Five cities that are defining New York State's innovation economy

Empire State Development Blog

Find the latest news on economic development in New York State

We feature stories of innovative businesses that are making New York their home, plus offer updates on economic activity and development from around the state.

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Press Release

Friday, January 26, 2018 - 3:35pm
Empire State Development today announced that 16 businesses will startup, expand or locate in Western New York, partnering with local public colleges and universities to spur economic growth across the state. These companies have committed to create more than 200 new jobs and invest approximately $5.5 million over the next five years. “From life sciences to advanced manufacturing, software development and green-tech, more and more companies are finding New York State is a great place to start or grow their business,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “These businesses have the potential to create hundreds of jobs in Western New York in dynamic, innovative industries while generating millions in revenue for the local economy.” “As I shared in my inaugural State of the University System address this week, two themes of my vision for the System include innovation and entrepreneurship, and increase and expand partnerships. This is an example of these themes at work,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “The partnerships between our campuses and these businesses are producing academic benefits for faculty and students, while simultaneously driving innovation-based economic development in New York State.” The 16 businesses, which are sponsored by the University at Buffalo, Fredonia and Buffalo State College, will create jobs in key industries, including: biotechnology; computer/information technology; film post-production; green technologies; life sciences; research and development; software development; and value-added processing, agribusiness and food processing. The following businesses have joined START-UP NY in Western New York: Buffalo State College Utilant LLC is an existing, expanding software development company. Utilant helps insurance carriers and vendors leverage efficiencies and manage loss control through its modern software. The company will be releasing a new version of its product, expanding and creating an integration engine to allow interoperability with other insurance systems. Utilant will also begin offering a new service of a leased development team which will include project managers, business analysts, developers, and quality assurance resources. The company will create 55 new jobs and invest $460,000. Fredonia Original Crunch Roll Factory is a food manufacturing company that produces frozen foods by combining raw materials to create a finished product that is then frozen, packaged and sold to restaurants or food service operations, both directly and through a network of distributors. Original Crunch Roll factory will create 20 new jobs and invest $2,500,000. University at Buffalo Airis Pharmaceutical Solutions, Inc. (APS) is a software development company that helps their clients to meet federal compliance standards for controlled substances and develops products such as a single-user based software system. APS will create 15 new jobs and invest $45,000. ALIGN ResultsPRO, LLC is building a cloud-based health care data analytics software tool. The new tool will track performance outcomes in the skilled nursing facility industry (SNF) to improve their quality of care outcomes and overall operational performance. The company will create six new jobs and invest $20,000. Buffalo Health Inc. is an R&D subsidiary startup company related to a large pharmacy chain in South Korea. Buffalo Health's U.S. R&D operations will develop new high quality active ingredients for over-the-counter and nutrition supplements, to be manufactured in the U.S. for sale primarily in the Asia-Pacific market. The company will create 16 new jobs and invest $76,000. Digital Surveillance Solutions, Inc. (DSS) is a security systems integration business that designs, builds, deploys and supports sophisticated IP Video and Access Control Systems. DSS will create five new jobs and invest $130,000. Global Security IQ, LLC is an IT startup company that will develop, implement, and manage information security solutions for small to medium businesses, providing compliance assistance and improved overall security. Global Security IQ will mitigate cyber risk by building "Cyber Threat Intelligence," offer monitoring services, and creating educational programs. The company will create four new jobs and invest Guidepost Web, LLC is developing software tools to automate required processes for those engaged in supporting the developmentally disabled. These tools will elevate the service quality of new inexperienced staff so that they provide more comprehensive guidance. The company will create 15 new jobs and invest $30,000. Horvatis Corporation (HC) is an R&D startup that will build geospatial information systems to serve the agriculture sector. HC will provide 3D data collection, data storage and location data processing services to the agriculture industry for the purposes of targeted and automated systems used in agriculture in New York State. HC will create three new jobs and invest $30,000. INANO VISION, Inc. is a new biotechnology company expanding to the U.S. from Canada. The company will develop, manufacture and sell a hand-held medical device in ophthalmology which can remotely measure and monitor fluid pressure inside the eye. INANO VISION, Inc. will create five new jobs and invest $45,000. Memory Fox, LLC is a new subscription-based web service for capturing, curating, and sharing family history, including stories and photos, via a mobile application. Memory Fox is the first to offer a fully integrated web and mobile platform for collecting family stories. Memory Fox will create three new jobs and invest $10,000. Peeva is an early stage R&D technology company developing a universal radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader and a cloud-based data access system to read and store important identification and medical information for pets. Peeva's universal scanner is able to record, analyze and catalog a pet’s tracking implant (microchip) regardless of brand, frequency or encryption. Peeva is also building a scalable level of secure cloud based access to a pet's medical history information, based on the classification of user. The company will create 10 new jobs and invest $37,000. Platinum Engineers LLC, is expanding to the U.S. from Canada and will focus on wireless and web based monitoring sensors and controllers that will integrate existing independent low-tech sensing and control devices to communicate collectively in an enterprise mesh network connected to the cloud. Platinum Engineers will create 10 new jobs and invest $30,000. RepHike, LLC is developing a marketing software monthly subscription "platform as a service" for companies to create and manage referral marketing programs. RepHike’s platform will link customers with college marketing clubs and other social groups, driving customer sales and raising brand awareness through highly curated networks of students. The company will create 10 new jobs and invest $30,000. Syte Logix, Inc. is a new life science software and service company expanding to New York from California. Syte Logix Inc. provides a cutting-edge visual technology that allows customers to understand new insights into their clinical data, ultimately enabling them to make more accurate and effective clinical decisions and transform their business. Syte Logix Inc will create ten new jobs and invest $63,000. TROVE Predictive Data Science, LLC produces advanced predictive analytics software solutions for the electric utility industry. TROVE’s new platform helps their clients put their own data to productive use in predicting customer behaviors and solving specific business problems. Trove will be expanding its operations to enter new industry verticals as well as staff to support a growing utility business practice. The company will create 19 new jobs and invest $45,000. Contact: Jason Conwall | Jason.Conwall@esd.ny.gov | (518) 292-5107 ESD Press Office | PressOffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313  
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Press Release

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 3:46pm
License Will Spur Increased Demand for New York-Produced Honey Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the FY 2019 Budget includes a proposal to create a license for farm meaderies, a new license similar to those already available to farm wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. Mead, commonly referred to as "honey wine" is an alcoholic beverage that is created by fermenting honey with water, which can be infused with fruits, spices, herbs and flowers. "New York is the number one producer of honey in the Northeast, and by increasing opportunities for farms to produce mead, our thriving craft beverage manufacturing sector will continue to grow," Governor Cuomo said. "The creation of the farm meadery license will help strengthen these two great New York industries, and further add to our tourism economy, fueling growth in every corner of this great state."  The farm meadery license will authorize the establishment and licensure of farm meaderies for the manufacture and sale of mead made from New York State produced honey. The provision also allows farm meaderies to produce "braggot," a malt beverage made from honey, in addition to malt, hops, fruits, spices, herbs and other agricultural products. In order to obtain a farm meadery license, the mead or braggot must be made exclusively from honey produced in New York State and no more than 250,000 gallons may be produced annually. Farm meaderies will be allowed to sell by the glass, offer tastings of, and sell to go not only mead and braggot, but also any New York State farm produced beer, wine, cider and spirits. Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 3:31pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction is underway on the new corporate headquarters for Kitware, a software research, development and consulting company based in Saratoga County. The company is relocating from Halfmoon to a larger facility in Clifton Park to accommodate current and future growth, with plans to add over 40 jobs over the next five years. "The expansion of this great New York company is great news for the Capital Region and further adds to the region's high tech economy," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to support businesses and economic growth in New York, in turn creating quality job opportunities across the state." Founded in 1998 in the Capital Region, Kitware is a software research, development and consulting company. The company began with five employees and has grown to over 160 with offices in New Mexico, North Carolina and France. Its portfolio of services includes data and analytics, high-performance computing and visualization, medical computing, computer vision and software process development, with customers in academia, government and various other industries. Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 11:53am
Investment Complements "Southern Tier Soaring" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc., the nation's leading sports and fitness retailer, has officially opened the doors on its regional distribution facility at the Broome County Corporate Park in the Town of Conklin. DICK'S investment is creating over 450 full-time jobs over the next five years in the Southern Tier. The new DICK'S distribution center strengthens the company's roots in Binghamton, where it was founded seven decades ago, and is aligned with Southern Tier Soaring, the regionally designed comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy. DICK'S new regional distribution facility is its fifth nationally and will service more than 160 retail locations throughout the Northeast. "New York is committed to unlocking the economic potential across upstate, and we are proud that DICK's Sporting Goods is growing and expanding right here at home, and bringing new jobs to the Southern Tier," Governor Cuomo said. "The opening of the DICK's distribution center is another clear sign that our strategy of tapping into regional assets to attract private investment is working and the Southern Tier continues to soar." Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 11:16am
Investment is Being Supported by “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Empire State Development (ESD) announced today that Conduent Inc. has officially opened the doors on its new call center at Skyview on the Ridge, the former Medley Centre, at the site of the former Macy’s store in the Town of Irondequoit. The company plans to create up to 315 new full-time jobs over the next five years and almost 600 jobs will also be retained in Monroe County. Conduent, the world’s largest business process services company, assists clients in the healthcare, commercial, transportation and public sector. Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Successful businesses like Conduent are choosing to expand and create jobs in the Finger Lakes region thanks to Governor Cuomo's efforts in creating a welcoming business climate that encourages growth.” Conduent provides business process services to many of the state’s agencies and systems, such as the New York E-ZPass® system, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and Worker’s Compensation Board, as well as many U.S. and international businesses that have operations in the state. As part of those services, Conduent provides an omnichannel customer experience including live customer service, interactive voice response and web-mobile services. Jeff Friedel, Chief People Officer of Conduent said, “We are looking forward to expanding our footprint here in the city. Customer experience is so important to every brand today, and one of our many business services. Rochester has a talented pool of citizens who have the skills necessary to help some of the country’s top Fortune 500 businesses and government clients.” In order to encourage Conduent to move forward with the expansion project in the Town of Irondequoit, Empire State Development has offered up to $5 million in performance based incentives. Up to $2 million will come through a Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Grant; another $3 million will be provided in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, which are tied to job creation commitments. The company  invested more than $7 million to renovate the space in order to meet the demand of current contracts. The former Medley Centre opened its doors in 1990 as the Irondequoit Mall and at one time featured four anchor stores Sears, Macy's The Bon-Ton and J. C. Penney.  It closed for good in 2009 except for retailers Macy's and Sears, which respectively closed in 2014 and 2016. In January of 2016, the property was sold at a public auction by Monroe County. In addition to the expansion of Conduent, the Town of Irondequoit is also planning to utilize space inside Skyview on the Ridge to accommodate a new community center. Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “It is incredibly exciting to support the rebirth of the former mall and assist this established business with creating hundreds of new jobs in the region. The Finger Lakes Forward plan is all about generating new opportunities. Conduent’s growth is further evidence that the regionally designed initiative is indeed working.” State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said, “Not only will Conduent help to boost our economy through the creation of hundreds of jobs, but its very location here at Skyview on the Ridge – the former Medley Centre – marks the exciting beginning of the revitalization of this long-vacant property. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo and Conduent for their investment in Irondequoit and I look forward to continuing our work together to attract new businesses and jobs to Rochester.” State Senator Rich Funke said, “I congratulate Conduent on completing the move of their call center to Irondequoit and am pleased to see their commitment to be at SkyView On the Ridge. Conduent retaining 600 jobs in the area and working to expand another 300 is another positive step in strengthening our economy.” Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley said, “On behalf of the residents of Irondequoit, I am happy to welcome Conduent to our community. The significance of  Conduent’s decision to locate in the former Irondequoit Mall cannot be understated, as it has provided the first visible momentum in roughly a decade in the effort to revitalize the area’s largest vacant property. I thank Governor Cuomo and his team for helping bring these hundreds of jobs to our community, thereby strengthening Irondequoit’s economic future.” For more information about Conduent, click here. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.​   Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | Shari.Voorhees-Vincent@esd.ny.gov | (585) 399-7055 Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Blog Post

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 3:00pm
As the hub of the American optics industry for the last century, the Finger Lakes region leads the nation in optics, photonics and imaging (OPI) innovations and businesses that drive a wide range of industries forward. Last summer, New York State launched the world’s largest business accelerator for startup firms in the OPI industry with the Luminate NY initiative, which is housed in Rochester’s historic and recently renovated Sibley Square. The competition is the latest of the state’s efforts to grow its innovation economy and invite fresh talent to the region. Luminate NY’s inaugural competition last fall drew more than 100 applicants from OPI startups across the world. The 10 finalists, selected in November 2017, each received $100,000 in seed financing. Arriving in Rochester this month, they will spend six months in the incubator space developing and strategizing in hopes of securing a portion of the $2 million prize; the top winner will receive $1 million. Winners will be selected on Luminate Demo Day in June.  
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 9:30am
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Press Release

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 10:19am
Productions Generated More Than $179.8 Million in Spending; Created Approximately 3,280 New Hires in the State Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky today congratulated nine productions that received a total of 20 Oscar nominations for the 90th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards. The productions garnering nominations in 2018 – nine of which participated in the New York State Film Tax Credit Program – have spent more than $179.8 million and generated approximately 3,280 new production jobs across the state.   “We’ve established a competitive global marketplace for film and television production and post-production in New York State, which results in billions of dollars in spending and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Congratulations to today’s nominees who again prove that New York remains home to the best workforce anywhere in the world.”  The New York State Film Tax Credit Program, launched in 2004, has incentivized billions of dollars in economic investment across the state and continues to be the principal factor cited by productions when deciding to film and produce in New York. The nine productions winning awards generated more than an estimated $179.8 million in spending in the state and approximately 3,280 new hires in the state. In 2017, 229 film and television projects applied for the New York State Film Tax Credit Program, estimated to generate 228,547 new hires and $3.9 billion in new spending for New York State. This year, several New York-based companies distributed nominated films, including the Cohen Media Group for Faces Places and The Insult, A24 for Lady Bird and Florida Project, and Sony Pictures Classics for Call Me by Your Name and A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantásticta).  Additional documentaries with ties to New York-based companies include Abacus: Small Enough to Jail produced by Motto Pictures and Strong Island produced by Louverture Films. A complete list of the 90th Annual Oscars Nominees that participated in the New York Film Tax Credit program follows: Actress In A Leading Role Margot Robbie - I, Tonya* Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird* Meryl Streep - The Post Actress In A Supporting Role Mary J. Blige – Mudbound* Allison Janney - I, Tonya* Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird* Actor In A Supporting Role Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project* Cinematography Mudbound* - Rachel Morrison Costume Design Beauty And The Beast* - Jacqueline Durran Directing Lady Bird* - Greta Gerwig Film Editing I, Tonya* - Tatiana S. Riegel Music (Original Song) Mighty River – Mudbound*; Music And Lyric By Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq And Taura Stinson Stand Up For Something - Marshall; Music By Diane Warren; Lyric By Lonnie R. Lynn And Diane Warren This Is Me - The Greatest Showman; Music And Lyric By Benj Pasek And Justin Paul Best Picture Lady Bird* - Scott Rudin, Eli Bush And Evelyn O'neill, Producers The Post - Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg And Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers Production Design Beauty And The Beast* -Sarah Greenwood for Production Design and Katie Spencer for Set Decoration Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Mudbound* - Virgil Williams And Dee Rees Writing (Original Screenplay) The Big Sick - Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani Lady Bird* - Greta Gerwig *Participated in the New York State Post-Production Credit program About the Governor's Office of Motion Picture & Television Development The New York State Governor's Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, a division of Empire State Development, offers film, television and commercial productions and post production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York State. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers. For more information on filming in New York State or the Film Production and Post Production Tax Credit Programs, please visit www.NYSFilm.com.     About Empire State Development Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of Empire State Development is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits, and other forms of financial assistance, Empire State Development strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. Empire State Development is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.   Contact: Madeline Belloff | Madeline.Belloff@esd.ny.gov | (212) 803-3744 Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313  
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Press Release

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 5:30pm
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board of Directors met today and approved a contract for construction management services related to the Interpretive Structures Project.  The focus of the project is on interpreting two former buildings located along the Commercial Slip, which will recall the historic 19th-century building massing, while enabling a modern use, architectural, and street scale interpretation, as well as fulfill the public’s request for permanent public restrooms, centralized visitor information and covered programming space.  Groundbreaking is expected by fall 2018.   The $1 million contract approved today was awarded to LiRo Engineers, Inc., a New York State-based multidisciplinary construction management firm, who will team with SLR Contracting & Service Co (M/WBE) and Foit-Albert Associates (MBE) on the project.  LiRo will advise ECHDC during the preconstruction period, and manage the construction procurement and on-site activities related to the project. “While we have been discussing the Canalside Interpretive Structures project for quite some time, today’s board action is a major milestone and signals that we can move forward with construction planning in preparation for a shovel in the ground this fall,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia.  “The demand for visitor amenities—like permanent public restrooms and centralized visitor information—that will be provided by these structures has been growing at Canalside.  This is all part of Governor Cuomo’s vision for activating Buffalo’s waterfront, while also satisfying visitor needs at Canalside.” The Interpretive Structures Project consists of capital improvements and investments that will facilitate increased public amenities, access and activation of the Canalside area.  The Pavilion and Union Block Building, both located along the Commercial Slip, will lengthen Canalside’s programming season and provide visitor services and public restrooms.  LiRo is well-suited for this project, having completed multiple projects for both ECHDC and Empire State Development (ESD) in the past.  ECHDC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in November 2017 for a well-qualified Construction Management firm to provide pre-construction, construction and post construction management services.   Four proposals were received.  The sites included in the project are City of Buffalo-owned but ECHDC operates and maintains the area under its Management Agreement with the City through 2024. About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation  The ECHDC is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor. As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.
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Press Release

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 4:08pm
Investment Complements "Central NY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy and the Excelsior Jobs Program Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the country's leading contract plastics rotomolded product manufacturer Dutchland Plastics will expand its operations into a new 50,000 square-foot facility in the Village of Canastota in Madison County from its current location in Oneida County. The expansion will facilitate the creation of at least 42 new full-time jobs over the next two years in addition to the 23 positions which will be retained. Construction on the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. "The expansion of Dutchland Plastics is a testament our forward-thinking economic strategy that is transforming the regional economy," Governor Cuomo said. "By incentivizing growth, successful companies are choosing to expand their operations, strengthening the economy, creating good-paying jobs and ensuring that Central New York continues to rise." Read the full press release here. 
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