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Empire State Development Announces More Than $8 Million Awarded To NYSTAR Hot Spots and Incubators Through Round XII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

REDCs Recommend Five Year Designations to Five Innovation Hot Spots and Three New York State Certified Business Incubators

Full List of Awardees Available  Here

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that more than $8 million has been awarded to five Innovation Hot Spots and three Certified Business Incubators as part of the agency’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). The eight awardees will each receive a five-year designation, and the awarded funding supports annual operating costs for NYSTAR programs and centers emphasize the importance of working with industry as a way to leverage New York State’s technology strengths to produce new products and services. Through this competitive process, administered by ESD, applications are received and reviewed through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)  by both the Regional Councils and ESD. NYSTAR designates a total of 10 Innovation Hot Spots—one for each of New York's economic development regions—and 20 Certified Business Incubators over a rolling competitive process, which receive funding to reach a greater number of early-stage companies. 

“The success of early stage companies throughout New York State only strengthens our economy and NYSTAR’s hot spots and certified business incubators across the regions play an important role,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Statewide Chair of the Regional Council initiative. “The Regional Councils are proud to support efforts to grow companies that advance New York State’s technology sector and ensure that we well prepared for the future.” 

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Nothing is more daunting than taking an idea and turning it into a business, and these designations and the funding that follows, demonstrate our continued commitment to supporting budding companies with the support they need to be successful in New York State. By supporting NYSTAR’s hot spots and incubators, we are able to assist a larger number of early stage companies and that makes a huge difference in a start-up companies future.”

The Round XII awardees are:

Innovation Hot Spots - $250,000 Annually:

  • Capital Region – SUNY Albany – Innovate518
  • Long Island – Accelerate Long Island
  • Mid-Hudson – SUNY New Paltz
  • Mohawk Valley – Mohawk Valley Community College – thINCubator
  • New York City – City University of New York

Certified Business Incubators - $125,000 Annually:

  • Capital Region – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Mid-Hudson – Hudson River Housing (EATS)
  • Western New York – Olean Business Development Corporation

Innovation Hot Spots are business incubators with the additional responsibility to coordinate regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. The goal of the Innovation Hot Spot program is to improve the quality and quantity of incubator services provided to young companies, enabling these businesses to successfully transition from the start-up phase to larger scale commercialization of their products and services.

New York State's Certified Business Incubators offer a range of support to help get new and emerging businesses off the ground and put them on the path to success, with the goal of driving and directing growth. Incubators offer an array of business support services and resources, from finding physical workspaces and helping build capital, to initializing strategy and planning, and introducing new entrepreneurs to local businesses and networks. On average, companies can spend up to two years working alongside a business incubator, taking advantage of low-cost office space while gaining invaluable advice and expertise on best practices.

For a full list of NYSTAR’s Innovation Hot Spots and New York State Certified Business Incubators, visit https://esd.ny.gov/certified-business-incubator.

Funding for this program was included in Round XII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The REDC process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans and funding priorities that meet local economic needs. Regional Councils reviewed projects from this program and provided scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies. Applicants utilized the New York’s Consolidated Funding Application, the state’s single application for state resources, which includes programs for numerous agencies. It is designed to provide expedited and streamlined access to a combined pool of grant funds and tax credits from dozens of existing programs. A full list of Round XII awards that have been made can be found here.

About the Consolidated Funding Application                

The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.   

About the Regional Economic Development Councils    

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the State’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. Learn more at regionalcouncils.ny.gov.   

About the Empire State Development

Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD 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, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the 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, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Kristin Devoe (ESD): [email protected] | 518-414-1087

ESD Press Office: [email protected]