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Venture Capital Trends to Watch in 2022


In the last seven years, funding for Buffalo-based startups grew a staggering 1,750% and in 2021, we saw a record number of companies going public (both nationally and locally – ahem, ACV). While we’re coming off a blockbuster year for startup success and funding, we predict there will be similar trends in 2022, specifically in tech. Here’s what we think you can expect to see happening in the venture capital world this year: 

AI is the new black

Last year, Fintech dominated the investment market, and this year, a theme we’re closing watching is automation with artificial intelligence. 

Recent artificial intelligence tools & APIs produce an entirely new level of automation for software platforms. GPT-3, a text-based A.I. model from Open AI has the ability to code portions of an app from something as simple as a verbal prompt saying “create a user signup screen.” This type of automation is changing the game for developers. 

Web3 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Web3 was a hot topic in 2021, but will it materialize in 2022? We’re not so sure it’s quite ready. While we love the concept of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (AKA DAOs), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission needs to modernize and clarify its securities regulations for a world where tokens can flow freely in a decentralized environment while still representing equity ownership. 

VC doesn’t grow on trees

Venture Capital is at an all-time high and fundraising announcements about early-stage startups pour into our inboxes daily. But if there’s one thing Kevin Siskar, VP of Portfolio and Selection at 43North wants founders to know, it’s that despite the celebratory announcements, they still need to put in the work. Most founders log over 100 meetings with different investors to eventually secure the investment they need to safely have 18-24 months of runway in front of the company. Therefore, founders should keep going beyond any initial rejections. Use the feedback to improve their pitch and the right investor for your company will take notice.

Remote work flexibility is your new best friend

Remote work is quickly becoming normalized and ubiquitous around the world. Companies are learning that they can access global talent and team members are building new habits in their day-to-day life. Even if a fully-remote team isn’t for you, at least give employees the option to work from home as part of a hybrid model. In 2022, advancing technology will sustain the remote work trend as companies, such as Squire, continue to build digital dream teams. 

Local or bust

Start your holiday shopping early because those supply chain issues aren’t disappearing anytime soon. From groceries to home goods, we’ve felt the burn, and more than ever, 2022 will be the year of shopping local. Startups such as Buffalo-based Big Wheelbarrow are using technology to help connect local retailers and suppliers to fix the demand for inventory on store shelves.  

Buffalo is on the map

With the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere, founders are also able to build their businesses anywhere. This means, there are more startups in cities like Buffalo and fewer founders flocking to Silicon Valley, New York, and London to launch their companies – this is a trend we expect will continue through 2022. 

Over the past seven years, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of startup growth in WNY and investors are starting to take notice. With more companies growing in sites like Buffalo, Minneapolis, and Cincinnati, our communities directly benefit from the diversity of products and services that are an appropriate fit for those locations.

With that growth, there is room for everyone in Buffalo’s startup ecosystem. From jobs to support for aspiring entrepreneurs to diversity for investors, we invite you to become a part of WNY’s startup community and see how these predictions play out first hand. Click here to find your role today.

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