ESD Announces 23 Businesses Chose to Grow in Upstate NY and Commit to Creating Nearly 300 Jobs

January 26, 2018

Empire State Development today announced that 23 businesses will startup, expand or locate in seven regions across Upstate New York, partnering with local colleges and universities to spur economic growth across the state. These companies have committed to create nearly 300 new jobs and invest approximately $9.8 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 throughout Upstate 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.”

These businesses will create jobs in key industries, including: biotechnology, craft beverage production; computer/information technology; film post-production; high-technology; manufacturing and advanced manufacturing; research and development; software development; and technical and trade school transportation engineering and design.

The 23 companies are sponsored by the following New York State colleges and universities: Adirondack Community College; Binghamton University; Clarkson University; Finger Lakes Community College; Genesee Community College; Hudson Valley Community College; Mount Saint Mary College; Onondaga Community College; Schenectady County Community College; SUNY Cobleskill; SUNY Ulster; and the University at Albany.

The following businesses have joined START-UP NY:

Capital Region
Adirondack Community College:

Brandsight, Inc. is an enterprise domain name registrar company that develops technology solutions to enable the world’s largest brands to manage and optimize their domain name portfolios. Brandsight Inc is developing a new Smart & Intelligent technology that learns which domain names to own and how best to use them based on recurring big data analysis. The company will create 14 new jobs and invest $50,000.

Hudson Valley Community College:

New Ed, Inc. is developing pre-built, but configurable software for educational organizations to help maintain enrollment and growth. New Ed will design and develop innovative user experiences which will be translated into a web application through a Software-as-a Service platform to benefit their clients. New Ed will create 18 new jobs and invest $172,000.

Upstate Concierge Management (UCM) is developing and continues to enhance its unique software technology telecommunications software platform which features: HIPPA compliant messaging services, phone services, secure 2‐way video connections, enrollment and billing, electronic health records and a customizable smart phone application that enables health service providers and medical facilities to operate more efficiently. The company will create 12 new jobs and invest $30,000.

Schenectady County Community College:

KIRSH Helmets, Inc. is a small early stage business expanding to the production phase, and is the only helmet company producing a helmet entirely made in America. KIRSH Helmets uses a patented silicone technology to lessen the impact during crashes and is lighter and smaller than most other helmets. The company will create 13 new jobs and invest $347,000.

University at Albany:

Branch VFX is a new business that provides special effects services to clients and production entities for the television and film industry. Branch VFX is crossing the disciplines of graphic arts and computer science on video to create computer/graphic art work as part of the special effects process of rotoscoping, 3D Tracking and rotomation. The company will create 16 net new jobs and invest $139,000."

SUNY Cobleskill:

454 Fire Training is a technical trade school that provides high quality, experiential education to members of the fire service community. The training program includes extensive live fire-fighting exposure, and classroom instructions for extended learning and continued education. 454 will have live fire demonstration units/buildings that will be constructed for this purpose. 454 Fire Training will create four new jobs and invest $500,000.

Central New York
Onondaga Community College:

454 Fire Training is a technical trade school that provides high quality, experiential education to members of the fire service community. The training program includes extensive live fire-fighting exposure, and classroom instructions for extended learning and continued education. 454 will have live fire demonstration units/buildings that will be constructed for this purpose. 454 Fire Training will create four new jobs and invest $500,000.

Roji Tea Company LLC is a new manufacturing business that will produce bottled teas, baked goods, and tea ware/utensils. Roji Tea takes bulk material of imported and locally sourced herbal teas and hand-mixes them to create new blends. The company will create four new jobs and invest $4,000.

Finger Lakes
Finger Lakes Community College:

Star Cider, LLC is a cider business that sources apples and fresh ingredients solely from New York State. The new production facility will also serve as a research and education center, featuring interactive tours, lecture series and workshops focusing on apple cider production. Star Cider will create five new jobs and invest $295,000.

Genesee Community College:

Tencar Inc. is a new medical device corporation that developed an innovative ostomy tool called “Choice Cap."" The Choice Cap System is a prosthetic appliance for active-lifestyle colostomy and ileostomy patients. The company will create nine new jobs and invest $345,000.

Mount Saint Mary College:

Osborne Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets educational technology products and services for the corporate, education, government, and healthcare e-learning industries. Osborne Technologies products include front of class touch screen teaching applications, multi-touch software, visitor management, access control, sensory and immersive spaces, scent delivery and wireless infrastructure systems designed for schools to enhance safeguarding. The company will create seven new jobs and invest $50,000.

Vuff, LLC is a new advanced manufacturing company that produces pet products, specifically proprietary collars and leashes, from custom OEM components using a variety of techniques such as ultra-sonic plastic welding, laser and hot knife cutting. The company will create 12 new jobs and invest $118,000.

SUNY Ulster:

340Best, Inc. is a software development company that provides customized software and related technical and analytical support to healthcare organizations part of the 340B program, a federal program designed to help lower the cost of healthcare to needy communities. The company will create six new jobs and invest $25,000.

GenEdge Health, Inc. will develop and customize a proprietary software platform to support prescription benefit management (PBM) companies, unions, and other health related companies with managing their health care eligibility needs, clinical patient medical and prescription data analysis, and formulating strategic plans that will lead to better patient outcomes. The company will create three new jobs and invest $10,000.

Mohawk Valley
SUNY Cobleskill:

Asset eXchange Infrastructure (AXI) Systems, Inc. is a new information technology company that will develop and launch a web-based agricultural map and procurement system through which New York State farm, food and other businesses will be able to construct business profiles, interact, and offer products for sale. AXI System employees will provide account management, troubleshooting and clearinghouse services and will implement promotional and educational strategies to encourage system use. The company will create 15 new jobs and invest $45,000.

Digital Gameday (DG) is a SAAS (software as service) product that serves as an online film analysis and exchange system for high school athletic professionals and coaches. The high-tech company provides coaches a data-driven and cloud based approach to film analysis and performance assessment supported by best-in-class personal service. Players can also use DG tools for creating personalized highlight reels for distribution to college recruiters. Digital Gameday will create five new jobs and invest $23,500.

North Country
Clarkson University:

LC Drives, a New York State incubator graduate, is developing and manufacturing the next generation of electric motors that are smaller, lighter, and higher performing than conventional products. Targeted markets include marine propulsion, traction motors, and wind turbine generators. LC Drives will create 20 new jobs and invest $500,000.

Southern Tier
Binghamton University:

AvantGuard Technologies (AGT) is a new software development company that provides its customers with software solutions including monitoring indexing, storage, scaling, application integration, managing, visualizing, aggregating, storing, retrieving, and analyzing and analytics for IT operations and business processes. The company will create 78 new jobs and invest $5.4 million.

Geoweb3d is a software engineering company that provides 3D mapping and visualization solutions for a variety of users, including U.S. Mission Planning for Special Operations and the U.S. Army. One of its products is a built-in web browser that allows for smooth interoperability with cloud and mapping applications such as Google Maps and Google Earth. Geoweb3d will create six new jobs and invest $62,000.

SwiftATN, LLC is a new R&D transit engineering and design company that is developing products and services for the high-growth automated transportation industry. The design uses an electric powered automated transportation system and custom design software for elevated guideways. The systems can be used on campuses, resorts, airports or built as part of a regional transit network. SwiftATN, LLC will initially create 14 net new jobs and invest $150,000.

Oasis Stone Scapes (OSS) is a new manufacturing masonry business that will produce eco-friendly fiberglass reinforced masonry panels. Each panel is precast with a super strength composite and can be installed on a solid surface without the need of a substrate, concrete footing or any additional supports. Panel molds can be created any shape, size or dimension making this technology extremely versatile. OSS will create six new jobs and invest $1.075 million.

DB Therapeutics, Inc. is a new R&D company that is developing a bandage for skin cancer therapy, optimizing its final product and its manufacturing process and controls. DB Therapeutics will coordinate in vitro and in vivo animal and clinical studies, and will pursue FDA approval. The company will create three new jobs and invest $100,000.


Jason Conwall | [email protected] | (518) 292-5107
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313

Mid-hudson Regional Economic Development Council Awarded $84.8 Million for 113 Projects

Council Named Top Performer In Round VII of Regional Council Initiative

December 15, 2017

As part of Round VII of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative, the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC)  was awarded $84.8 million for 113 projects as one of five regional Top Performers. After seven rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Mid-Hudson Region has received $560.7 million in state resources to support 687 projects across the region. 

MHREDC Chair and Marist College President Emeritus Dennis Murray said, “I am delighted that the Mid-Hudson was chosen a Top Performer for the second year in a row.  This award supports projects ranging from major infrastructure to family-owned businesses. Our work has strengthened the vitality of our region and I’m confident these new projects will make the Mid-Hudson an even better place to live, work, and play.  My thanks to the members of the MHREDC for their good work in putting our plan together, and to the Governor and other elected officials for their support.”

Read the full press release. 

LEGOLAND New York: By The Numbers

Building Economic and Workforce Development in Orange County

LEGOLAND’s new theme park resort in Goshen, its first in the Northeast, will piece together some solid success in its new home. In addition to its draw for visitors – some 2 million expected each year – the park will be a community partner, with additional building blocks of educational opportunities, STEAM programming and workforce training.  Click here for more information or check out the numbers below:  LEGOLAND’s new theme park resort in Goshen, its its  first in the Northeast, will piece together some solid success in its new home. In addition to its draw for visitors – some 2 million expected each year – the park will be a community partner, with additional building blocks of educational opportunities, STEAM programming and workforce training.  Click here for more information or check out the numbers below:  

Empire State Development Announces LEGOLAND® New York Coming to Orange County

Destination Resort in Goshen, Orange County Will Include a Theme Park, Educational Opportunities; First LEGOLAND Park in the Northeast Will Create 1,300 Jobs

October 25, 2017

$10 Million to Support Road Infrastructure and Traffic Mitigation on Route 17

Empire State Development today announced that LEGOLAND® New York, a 170-acre theme park resort, will open in Goshen, Orange County in 2020. Developed by Merlin Entertainments, LEGOLAND New York is the first LEGOLAND Park in the Northeast and will attract approximately two million visitors annually and leverage $350 million in its initial local investment. The destination resort will include a theme park featuring well-known LEGO® characters and will feature strong educational components for children ages two to 12 and their families. New York State also announced an additional $18 million to support the project, including off-site road infrastructure improvements and traffic mitigation measures on Route 17.

Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,“LEGOLAND New York will further anchor the Mid-Hudson region as a top-notch destination for visitors to New York State and will generate millions in local investment for the Town of Goshen. LEGOLAND New York’s commitment to community partnership – including donating a portion of its revenue to the community, strong educational opportunities and STEAM programming, and workforce training – make this project a win-win for Orange County.”

State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Cathy Calhoun said, “Governor Cuomo knows that transportation is critical to mobility and economic development, which is why he is making smart investments to modernize and renew highways and bridges across New York State. Improving the exit 125 interchange and nearby infrastructure will support local growth, ease travel and improve traffic safety for us and generations to come.”

Merlin Entertainments Chief Executive Officer Nick Varney said, “We have spent a lot of time building relationships in the community, listening and responding to concerns, and we are looking forward to building a theme park that will enhance the community and be a tremendous neighbor. I am honored to announce LEGOLAND New York is officially moving forward. We are humbled to join the Goshen community. I can pledge to you that LEGOLAND New York will be a trusted and valued member of this community. I am thrilled that Goshen is the place where we will build our third LEGOLAND Park in the U.S. – the first in the Northeast. I am eager to continue with our $300 million investment with significant more investments to follow in the years to come, providing Goshen, Orange County, the Hudson Valley and New York State with significant economic benefits.”

LEGOLAND New York Park closely aligns with the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s strategic plan for vibrant, local economic growth by continuing to position the region as a premier tourist location building upon the region’s scenic beauty, local agriculture, food and beverage industry, arts, culture, history and recreational assets. LEGOLAND New York was endorsed to receive $7.1 million in grants through the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative and today announced $8 million through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. New York State will also invest $10 million to support off-site road infrastructure improvements and traffic mitigation measures, including relocating and reconstructing the exit 125 interchange on Route 17, constructing a new bridge over Route 17, widening the South Street and Route 17M intersection, upgrading Harriman Drive, extending a third, westbound lane on Route 17 between the relocated exit 125 and just east of exit 124 and upgrading traffic signals, one on Harriman Drive and the other at the intersection of South Street and Route 17M.

LEGOLAND New York, set to open in 2020, will invest $350 million in the project and will create 800 construction jobs and 1,300 full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs.

Senator John Bonacic said, “LEGOLAND New York will be a transformative economic development project for Goshen and the entire Hudson Valley and I'm proud to support it. I thank my partners in government for their vision and hard work in doing a thorough due diligence in moving the project forward.”

Goshen Town Supervisor Douglas Bloomfield said, “I am very happy that Merlin Entertainments has chosen Goshen to build this exciting and unique project, one that will be meaningful to families and children across this community. This project will bring investment and revenue into Goshen, and bring funding and exciting partnerships to our local schools. I look forward to working with Merlin as they build LEGOLAND New York and we are excited for the fun ahead.”

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said, “Orange County is experiencing significant growth in both job creation and tourism. From Norwegian Airlines bringing thousands of tourists to the County, to Woodbury Common attracting shoppers from around the globe, to the now eagerly anticipated arrival of LEGOLAND, our economy continues to flourish. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to create a pro-business environment in Orange County and I appreciate the continued support of Governor Cuomo and our economic development partners in the County on this exciting and monumental project.”

The LEGOLAND NEW YORK project will bring significant community benefits to the Town of Goshen. Every year, LEGOLAND New York will host two Community Days for the Town of Goshen and donate 50 percent of the park’s ticket sale revenue to the Town of Goshen, creating a unique opportunity for fundraising by the town. All Goshen residents will be offered a 50 percent discount on standard one-day tickets to LEGOLAND New York for their own use.

LEGOLAND New York will feature an ongoing commitment to education. The park will offer year-round educational opportunities to school children throughout the region, with programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education. LEGOLAND New York will partner with local schools and colleges to train and employ students interested in careers in hospitality, business, and mechanical engineering. In addition, LEGOLAND New York will offer special programs and discounted tickets to area schools, including all school districts within Orange County.

About Merlin Entertainments
Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location based, family entertainment. As Europe's Number one and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 100 attractions, 15 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 24 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable experiences to its more than 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its more than 29,000 employees (peak season). Visit for more information.


Amy Varghese | [email protected] | (212) 803-3764
Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313

Mid-Hudson REDC Submits 2017 Progress Report

Council Endorses 19 Priority Projects for Round VII of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

October 13, 2017

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council today announced it recently submitted its 2017 Progress Report to Empire State Development, meeting New York State’s October 2 deadline. The report, which details the Council’s progress implementing its comprehensive Strategic Plan, is entitled “Future Forward, Progress with Purpose.” This reflects the region’s creative economy and Council’s efforts to generate economic growth by transforming the regions diverse urban centers into attractive places to live, work and play, encouraging high-tech industries, and supporting an internationally-known tourist destination. 

In furtherance of these goals, strategies and initiatives, this report recommends 19 priority projects for the Regional Council Capital Grant Fund  to advance the region’s growth objectives. These projects represent a total proposed state investment of $20 million, and have the potential to generate nearly $300 million in economic activity, and to create or retain more than 4,000 jobs, leveraging private investment at a ratio of nearly 14:1. 

Read the full press release here.

ESD Announces RUPCO to Create New Film and Manufacturing Innovation Center in Kingston

July 13, 2017

Empire State Development today announced that RUPCO, an affordable housing advocacy nonprofit and community developer, will partner with Stockade Works to establish The Metro, an innovative 70,000 square-foot hub for film & technology,  Maker Spaces, and other creative uses in the former MetLife Hall of Records at 2 South Prospect Street in Kingston. The co-working center will include a sound stage for film and television production, a post-production facility, job-training center, and seven light industrial and manufacturing suites.

“The Metro will be home to two of New York’s premier industries – manufacturing and film and TV,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "This project highlights the strength and success of New York State’s community-based approach to economic development, by recognizing and responding to a growing need in the Mid-Hudson region for exactly this kind of innovative workspace. The Metro will generate local jobs for local residents and Empire State Development is proud to support this project’s growth and success.”

Empire State Development is supporting the development of The Metro with a grant of up to $1 million, which was recommended by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) in Round VI of the REDC initiative. Hudson Valley-based community developer RUPCO will invest $14 million for the renovation of the former MetLife Building. Stockade Works, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering economic growth through film and technology, will be The Metro’s anchor tenant and provide invaluable job training in the film and TV industry. The Metro’s tenants will also include local manufacturing and industrial enterprises. The facility is expected to be completed in Spring 2019.

“The opportunity to once again repurpose a fallow, vacant building -- this time through a community wealth-building approach to bring a mix of creative uses, all with the purpose of creating local jobs and capturing local wealth -- is very exciting. This project is about creating opportunity for everyone,” says Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO.

“Stockade Works is excited to partner with RUPCO to realize our vision for a community media hub to further education and innovation to ready the local workforce for jobs in film, television, and technology,” said Mary Stuart Masterson, Stockade Works Founder and Board President. “Stockade Works is dedicated to fostering the further potential of film and technology in the Hudson Valley to increase economic growth and support local communities. As a driver of economic development in the region, Stockade Works attracts outside production and technology start-ups, connects regional media professionals, and trains the local workforce to create local crew and tech professionals.”

The Metro will build on New York State’s position at the forefront of the film and TV industry. The New York Film Tax Credit Program is funded at $420 million per year with a 30 percent tax credit for qualifying productions and post-production work. Since 2011, the New York State Film Tax Credit Program has received more than 1,500 applications, generating more than $17 billion in New York State spending. In 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo enhanced the program in the Mid-Hudson region, offering productions an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor costs. Additionally, in most Upstate counties, like Ulster County, the post-production program was extended from a 30 percent tax credit to 35 percent with an additional 10 percent credit on qualified labor costs.

Since the expansion of the New York State Film Tax Credit Program, there has been a rapid increase in the construction of Qualified Production Facilities (QPFs), including soundstages, across the state. Since 2016, the number of QPFs has increased from 70 to a total of 85 facilities statewide; outside New York City the growth is even more dramatic, rising from 30 QPFs in Upstate New York in 2016 to 45 today. The Metro’s two new film and television soundstages and a post-production facility  builds on efforts to ensure that New York State’s infrastructure meets growing demand in the film and TV industry in the Mid-Hudson region and across New York State.

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) 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 Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit  and

Amy Varghese (ESD) | [email protected] | (212) 803-3740
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313