Marnie LaVigne, Ph.D.

President & CEO, Launch NY

Marnie LaVigne | Upstate Venture Connect

Dr. Marnie LaVigne has spent more than 25 years in both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses, driving innovation and economic growth in high-tech industries, such as life sciences, informatics, and advanced manufacturing. Her passion for working with start-ups took root from her experience launching health informatics businesses with colleagues in the 1990’s as she finished her doctoral work at the University of Rochester, which resulted in growing two different firms with more than 100 employees and two initial public offerings (IPOs).

In July, 2014, she became the President and CEO of Launch NY, a 27-county venture development organization that she co-founded with other Buffalo boosters and whose mission is to identify, support and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York.

Since 2016, Launch NY’s seed fund has invested $1.6 million in 35 companies. 14 of those companies are located in Western New York. As President of Launch NY she is not only responsible for helping entrepreneurs secure monetary investment, but also to provide pro-bono mentorship to help startup companies succeed in all phases of business. At any given time, Launch NY mentors 250+ companies and has found their niche preparing these companies to approach the investment community.

Marnie has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a doctorate in clinical psychology, both from the University of Rochester. She is an editorial board member for Disease Management, and a member of the Board of Directors for Buffalo Angels, Insyte Consulting, New York State Economic Development Council, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and Western New York Venture Association.