and CEO of StudentVoice.
Through their extensive professional network, the managing partners and sponsors will recruit industry experts to host special events, teach classes and conduct review sessions with Z80 Labs companies. Several luminaries already have committed to the incubator including Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures; Brad Feld, Foundry Group; Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital; Eric Hippeau, Lerer Ventures; Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures; Woody Benson, Prism VentureWorks; Mo Kaufman, Spark Capital; Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed and co-founder of The Huffington Post; Jordan Cooper, Hyperpublic; Dan Porter, OMGPOP; Mark Pincus, Zynga; Gary Ginsberg, Time Warner; Mike Perlis, Forbes Media; Jim Spanfeller, Spanfeller Media Group; and Andrew Siegel, Advance Newhouse.
“Z80 Labs will be an important milestone in the development of emerging technology, and has the potential to be the Y Combinator, General Assembly or TechStars of the Buffalo area,” said Ron Frankel, Synacor CEO (NASDAQ: SYNC). “It’s no secret Synacor stands to benefit from attracting and retaining top tech talent in Buffalo. By creating an entrepreneurial environment where participants can thrive and learn from some of the most successful names in technology, Z80 Labs stands to ignite Buffalo’s Net-based tech sector.”
For more information or specifics about how to apply to Z80 Labs, please visit Z80Labs.com.