Z80 Labs Tech Incubator Selects AppVue as Its First Startup

Jul 23, 2012

AppVue Specializes in Mobile Apps That Make Trusted Recommendations Among Social Media Friends and Networks

Forbes CEO Mike Perlis, and Famed Investor Fred Wilson to Make Special Appearances During Z80 Labs Grand Opening Monday, July 23

BUFFALO, N.Y., July 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Buffalo's Tech Incubator, Z80 Labs, today announced AppVue, an up-and-coming app discovery service, has been selected as its first startup to join the tech incubator supported by Softbank Capital, The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions and Synacor (Nasdaq:SYNC).

AppVue provides users with accurate and relevant application recommendations based on the suggestions of users they trust, including friends, family, colleagues, experts and/or celebrities, in a fun and easy way. Their mission is to solve the problems with application discovery on both smartphones and tablets by socializing and mobilizing app recommendations and suggestions. Users will receive awards for providing quality recommendations to others, and suggestions can be shared through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn connectivity.

With so many apps for purchase, consumers are overwhelmed with options and have no idea which to download. More than 60% of apps fail to meet user expectation after purchase. AppVue ensures that consumers are getting the most out of their mobile devices to stream video, play music and games, and to be more productive or live a better life based on their personal interests. In May, AppVue won the University at Buffalo's Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, beating out 19 other companies.

AppVue currently consists of Matthew R. Epstein, CEO and Co-Founder; Andrew Cassetti, Co-Founder and EVP, Product Development; and Nathan Schiffer, Chief Architect. Epstein and Cassetti attended the University at Buffalo and held senior positions during for the development of the University at Buffalo Investment Fund. This fund allows students to apply the experience they learn in the classroom to secure an applicable job. Schiffer is currently finishing his Masters and will soon graduate from the Rochester Institute of Technology. George Chamoun, EVP and Co-Founder of Synacor, discovered the AppVue entrepreneurs and brought them to Z80 Labs to grow their business.

"We couldn't be happier to work with Jordan Levy, Ron Schreiber and the wide array of talent and expertise Z80 Labs offers, and we're thrilled to be the first startup selected to join the incubator," said Matthew R. Epstein, CEO and Co-Founder, AppVue. "With the help of Z80 Labs, we're confident AppVue will go from concept to consumers, where they will be able to download the best apps that suit their personal lifestyle, which will lead to more paid app downloads for developers."

AppVue will be releasing its first version of the app for iOS by the end of July. In future versions, AppVue will be available for iOS, Android and on the web.

Jordan Levy, co-founder of Z80 Labs, partner at Softbank Capital and Synacor Chairman said, "By having a startup like AppVue join Z80 Labs, we're taking a huge first step toward building a successful, Net-focused ecosystem in WNY, showcasing local talent right here in Buffalo and kick-starting Buffalo's next great tech companies. We couldn't be more pleased than to work with Matthew Epstein, Andrew Cassetti and Nathan Schiffer and have their AppVue startup be the first selected by Z80 Labs."

Z80 Labs' mission is to serve as a catalyst, transforming Buffalo and Western New York into a technology hotbed. By creating an environment that gives entrepreneurs exposure to industry leaders typically available only in New York City or Silicon Valley, Z80 Labs will kick-start entrepreneur-driven tech businesses within an accelerated environment, bolstering the local economy.

Z80 Labs' main focus is on digital media, mobile and Net-based companies, providing valuable support across a wide range of service areas to help Buffalo-based entrepreneurs grow into self-sustaining businesses.

Founders Jordan Levy and Ron Schreiber will be co-hosting the launch of Z80 Labs on today, Monday, July 23 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at The Buffalo News, One News Plaza Suite 10, Buffalo, New York. Famed Venture Investor, Fred Wilson, will make a special appearance at the grand opening, and also will speak at Z80 Labs' very first "Feeding Innovation Speaker Series" on Tuesday, July 24, from 11:30am to 1:00pm, at Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo State College.

Several luminaries have committed to help the Z80 Labs incubator including Brad Feld, Foundry Group; Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital; Eric Hippeau, Lerer Ventures; Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures; Woody Benson, Prism VentureWorks; Mo Kaufman, Spark Capital; Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed and co-founder of The Huffington Post; Jordan Cooper, Hyperpublic; Dan Porter, OMGPOP; Mark Pincus, Zynga; Gary Ginsberg, Time Warner; Mike Perlis, Forbes Media; Jim Spanfeller, Spanfeller Media Group; and Andrew Siegel, Advance Newhouse.

Additionally, the Z80 Labs Investment Committee will serve as a selection committee, meeting regularly to review and accept top applicants. The founding committee is Jordan Levy; Ron Schreiber; David Kimelberg, CEO of Seneca Development Corporation; Ron Frankel, president and CEO of Synacor; and Eric Reich, co-founder and CEO of StudentVoice.

For more information or specifics about how to apply to Z80 Labs, or for information on upcoming "Feeding Innovation Speaker Series," please visit Z80Labs.com.

About Z80 Labs

Z80 Labs, launched in summer 2012, is Buffalo's first Internet-focused technology incubator, providing entrepreneurs the ability to build new and innovative tech companies in Buffalo, New York. Startups invited to locate in Z80 Labs are given a wide array of services including office space, tech support, collaboration tools, weekly education programs, specifically-assigned mentorship teams, access to the Z80 Speaker Series, amenities and infrastructure from local companies, as well as expert advice from renowned industry advisors. Z80 Labs is funded by Softbank Capital, with additional funding from SCP Incubator via a grant from New York State and ESD. Corporate support is being provided by The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions, and Synacor. Z80 Labs is located in The Buffalo News headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

CONTACT: Press Contact:

         Meredith Roth, VP, Corporate Communications, Synacor

         for Z80 Labs



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