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Tech Garden will manage $3m data-oriented accelerator, latest in series of public-private investment pools aimed at generating and de-risking startups

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that The Tech Garden, a 10-year-old, multifaceted incubator program in downtown Syracuse that is one of our founding members, will manage a $3 million business accelerator competition aimed at startups with a focus on big data analytics, cybersecurity, and data-driven manufacturing. For more details, see Gov. Cuomo's news release

The accelerator, named GENIUS NY (for Growing ENtrepreneurs & Innovators in UpState NY), is the latest in a series of innovative programs at The Tech Garden that deploy a mixture of public and private funding to generate and de-risk investment opportunties for angel and VC funds both in the Central New York region and beyond:

  • The Cleantech Center, contracted by NYSERDA to incubate clean-energy startups;
  • The Germinator, a phased pre-seed investment competition under which the grand winner will gain $250,000 in capital; 
  • Grants for Growth, a long-standing program of The Tech Garden's parent CenterStateCEO, which will manage a $1.5 million university technology-commercialization fund provided by the NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund; and
  • The ESD-designated Innovation Hot Spot for Central New York, providing entrepreneurial support and tax relief for startups situated at incubators throughout the region. 

Together, these programs provide an unmatched resource for entrepreneurial development. We congratulate our member The Tech Garden and look forward to further announcement of matching arrangements with private-sector investors. 

The Center opens new incubator space in downtown Binghamton

The Center, one of our newest members and also part of the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, recently held the grand opening of its new incubator on Court Street in downtown Binghamton. The Center is a program of The Agency (formerly the Broome County IDA). The opening was covered by the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin pressconnects website

Progress reports from several NYSERDA-supported clean energy incubators and innovation programs

The day preceding our 2015 annual meeting, our sponsor the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) convened its first-ever meeting of all the contractors in its incubator, proof-of-concept center, and other innovation programs. This session was followed by a coordinating meeting with the state-designated Innovation Hot Spots that hold contracts from the NYSTAR division of Empire State Development.

Many of these incubators, proof-of-concept centers, and related programs are operated by our members, or by sibling programs in the same parent organization. Below are download links to the presentations which we have received permission to post publicly. Reviewing these short documents is an an excellent way to understand their respective approaches and accomplishments.

The NYSERDA and NYSTAR contracts all make cost-effective use of existing incubator infrastructure and management, by adding staff and programs dedicated to the agencies' specific objectives. We are very pleased with our partnerships with NYSERDA and NYSTAR and thank the program managers at both entities. 

 

BIA/NYS convenes 2015 annual meeting in Ithaca

Our 2015 annual meeting, held this year at Cornell University in Ithaca, attracted a record 100 attendees from around the state — all people actively committed to innovation & entrepreneurship.

Ithaca is home to several incubators, a research and technology park, and the state-designated Innovation Hot Spot for the Southern Tier economic region, which is known as the Southern Tier Startup Alliance. Strong attendance was an outcome of coprogramming with the Upstate Venture Association of New York (UVANY), which held one of its regional meetings the night before in downtown Ithaca, and NYSERDA and NYSTAR, which held contractor meetings with various NYS-supported incubator programs. 

Our featured lunch speaker was Julie Lenzer Kirk, director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Economic Development Administration (EDA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The OIE's Regional Innovation Strategies program has recently made three significant grants to New York State incubators, and the office also coordinates multi-agency initiatives across the federal government. Read more

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