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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

October 1, 2013, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli Tours Rochester-Based Vnomics To Promote Pension Fund's In-State Private Equity Program

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today toured Vnomics Corp., a Rochester-based provider of fleet management software, to highlight investments made by the State Common Retirement Fund’s In-State Private Equity Program in companies emerging from New York’s universities. The Fund has invested more than $500,000 in the company since 2011 through High Peaks Venture Partners. 

“Vnomics is a tremendous success story that comes out of one of our state’s great strengths – higher education,” DiNapoli said. “The In-State Private Equity Program provides risk-adjusted returns for the state pension fund while helping businesses start up and grow here in New York. Many of these businesses have been spun out of our colleges and universities. Vnomics demonstrates how higher education can also produce economic success outside of academia.”

The In-State Private Equity Program partners the Fund with 18 private equity managers investing in New York-based companies. The program generates market rate returns consistent with the risk of private equity for the Fund while expanding the availability of capital for New York businesses. The program has generated a 20 percent return on fully exited investments in the last five years.

More than $1 billion has been committed to the program, of which $393 million is still available to invest in New York companies. In total, $684 million has been invested in 252 New York state companies. The In-State Private Equity Program has made 20 investments in Monroe, Ontario, Yates, Wyoming and Genesee Counties totaling $81.2 million. Four of those Rochester-area companies sprung from colleges. 

Last month, DiNapoli highlighted the success of nearby OyaGen Inc., a bio-pharmaceutical company developing drug treatments for HIV/AIDS and other viral diseases that originated at the University of Rochester. 

Vnomics, a start-up which grew out of technology developed at the Rochester Institute of Technology, provides on-board tools that analyze interactions between a driver, vehicle, load, terrain, and environment and identifies the optimal way to operate the vehicle. Using this analysis, Vnomics delivers real-time driver coaching, pro-active maintenance, operational alerts and robust business intelligence resulting in fuel savings, reduced wear-and-tear and improved safety. 

“The partnership with High Peaks and the In-State Private Equity Program gave Vnomics the opportunity to commercialize next-generation technologies developed at RIT,” said David Chauncey, founder and president of Vnomics. “With this support, we’ve been able to expand the company, increase employment, and continue to innovate.” 

"Vnomics is a great example of how New York state, RIT, the Rochester entrepreneurial community and High Peaks have combined forces to help support Vnomics as it continues to commercialize the technology originally developed at RIT,” said Bela Musits, co-founder of High Peaks Venture Partners.  “These types of partnerships and efforts are critical in the creation of jobs and the development of a vibrant upstate economy." 
       
Throughout the fall, DiNapoli will be holding meetings and participating in events around the state to inform New York entrepreneurs and businesses about the opportunities available through the In-State Program. His first event was in Rochester on Sept. 16, with other events to be held across the state in the coming weeks. 

Earlier this month DiNapoli released a report on the progress of the In-State Program after hosting a roundtable discussion with private equity managers.  The report can be found at: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/pension/Instate_Report2013.pdf 

For more information on the program or company eligibility, go to: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/pension/instate/ 

About the Common Retirement Fund
 
The $160.7 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension plan in the United States with more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries from state and local governments. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments. 

About Vnomics Corp.
 
Vnomics is the leader in next-generation fleet management solutions. Its real-time approach allows you to pro-actively manage fleet operations while boosting profitability. Equipped with innovative features like In-Cab Advisor driver coaching, Fuel Potential Analysis, and Pro-Active Maintenance, Vnomics dramatically improves fuel economy, safety, and operational efficiency.

About High Peaks Venture Partners 
High Peaks Venture Partners (http://www.highpeaks.vc) is focused on emerging technology businesses throughout New York State, and is a part of the Village Ventures nationwide network of regionally focused venture capital funds. The High Peaks team brings substantial experience as venture investors, entrepreneurs, and business advisors across a variety of industries.


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