New York State has launched a $2 million investment fund to provide seed financing to certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises in emerging technologies, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced.

Rochester-based venture capital firm Excell Partners will manage the fund and will target its investments to high-tech MWBE start-up companies in New York State.

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"The launch of this first-of-its-kind investment fund will help further increase opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses in New York and help this vitally important part of this state's economy grow," Cuomo said in a statement last week. "Under this administration, great strides have been made to support these businesses and encourage diversity in the private sector, and this new fund will go a long way toward making those gains permanent and building a brighter future for New York."

Empire State Development's MWBE Investment Fund is an equity investment fund. Excell will focus the fund's seed investments on the fields of advanced materials, clean technology, life sciences and medical devices.

Excell was previously selected as a participant in the New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund and Innovate NY Fund investment programs.