We are thrilled to announce that we have led UCM Digital Health’s $5.5 million Series A funding round. Contour Venture Partners and RiverPark Ventures participated. Based in Troy, NY, UCM’s unique combination of a digital front door platform plus emergency medicine triage, treatment and navigation expertise allows all care to begin digitally in one place.

A startup with a bold vision, UCM Digital Health leverages its deep expertise in emergency medicine to reimagine the digital first experience of health plans and employers’ plans as well as patients seeking emergency care through innovative and efficient technology. …


Reflections on collaboration as the first unicorn in Buffalo, NY goes public

ACV Auctions CEO George Chamoun and Armory Square Ventures (ASV) Managing Partner Somak Chattopadhyay at an Annual Meeting for ASV in June 2019.

MARCH 23, 2021: Armory Square Ventures congratulates automotive tech platform ACV Auctions (NASDAQ: ACVA) on its $414 million public offering today.

Founded in 2015 in Buffalo, NY, ACV provides an online platform that leverages data insights and technology to power digital marketplace and data services, enabling used car dealers and commercial partners to buy, sell, and value vehicles with confidence and efficiency. …


ASV operations have moved online. Presently, the team is exclusively working from home.

Dear Friends of Armory Square Ventures,

At the outset, we recognize we have entered a period of uncertainty and significant market dislocation. We trust this notice finds you, your family, friends and community members healthy and well.

Presently, we encourage you to reach us directly with your questions or concerns, either on the ASV portfolio or other related matters. Hopefully, life changes many have experienced will prove temporary and short-lived. Like other firms and businesses our size, the ASV team has decided to continue to operate largely in remote fashion in keeping with public guidelines concerning the spread of the…


American Craftsmanship and Boatbuilding History in the Finger Lakes

Hammondsport, NY. Top row: Boats handcrafted by artisans who lived in the Finger Lakes up to 100 years ago. Bottom row: First, Don Pilgrim, a descendent of the Pilgrim family and Pilgrim Boat Company shows us a boat he personally restored. Second, a volunteer demonstrates his group’s progress on the Skaneateles Mail Boat. Rest: Participants at a short women’s carpentry course learn the basics of boatbuilding craft.

We are past the dog days of summer. Happy Fall.

We are stunned here often by the landscapes and beauty of the region. Certainly, we have cited it before at ASV. But we felt the call this summer, especially after trips both at home and abroad.

Incidentally, in May 1870, William Henry Seward, Secretary of State during Abraham Lincoln’s administration, made a speech that mentioned Skaneateles Lake upon his return from his travels. He lived in neighboring Auburn and the speech was evidently reported the next day in the New York Times.

Here is what looks like the closest transcription


Two Cities of the Future: Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio

Top left: 30-year old independent bookstore in Columbus, Ohio. Center: Bakery founded by two Brooklyn transplants, Columbus. Center right: Bike-sharing, Columbus. Bottom left: The trusty Honda HRV that took us there. Bottom center: Souvenirs from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. And, then, of course, more organic food halls in Cleveland to counter the rich, frosty cinnamon buns.

Plenty happened since our last post!

First, Armory Square Ventures (ASV) participated in a Series D funding round for ACV Auctions, our portfolio company in Buffalo. The $93 million raise was led by Bain Capital Ventures and was the largest single round in the history of Buffalo startups. The latest developments at ACV Auctions are posted here and here. We plan to highlight the emerging tech community in Buffalo in coming weeks, so stay tuned for it.

Over Thanksgiving break, Somak and I also took a trip to two lovely cities for the first time: Cleveland and Columbus, both in


(Above) Slides from a talk ASV hosted on America’s first VC, French immigrant Georges Doriot. Doriot’s father, Auguste, was an inventor of the early automobile and Doriot directed his early passion for cars toward venture investing at-large in the Boston area after he moved to America. Spencer Ante, who wrote a biography on Doriot, spoke with Sree Sreenivasan at our talk last summer, highlighting his maxims for innovation. See our notes from it here. Today, one of ASV’s portfolio companies, Buffalo-based ACV Auctions, has reinvented how cars (which Doriot adored + which remain one of America’s most ingenious, beloved emblems of progress) are traded and sold, between dealers, online. (Below) Scenes from Skaneateles, NY on November 6, 2018.

Reflections from Skaneateles, New York

Entrepreneurship and America

What makes an entrepreneur great? Is it her grit, salesmanship, passion, brilliance? Today, (after I voted) I began to consider that question, much the way De Tocqueville did when he observed Americans (and our democracy) after arriving here in 1831. (He stayed until 1835.)

Fact is, being an American entrepreneur has never really been about the passport. It has mostly been about the idea — that ineffable thing that drives us, yes, inspires us (for lack of a better word) to fiercely imagine how things ought to be and the lengths one ought to go to, to realize them.

Our…


Last August, Armory Square Ventures (ASV) traveled to Cambridge for a candid discussion on Micro VC at Harvard.

Reflections from Skaneateles, New York + Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Hunt for Solid Firms and Good Returns

Last summer, at the Armory Square Ventures annual meeting, Spencer Ante and Sree Sreenivasan highlighted legendary HBS professor, Georges Doriot’s key maxims for entrepreneurs. Three ASV portfolio company CEOs were among those who attended, and they spoke briefly on a few things that keep their own startup teams up at night.

Spencer and Sree explain one of Doriot’s central maxims on innovation and entrepreneurship: “Always remember that someone somewhere is making a product that will make your product obsolete.” ASV portfolio CEOs from Clerio (in Rochester), Bentobox (in NYC), and ACV Auctions (in Buffalo) elaborated further.

Doriot took great care…


We cannot be apologists for hate

(Let us not “stand down.”)

http://www.worldhinducongress.org/

We must stand up.

Last weekend, in Chicago, the World Hindu Congress opened its second annual conference to celebrate Hinduism. A grand gesture, by all means, but especially jarring in times like ours. The event’s attendees included speakers like Mohan Bhagwat, a chair of the Indian right-wing, militant group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which squarely dominates the public and private spheres of Indian political life. Bhagwat’s address apparently elicited “tremendous applause.” As part of that speech, Bhagwat was emphatic that Hindu society control its pests. It was evident to the audience he was referring indirectly to human beings.

There is…


On June 12, 2018, Armory Square Ventures (ASV) held its annual meeting at the Skaneateles Country Club.

Reflections from Skaneateles, New York

Rise of the Micro VC

Last summer, journalist Spencer Ante explained to us, in his talk with Sree Sreenivasan, how First Round Capital’s efforts a decade ago largely spurred the rise of the Micro VC industry. The firm identified an underserved market for VC at the seed and Series A stages and was able to capitalize on the opportunity thoughtfully.

Georges Doriot’s fund, too, ARD—the very first venture capital firm of its kind—was notably also a Micro VC. Though his team tried hard to raise more, they first came together with $3.5 million ($45 million in today’s dollars). Post WWII, banks no longer wanted to…

Armory Square Ventures

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