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A weekly roundup of startup news in Buffalo …
Torch Labs will double its engineering team in Buffalo following a $25 million round of venture capital.
The company, headquartered in San Francisco, offers a scalable tech solution for the executive coaching world. In 2019, Torch Labs decided to build its software engineering team out of Buffalo (co-founder Keegan Walden is a Western New York native but lives on the West Coast). The company’s local office is at 760 Seneca St. in Buffalo, though employees are currently working from home.
Torch’s engineering team has 16 employees in Buffalo and another six that are remote or in its New York City office, said Scott Mercer, the company’s chief technology officer. Mercer runs the Buffalo office with Michael Canzoneri, senior director of technical operations.
That team is expected to nearly double in size over the next year.
“We are continuing our ‘Buffalo first’ approach when hiring technologists,” Mercer said. “However, given the state of the world in 2021, we are more open than ever to hiring remote employees, as that is how we have been operating successfully over the last 11 months. Once our offices reopen, we plan to resume quarterly gatherings of our product and tech teams in Buffalo for planning, collaboration and fun.”
Torch belongs to a growing cohort of companies that have chosen Buffalo as an operations or tech hub in recent years, joining recent examples such as Odoo and Kyklo. Several winners of the 43North competition, including ACV Auctions, HiOperator, Squire Technologies and Circuit Clinical, are also headquartered or quickly expanding here.
Torch is growing its two hubs – in San Francisco and in Buffalo – at a similar pace. So while the firm isn’t headquartered here, it is included on Business First’s annual list of local firms that have raised private, growth-oriented capital. The other company to have acknowledged such an event this year is Circuit Clinical ($7.5 million).
Jill Szczesek has interacted with many different people and businesses in Buffalo over the past 11 years as chief operating officer at Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.
Now she’ll have a new platform in her goal to advance high-tech medical research in Buffalo. Szczesek announced via her LinkedIn account that she left HWI to become a senior director at the University at Buffalo, working specifically with faculty and staff in UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
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