Empire State Development

Empire State Development is New York State's chief economic development agency.
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Will create nearly 400 new jobs across New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently traveled to Rochester and Buffalo to announce that twelve businesses will expand or locate in New York as a result of START-UP NY, representing the first wave of companies participating in the new initiative that creates tax-free areas associated with colleges and universities across the state. The news comes just months after the official launch of the program and demonstrates New York State’s ability to attract new business with the game-changing START-UP NY initiative.

“START-UP NY takes New York’s number one liability – our tax capital reputation – and turns it on its head by offering companies zero taxes for 10 years, as well as access to all the assets of the Empire State, particularly the talent and research capabilities of our world-class universities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is just the beginning and we look forward to welcoming more and more businesses and entrepreneurs to the State of New York through this bold initiative.”


Governor Cuomo announces the first businesses participating in START-UP NY

The first businesses participating in START-UP NY will create jobs in several key industries, including biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, high-technology research and development, and software development.  The twelve businesses plan to invest $50 million and create nearly 400 new jobs in tax-free areas sponsored by the University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Cornell University and SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

“With the first businesses approved for START-UP NY, Governor Cuomo’s game-changing initiative is already delivering real results for New York State,” said Empire State Development (ESD) President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “New York is now truly open for business due to the vision and leadership of Governor Cuomo, and we welcome these twelve START-UP NY businesses, including seven that are new to New York State.”

Among the first wave of businesses is Datto, Inc., a leading global vendor of award-winning hybrid cloud-based intelligent business continuity, and backup, disaster and recovery solutions, which will open this summer in downtown Rochester and create more than 70 new jobs. It took START-UP NY to bring the fast growing Connecticut-based company to the Empire State.

“As an RIT graduate, I know the community and state have the high-quality workforce needed to support our company’s continued growth.  I am very excited to be part of the START-UP NY initiative, and to open Datto’s New York office in Rochester,” said Datto founder Austin McChord.

Under START-UP NY, interested colleges and universities draft campus plans that identify their goals for the program and the space that they are proposing to designate as tax-free, as well as the types of businesses and industries that they are seeking to attract through the initiative. Once a school is admitted to START-UP NY, interested businesses may begin to apply to the program through the sponsoring school. After a thorough and comprehensive review of an application by the school and ESD, approved businesses that create net new jobs will operate 100% tax-free for 10 years, paying no state income tax, business or corporate state or local taxes, sales tax, property tax or franchise fees. To date, 30 schools have been approved for START-UP NY, establishing more than 130 tax-free areas for new or expanding businesses to operate on or near campuses.

The first wave of approved START-UP NY businesses is as follows:   

University at Buffalo: 204 new jobs

Aesku NY, Inc. is a spin-off of AESKU.DIAGNOSTICS, based in Wendelsheim, Germany, a research-focused supplier of products and services for the earlydetection, diagnosis and prognosis of autoimmune diseasesThe company will be new to New York State and invest approximately $2.8 million.

ClearView Social, Inc. is a development stage software company that is developing social media applications for the legal services community. The company will invest approximately $925,000.

CoachMePlus (Virtuvia, LLC) is a development stage software company that has developed a web-based application aimed at helping coaches and trainers organize data they collect about their athletes.  The company will invest more than $775,000.

Decision Pace, Inc. is a software development company that provides data analytics web software to medium to large businesses that allows for immediate and high-value visualization of company information. The company will invest approximately $370,000.

Heads Up Display, Inc. is an early stage high-technology company that creates products to enhance industrial safety; the company engineers hardware devices and develops software that will provide additional layers of protection for employees that work in dangerous environments. Heads Up is a new business locating in the Z80 Lab at the University of Buffalo’s One News Plaza.

Lineagen, Inc. is a biotechnology company that is focused on commercialization of diagnostic testing methods for identifying genetic variations known to be associated with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental delays. The company will expand its tests to the areas of drug suitability for multiple sclerosis patients and deterioration rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The company will invest approximately $55,000.

Nupur Technologies, LLC is a research and development medical device company that is developing a device to clear blockages in the ear. The company will invest more than $862,000.

Sinapis Pharma, Inc. is an emerging pharmaceutical company that is developing a novel drug for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries and strokes. Sinapis is a new business that will invest approximately $600,000.

Rochester Institute of Technology: 77 New Jobs

Datto, Inc. is a high-tech provider of hardware-based, on- and off-site backup, disaster recovery and intelligent business continuity solutions. Datto’s products and services enable businesses of all sizes to mitigate downtime in the event of catastrophic event, including natural disasters, emergencies, technical failures or other negatively impacting circumstances. The company is new to New York State.

Cornell University: 58 New Jobs

Incodema3D, LLC, is an existing business in Ithaca that specializes in high precision additive manufacturing (3D printing) in engineering grade plastics and metal.  The company will invest approximately $37.3 million to expand into research and prototype manufacturing.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center: 56 New Jobs

Americord Registry, LLC, is an existing bio-tech business in Brooklyn that collects, processes and stores stem cells for future medical or therapeutic use. Americord Registry is developing a proprietary process to harvest stem cells and will invest more than $402,000.

Modern Meadow, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company that uses the latest advances in tissue engineering to develop novel biomaterials such as cultured leather and meat products which require no animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy and chemicals. The company, with locations in California and Missouri, will be new to New York State and will invest approximately $6.5 million.

Entrepreneurs from around the globe look to relocate to Western New York

43North, Buffalo’s global business idea competition, had an overwhelming response by startups applying for a chance to win $5 million dollars in prize money.  A total of 6,932 applications were received for the competition during the four-month entry period, with 2,603 qualified submissions advancing to the first round of judging.  

The 43North competition—named after the latitudinal line that runs through Western New York—features a top prize of $1 million and is part of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, intended to drive new economic opportunities throughout the City of Buffalo and the Western New York region. The applicant pool included business ideas hailing from all 50 U.S. states and 96 countries, representing various sectors such as information technology, software development, web and mobile technology, business services, media and entertainment, e-commerce, healthcare and biotechnology, green and clean technology, advanced manufacturing, sports and fitness, agri-business and others.

“The 43North competition is an important part of our Buffalo Billion initiative, designed to attract talented entrepreneurs and startup ventures from all over the world and bring them here to Western New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are proud to announce the first round has gone global in a big way with applications coming in from over 90 countries. This is another sign that Buffalo is on the radar of entrepreneurs worldwide.”

The 43North Steering Committee initially hoped to attract 1,000 applicants for the competition but ended up blowing that number right out of the water. Committee members believe the huge response 43North has received demonstrates the viability of the strategy to build a local entrepreneurial eco-system by offering startups support, talent, mentorship and services, and a low cost environment to help get businesses started.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “43North is one of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiatives that is designed to spark new businesses for Buffalo, but we never dreamed that spark would turn into a fire. This competition is attracting promising start-up ventures from around the world.”

To spread the word about the business idea competition and attract applicants from across the country and around the world, 43North embarked on an aggressive social media, public relations, minority engagement and roadshow outreach campaign. This effort resulted in over 14 million online impressions, roughly 100 earned media placements, thousands of personal conversations and individual meetings, participation in several high-profile national minority and women business enterprise (MWBE) conferences and events, and over 75 outreach presentation stops in two dozen North American cities and other international locations, particularly those with the greatest interest in startups.

A pool of more than 200 judges will now review the qualified submissions with the semi-finalists being announced at the end of June. The semi-finalists will then be asked to present further details on their business plan to 43North’s judging panel resulting in the selection of 11 finalists who will pitch their business in-person to a panel of celebrity judges in Buffalo this October. In addition to the top cash prize of $1 million, 43North will award six $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes. Winners also receive free incubator space for a year, guidance from mentors related to their field and access to other exciting incentive programs, like Start-Up NY.

June features hundreds of events highlighting NYS history attractions across the state

In 2013, Governor Cuomo launched Path Through History, a statewide initiative to link historically and culturally significant sites, locations and events throughout New York State.  The effort saw an additional flurry of activity during June with Path Through History Weekends, a series of special events at historical sites across New York, kicked-off by a day-long history showcase at New York City’s Grand Central Station.

Path Through History (PTH) seeks not only to highlight New York’s rich heritage and historical significance, it also promotes tourism and economic development in communities across the state.The cultural and heritage traveler is one of the most productive travel segments of the travel industry, generating over 90% of the economic benefit of all U.S. leisure travelers. 


Re-enactor from Fort Ticonderoga engages with a visitor at the Path Through History Weekends kick-off event at Grand Central Terminal

This year, the award-winning PTH program continued with 2014 Path Through History Weekends. Hundreds of museums, historic sites, parks and community groups from New York City to Niagara Falls held over 380 special tours, events, reenactments and community celebrations June 7th & 8th, and June 14th & 15th

Prior to the PTH Weekends, the first Path Through History consumer event took place May 14th in New York City at Grand Central Terminal: “Metro North Getaway Day Featuring Path Through History.”  All of the state’s PTH workgroups – each representing one of the state’s ten Path Through History regions — participated to showcase one of the thirteen Path Through History themes, from the American Revolution to Civil Rights to Sports History. There was a special display of Babe Ruth’s plaque form the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to promote their new exhibit, Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend.  Re-enactors like Solomon Northrup from Saratoga, Susan B. Anthony from Seneca Falls, Mark Twain from Elmira and Franklin Roosevelt from Hyde Park in the Mid-Hudson engaged the crowd.  The New York State Canal Corporation provided a lock demonstration, and the Museum at Bethel Woods and Cradle of Aviation Museum had special exhibitions for visitors to experience.


Babe Ruth’s Baseball Hall of Fame plaque making its first road trip outside of Cooperstown at the Path Through History Weekends kick-off event

Path Through History falls under ESD’s I LOVE NY umbrella, adding even more depth to the travel options one can experience in New York State.  The Path Through History program has received a prestigiousAdrian Award from Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

ESD related happenings around New York State that you can be a part of


  • June is LGBT Pride Month, and New York State is home to close to twenty different Pride celebrations, from Buffalo to Long Island, including the mother of all Prides in New York City.  I LOVE NY will be present at many of the Pride festivities across the state.  Find a list of events and tools to plan your Pride getaway at iloveny.com/lgbt.
  • As summer heats up, scores of exciting special events are taking place across New York State, from the Utica Boilermaker 5 + 15K to Saratoga Race Course Opening Day to the Syracuse Nationals Car Show.  Check the calendar for your favorite at iloveny.com/events.


  • FuzeHubconnects small to mid-sized New York State manufacturers to the resources, programs and expertise they need to take technologies to market, and forms the center of a powerful network of resources that can help businesses find equipment, scale-up production and overcome business and technical challenges.
  • Learn about Business Mentor NY, a free, innovative initiative that supports and grows small businesses by connecting owners to other successful professionals throughout the State. Visit the newly launched Business Mentor NY website.
  • ESD’s NYS Beverage Biz Events & News page is a One Stop Shop website that provides everything a winery, brewery, cidery or distillery needs to get permitted, access incentives or get information on starting and growing your business in New York.
  • CitizenConnects empowers New Yorkers with the information they need to actively participate in state government. In the spirit of the old town green, CitizenConnects provides a way for New Yorkers to participate in state government and share thoughts, opinions and ideas for New York’s future. Get involved in your community by coming out to participate!

Make sure to check out ESD’s Facebook Page and LinkedIn Company Page , and follow us on Twitter (@EmpireStateDev) for the most up to date events.

Builds on New York State’s commitment to broadband – the largest in the nation

New York State hosted its second annual Broadband Summit on June 6, drawing more than 300 national, state and local broadband leaders, as well as decision makers in the broadband and technology sectors to Albany to discuss the important issues around broadband expansion and access.  The summit highlighted emerging technologies and exciting developments in the industry, and included the state’s first-ever New York State Broadband Champion Awards.

The Champion Awards were presented to state broadband leaders who have performed outstanding work in the industry and have made a significant impact on advancing broadband access and adoption in New York. One winner was awarded with a Champion Award in each of the following categories:

  • Broadband Leadership Award – Phil Wagschal, Slic Network Solutions (North Country Region)
  • Most Innovative Broadband Project – Queens Library (NYC Region)
  • Most Collaborative Broadband Project/Program – Clarity Connect, Inc.; Tompkins County; and Cayuga Counties (Southern Tier Region)
  • Best Broadband Adoption Initiative/Program – The City of New York’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (NYC Region)
  • Economic Leadership Award – Southern Tier Network (Southern Tier Region)

The summit is a part of the overall New York State Broadband initiative and the continued effort to increase broadband availability and adoption statewide. It builds on Governor Cuomo’s accomplishments in expanding broadband across New York, including the deployment of more than $68 million for broadband projects—the largest statewide broadband commitment funding in the nation. Through these investments, more than 160,000 households, 8,000 businesses, and 400 community anchor institutions will have access to high-speed broadband services.


Kenneth Adams, ESD President, CEO & Commissioner, delivers a keynote address at the second annual Broadband Summit

“Access to high-speed internet is crucial to helping businesses compete and communities to remain connected in the 21st century economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “At our second Broadband Summit, state officials came together with industry leaders to identify ways to strengthen broadband services and eliminate barriers to expanding internet coverage in underserved parts of the state. This is another example of how our administration is working to improve vital services, and I look forward to seeing this productive dialogue continue to yield results for New Yorkers.”

The summit included keynote addresses by Kenneth Adams, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development; Jonathan Adelstein, President and Chief Executive Officer, PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association and former FCC Commissioner; Daniel Kent, U.S. Public Sector Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Systems; and Joe Reardon, Former Kansas City Mayor and Attorney at Law, McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, P.A.

It also featured updates on the New York State Broadband Initiative, and included several breakout sessions ranging from developing a regional broadband strategy, broadband for economic development and new research, broadband adoption for older adults, addressing digital access, industry best practices for broadband deployment, using broadband as an attraction tool for innovation sector companies, and more.

Expands unprecedented commitment to growing the tourism industry

On May 14 hundreds of tourism experts gathered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to discuss new ways of bringing visitors to every corner of the state as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted New York State’s second Tourism Summit.

Building on last year’s unprecedented support of the tourism industry, the governor announced the state’s commitment of $45 million to promote statewide tourism, create jobs and attract even more visitors to the Empire State. This 50% increase in state funding over the previous year gives New York one of the largest state-only funded tourism programs in the nation. The funding is in addition to over $104 million in capital funding for tourism infrastructure provided last year for local tourism projects, as well as investments in state parks like Jones Beach and Niagara Falls, and facilities of the Olympic Regional Development Authority.


Tourism industry leaders join Governor Cuomo at the 2014 New York State Tourism Summit 

Governor Cuomo also unveiled a new tourism advertising campaign featuring Ed Burns, Steve Buscemi, Billy Joel, Robert De Niro, Michael Strahan, Meryl Streep and Vanessa Williams. The ads can also be found on YouTube here.

“Tourism plays an integral role in the economy, and we will continue our work to make sure it thrives, creates jobs and generates new economic opportunities for our state,” Governor Cuomo said.

In 2013, New York’s tourism industry generated direct spending of $59.2 billion, producing an estimated $7.5 billion in state and local taxes. The number of visitors to New York is estimated to have increased by 8.8 million, projected to finish at 218.8 million visitors in 2013. As the fourth largest employment sector in New York, the tourism industry also added 28,500 jobs in 2013 for a total of 832,500 jobs and generated more than $17.96 billion in wages. One out of every 12 jobs in New York is tourism-related.


Governor Cuomo hosts New York State’s second Tourism Summit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY.

In addition, the summit provided an opportunity for a Business to Business Marketplace Meetup, which introduced travel product managers, tour operators, retailers and wholesalers to representatives from all eleven vacation regions in the state to promote the tourism assets of their respective areas. An estimated $25 million of potential business was conducted at the summit.

After discussions with tourism experts and hearing the concerns and ideas of local and international tourism stakeholders, Governor Cuomo announced — in addition to the increased state funding for tourism — a series of initiatives designed to build on the success of the first summit and further promote New York State as the tourism capital of the world, including:

• Comprehensive, Integrated Tourism Marketing Campaign: Bringing together the I LOVE NY, Path Through History and Taste NY programs, New York State will promote tourism in the most integrated and comprehensive way ever on TV and through other media, on the roads, on the rails, at airports, on the web and on mobile devices.

• A partnership with NYC & Company will help build awareness of off-season New York City opportunities in other areas of the state, and let residents and visitors in New York City know about the vacations opportunities awaiting them throughout New York State.

• A new NY Loves Groups initiative will work to increase group and motorcoach travel, meetings and conventions throughout New York State.

• Transportation Access to Tourism Opportunities: An I LOVE NY Get Out of Town bus will bring tourists from New York City and key Canadian markets to New York’s ski slopes, wineries and breweries, and special events across the state.

• Special Events: I LOVE NEW YORK will have a presence at key special events in the state in 2014 to acquire consumer data, bolster events as tourism draws and promote tourism statewide.

• Global Tourism: I LOVE NEW YORK will expand its global reach through increased representation and partnerships in key markets such as Australia and China.

• One Stop Shop to Boost Tourism Employment: A one-stop-shop website will make the tourism industry aware of hospitality training programs available for employees, and will connect graduates of these kinds of programs with employers in the hospitality industry.

• Informing Destination Development: A gap analysis will help identify transformative tourism infrastructure and marketing challenges and opportunities, and create a roadmap for public and private investment in the tourism sector.

• Outdoor Tourism Promotion: A new campaign specifically targeted to promote outdoor tourism will include partnerships with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYS Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, and Campground Owners of NY (CONY).

• Market NY: Funding for the Market NY program will be increased to $12 million, allowing tourism assets across the state to make necessary bricks-and-mortar improvements and deploy innovative marketing campaigns to increase visitation.

Download the New York State Tourism Summit Booklet here.

View the Summit video here.

ESD investments in the job-producing motion picture industry can be seen on-screen

If you go to the movies this summer, there is a strong chance you will see New York State in a starring role. The entertainment industry in New York is flourishing, generating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity in communities across the state.

Much of this activity can be attributed to the State’s Film and Television Production Tax Credit program, which in recent years has attracted productions to New York in record numbers, including several playing on the big screen this summer.

After more than 100 days of production and 300,000 square feet of rented space in New York State, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 premiered in theaters on May 2nd as the largest production ever filmed in the Empire State. The production provided a big boost the economy, spending approximately $150 million across numerous industries in Rochester, New York City and Long Island, including $44 million in wages paid to and $4.5 million in taxes paid by New York residents, as well as the employment of 3,900 cast and crew and another 5,223 extras.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is just one of this summer’s blockbusters filmed in NYS

However, Peter Parker isn’t the only character hitting theaters this summer in a New York-based production. The visual masterpiece Noah also left a lasting impact on the state, as it was responsible for $60.5 million in spending and almost 2,000 jobs in New York State alone, including $30.2 million in wages paid to local employees, who contributed $3.6 million in taxes back to the state. Overall, the production utilized hundreds of local vendors in a variety of industries, such as post-production services, lodging, car rental facilities, catering businesses and many others.

In May, ESD Commissioner Kenneth Adams highlighted the economic benefits resulting from The Other Woman filming primarily in New York State. The production spent 56 days filming on Long Island and in New York City, as well as on location in Yonkers and Harrison, Westchester County. The production hired more than 3,000 local crew and extras, and contracted with local vendors during filming, spending $11.5 million at area businesses for a variety of services and nearly $600,000 on hotel rooms alone. In total, The Other Woman spent more than $37 million during production in New York State.

And most recently it was announced that The Normal Heart, a star-studded HBO film, hired nearly 1,000 crew as well as an additional 1,100 extras while giving local vendors a surge in business during filming, spending over $6.3 million at area businesses, including more than $2 million on Long Island, for a variety of goods and services, and nearly $250,000 on hotel rooms alone.

“From our small towns to our big cities, New York State offers the perfect environment for film and television productions with its combination of an experienced and skilled workforce, premier locations, top notch post production companies, and business-friendly climate,” said Commissioner Adams. “Governor Cuomo has made the entertainment industry a key component of our economic development strategy and the results are clearly paying off for New York State: the production and post production industries are growing at a rapid pace, hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested, thousands of New Yorkers are working in the industry, and New York has become a top destination for filming.”

ESD related happenings around New York State for you


  • Join thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners at the International Franchise Expo, the largest franchise expo in the country, at the Javits Center, June 19 - 21. Register for free using the promo code NYSED.
  • Events across the nation explain to entrepreneurs how to participate in the 43North business competition to bring innovative projects to Buffalo.  Dates and locations are available at 43north.org/events.
  • Explore New York’s vital place in history at Path Through History Weekends, June 7 - 8 and 14 - 15, featuring hundreds of special events at historical sites and attractions all across New York State. Past themes for PTH weekends include: Innovation & Commerce, Colonial History, and U.S. Presidents.
  • June is LGBT Pride Month, and New York State is home to close to twenty different Pride celebrations, from Buffalo to Long Island, including the mother of all Prides in New York City.  Find a list of events and tools to plan your Pride getaway at iloveny.com/lgbt.
  • Gear up and head to the Americade Motorcycle Touring Rally, the world’s largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally, June 2 - 7. Attend factory demos, a massive motorcycle expo, and other motorcycle events. Stop by the Exhibitor area, featuring I LOVE NY.
  • Check out one of the most popular arts festivals in New York State, Fairport Canal Days, on June 7 and 8. Enjoy over 200 artisans, regional attractions, fine food vendors, and great live music.
  • Visit the Clearwater Festival on June 21 - 22 at Croton Park in Croton-On-Hudson in Westchester County.  The festival features seven sustainably powered stages with diverse music, dance, storytelling and family-oriented programming. Stop by the NYS Parks Dept. Responsible / Sustainable Travel booth, featuring I LOVE NY.


  • FuzeHubconnects small to mid-sized New York State manufacturers to the resources, programs and expertise they need to take technologies to market, and forms the center of a powerful network of resources that can help businesses find equipment, scale-up production and overcome business and technical challenges.
  • ESD’s NYS Beverage Biz Events & News page is a One Stop Shop website that provides everything a winery, brewery, cidery or distillery needs to get permitted, access incentives or get information on starting and growing your business in New York.
  • CitizenConnects empowers New Yorkers with the information they need to actively participate in state government. In the spirit of the old town green, CitizenConnects provides a way for New Yorkers to participate in state government and share thoughts, opinions and ideas for New York’s future. Get involved in your community by coming out to participate!

Make sure to check out ESD’s Facebook Page and LinkedIn Company Page , and follow us on Twitter (@EmpireStateDev) for the most up to date events.

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of a new online platform for Business Mentor NY, the state’s first large-scale, hands-on, free mentoring program designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses across New York State grow their businesses. 

The platform – www.businessmentor.ny.gov – is designed to streamline the free mentoring process so that small business owners throughout New York State may receive assistance from a variety of experienced professionals who represent a vast range of disciplines and are volunteering their time and expertise. Through the website, participants may register online, review the profiles of potential mentors to find a suitable match and communicate directly with them on an as-needed basis and at no charge. 


The kickoff event occurred at the Manhattan headquarters of Quirky, a successful invention company, whose senior executives will serve as mentors in the program.  Starting in May, Business Mentor NY will conduct a series of events across the state to increase awareness about the program’s benefits. 

“This free, new program will help small businesses looking to grow,” Governor Cuomo said. “Helping small business owners overcome obstacles and achieve greater success will in turn strengthen local economies and spur job creation. I commend the Quirky team and other volunteer mentors who will donate their time and expertise in order to help their fellow New Yorkers with reaching their full economic potential.”

Governor Cuomo first announced the creation of Business Mentor NY in his State of the State address in January.  The program builds upon the volunteer mentoring efforts that provided assistance to businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The program partners with the NY Rising Small Business Recovery Program to assist businesses in communities affected by the storms and is funded in part through the federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery program enacted in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Business Mentor NY connects volunteers working in the private sector to small businesses and minority and women owned businesses (MWBEs) to help them both recover from the storm and become more resilient. The one-on-one guidance and counsel will complement the state’s current network of financial and technical assistance providers that help owners and communities realize their full economic potential.

More than 200 business professionals have volunteered to participate as mentors in Business Mentor NY to date, including lawyers, accountants, consultants and other entrepreneurs and experts in the fields of finance, retail, communications and information technology, human resources and staffing, public relations, sales and marketing.

The program is being conducted in partnership with MicroMentor, a proprietary online mentoring platform that connects volunteer mentors with entrepreneurs so they may solve problems and build businesses together. An initiative of the nonprofit Mercy Corps, MicroMentor has a track record of success nationwide. MicroMentor has found that formal mentoring programs such as Business Mentor NY help businesses increase their annual revenue, create jobs and launch successful businesses compared to businesses that do not participate in mentoring programs.

 “Great companies start with great ideas, and Business Mentor NY was created to help entrepreneurs build a successful business model around their great ideas,” said Kenneth Adams, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development (ESD). “Whether it’s overcoming hardships caused by a severe storm, reviewing insurance policies or managing finances, this innovative network was designed to help small businesses grow by learning from the experiences of their peers throughout the state.”

Leader in tech industry expected to create over 350 new jobs at expanded SoHo headquarters

Earlier this month, Square, Inc., a leading provider of technology that allows businesses to accept credit card payments on mobile devices, announced that it is expanding its operations and opening its East Coast headquarters in New York City, which will create over 350 new jobs for New York State.  Square’s office will be located at 375 West Broadway in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, and Square expects to move into its new location this summer, bringing 35 existing jobs to New York.

“New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, technology and art — something we do every day at Square as we help local sellers grow their business with simple and beautiful tools,” said Demetrios Marantis, head of international government, regulatory and policy work at Square. “We are inspired by the innovation in New York State and thrilled to be near the world’s leading financial center and part of its ever-growing tech industry.”


With simple, affordable tools for everything from accepting credit card payments to managing sales on-line, Square helps businesses start, run and grow. Square Reader, the free credit card reader for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, allows businesses to accept credit cards anywhere and anytime, for one low, transparent rate.  Square’s suite of business tools also includes Square Register, Square Market, Square Wallet, Square Stand and Square Cash.  Founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey and headquartered in San Francisco, Square is currently available in the United States, Canada and Japan, and has more than 800 employees worldwide.

To encourage Square to proceed with its expansion in New York City, Empire State Development offered up to $5 million in performance-based Excelsior tax credits, which are tied directly to the company’s job creation and investment commitments.  Square’s New York workforce will include highly-skilled engineers, developers, web designers and business professionals, and its expansion will be an exciting addition to “Silicon Alley” technology cluster thanks to the rapid adoption of its products by both consumers and small businesses.  In particular, the expansion will help develop the City’s enterprise-facing or B2B technology sector, as well as attract a sophisticated group of engineers, build the local talent base, and promote New York as a hub for serious technologists.

“Square’s decision to create a new East Coast headquarters in SoHo is the latest in a growing trend of start-up, innovative tech industry firms that have chosen New York State as the place to expand their business,” Governor Cuomo said. “With a highly talented workforce, a government committed to cutting barriers to growth, and a business climate that inspires innovation, the rapid expansion of the tech sector in New York State proves our economic strategy is working. I welcome Square Inc. to New York, and congratulate the company on this decision to expand here in SoHo and grow their business by 350 employees.”

 “New York State is becoming a worldwide hub for technology development and under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the state’s focus on economic development is leading to more private investment by industry leaders – which means more jobs for New Yorkers,” said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “By supporting Square’s new East Coast headquarters in New York, we’re creating new opportunities for nearly 400 New Yorkers and proving that the Empire State is a place where high-tech pioneers want to come to innovate and succeed.”

A note from ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams

Earlier this month, surrounded by legislative leaders, Governor Cuomo signed his fourth consecutive on-time budget — an historic achievement that will continue New York’s remarkable transformation from the tax and spend capital of America to a fiscally responsible state with a business climate that is conducive to growth.  The governor’s commitment to fiscal discipline has a significant impact on our ability to attract new businesses, invest in innovation and revitalize communities.  I am pleased to report that this year’s budget has a lot of good news when it comes to economic development.

To attract new business investment and encourage business leaders and entrepreneurs to set up shop in New York, the budget includes tax reforms, such as eliminating the corporate tax on manufacturers, creating a real property tax credit of 20 per cent for upstate manufacturers, estate tax reform, and accelerating the elimination of the 18-a energy tax surcharge, a step that will save all businesses and residential ratepayers $600 million over the next three years. The budget also extends the commercial tax credit program and establishes a $4 million theatrical production tax credit for stage performances outside of New York City.

The budget also includes strategic investments in cutting-edge industries that have the potential to grow exponentially in the coming years. The Clarkson University-Trudeau Institute Partnership will receive $10 million to grow the biotech industry in the North Country. The SUNY College for Nanoscale Science and Engineering will receive $50 million to build on its existing success, while the Nano-Utica project will receive $180 million to help extend the nano-model of economic development beyond the Capital Region. The New York Genome Center will receive $55.75 million to keep our state at the forefront of biomedical research and clinical care with the mission of saving lives.

Finally, this year’s budget invests heavily in our cities, towns, villages and counties, recognizing that when it comes to economic development, community revitalization is a top priority.  For example, the Buffalo Regional Innovation Cluster will receive $680 million to support projects within the city of Buffalo and surrounding areas.   The Onondaga County Revitalization Project will also receive $30 million for development and infrastructure improvements around Onondaga Lake.   

The budget also includes an additional $365,000 for the Minority and Women-owned Business Development Loan Program, raising it to $1 million in total, to help ensure that our businesses are as diverse as our people.

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo’s highest priority has been working to strengthen New York’s economy and create jobs. Using a combination of innovative economic development initiatives, reduction of taxes and red tape for businesses, and leveraging of New York’s world class academic institutions, Governor Cuomo has helped to build a foundation for a stronger and more business friendly New York. The 2014-2015 budget continues this important work, and New Yorkers looking for an economic boost should be excited about what’s still to come.

State actions have contributed to 83% growth in farm beverage licenses

On April 8th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo hosted the second New York State Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit in Albany. The event brought the farm-based beverage sector together with agricultural producers and government officials in an effort to accelerate and prolong the rapid growth exhibited by the state’s beverage industry.

Since the first summit, legislation has been enacted and initiatives launched to help the beverage industry open new markets and expand its visibility across the globe. This in turn has helped create thriving new businesses, increase agritourism opportunities and grow jobs in every region of the state. Since the first quarter of 2011, state actions that support agricultural producers have contributed to an 83% growth in farm-based beverage licenses.


Governor Cuomo Hosts 2nd Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit

Governor Cuomo announced several initiatives during the latest summit that will further support industry growth.  One key deliverable is the launch of a $6 million marketing and promotional campaign to raise the profile of New York’s beverage producers.  Under this initiative, the state will commit $2 million in direct spending to support the industry’s growth via a $1 million targeted advertising campaign and $1 million in tourism promotion funding. Additionally, ESD will launch a $2 million grant program that matches $2 million in industry contributions for the marketing and promotion of wine, beer, spirits and cider produced in New York State. Entities deemed eligible for this grant funding will include not-for-profit organizations whose primary purpose and mission is the promotion and marketing of New York State produced wine, beer, spirits and cider.

Governor Cuomo also committed to introducing the Craft New York Act, legislation that would enact the most comprehensive farm-based beverage license reforms in state history.  Specifically, the legislation is a comprehensive set of reforms to consolidate and simplify distilling manufacturing licenses, raise production limits and lower licensing fees for craft manufacturers, expand marketing opportunities, modernize shipping laws, and increase retail outlets where small craft manufacturers can sell, serve and offer samples of their products.


The Beverage One Stop Shop launched in 2013 will be upgraded to a 2.0 version, marketing state financing options to the farm-based beverage industry. In addition, a new on-line marketplace will be launched to connect farmers to beverage producers, a new business mentor program for the craft beverage industry will be launched, and state-operated webinars will be hosted on a variety of industry-related topics.

Finally, the I SKI NY Bus program announced at the Lake Placid Winter Adirondack Challenge will be expanded to include a Taste NY bus program during the spring, summer, and fall months to provide tours and access from New York City to the state’s wine and beverage trails in the Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Long Island, Niagara Escarpment and Thousand Island regions.

“Agriculture and tourism have the potential for tremendous growth in New York, and over the past few years we have seen that our investments in the farm-based beverage industry are resulting in new opportunities for small business owners throughout the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “The proposals and actions announced today will make it easier than ever before to start a farm-based beverage business, raise the profile of producers across the state, and open up new markets where our entrepreneurs can succeed. Today’s summit was all about creating jobs and stimulating the economy, and I am confident that by working alongside our partners in the private sector our producers will be able to thrive and compete anywhere in the world.”

Leader in web-based software solutions for automotive retail expected to create over 350 new jobs at expanded LI headquarters

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced that Dealertrack Technologies, a leader in web-based solutions and services for automotive retailing, will expand its operations and establish new corporate headquarters on Long Island. The project will result in the creation of more than 350 additional jobs in Nassau County and represents one of the largest state-supported projects ever on Long Island in terms of job creation. The company had considered over 100 sites in five states before choosing the Nassau County location.

In order to keep Dealertrack and its expansion on Long Island, the state has committed a total of up to $12 million in performance-based incentives from ESD – $10.5 million in tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program and a $1.5M capital grant, both of which are tied directly to job creation and investment commitments, including more than 350 net new jobs, the retention of over 500 current jobs and additional capital investment.

“Since day one, my administration’s top priority has been creating jobs and economic opportunities for New Yorkers, and Dealertrack Technologies is bringing both to Long Island in a big way,” Governor Cuomo said. “The company’s major commitment to doing business in New York is proof positive of the progress we have made in creating an environment that attracts investment and enables businesses to grow and succeed.”

Mark O’Neil, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dealertrack Technologies said, “We have been working closely with the governor’s office, Nassau County and iOptimize Realty® to help ensure that Dealertrack has a permanent home for its North American headquarters on Long Island. We appreciate the efforts of the governor’s office, New York State and Nassau County to enable us to build our business here, provide more jobs on Long Island and to economically stimulate the local area.”

Dealertrack Technologies, founded in 2001, is a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: TRAK) that develops and provides software solutions and services for all major segments of the automotive retail industry, including dealers, lenders, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), third-party retailers, agents and aftermarket providers. Dealertrack’s growth on Long Island and across the country has been explosive, and the company is a major high wage employer in Nassau County, with its workforce consisting primarily of highly compensated software engineers. The company currently operates the largest online credit application network in the country and employs nearly 3,500 nationwide.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “Dealertrack’s decision to not just expand, but establish new corporate headquarters on Long Island demonstrates the restored confidence companies have in New York State under Governor Cuomo’s leadership. Empire State Development is proud to support this project, and the 350 new jobs that Dealertrack has committed to create will bring economic opportunities for years to come.”

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) have a new tool to allow them to access up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State.  The newly announced Bridge to Success loan program will make at least $20 million available through participating lenders to provide short-term bridge loans to qualified MWBEs and give them the working capital they need to execute on a state contract. 

State contract payment cycles frequently take longer than what is financially feasible for MWBEs.  The delay in the payment cycle poses a significant barrier to these firms securing state contracts. Under the Bridge to Success program, ESD would provide up to $2.73 million in loan guarantees to support $20 million in short-term loans provided by five participating lenders.  ESD’s support will stimulate increased lending in this area and enable participating lenders to mitigate risk.


The lenders participating in the Bridge to Success program are:

New York Business Development Corp (NYBDC) – Statewide
State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU) – parts of the Capital Region, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Western New York Regions
Tompkins Mahopac Bank – Mid-Hudson Region
TruFund Financial Services (TruFund) – Mid-Hudson, Long Island and New York City Regions
Carver Federal Savings Bank – New York City Region

Loans made under the program will typically be for less than $200,000 with terms under two years.  Funds will allow qualified MWBEs the bridge capital they need to hire staff, buy materials, or purchase equipment.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “By partnering with high capacity lenders around the state, we are dramatically increasing the lending opportunities for MWBEs looking to work with the state. Many banks are reluctant to provide credit to these firms given the short-term nature of their capital need and the size and experience of many of these companies, despite a good idea or track record. The governor’s Bridge to Success Program levels the playing field and opens the door for businesses that face challenges using traditional funding sources.”

Additional information is available here

ESD related happenings around New York State that you can be a part of


  • Calling all cyclists! Bike New York’s Bike Expo will take place from May 2 – 3 in Basketball City, located on Pier 36 in Manhattan. Visit the I LOVE NY Booth and the Taste NY Beer Garden, and be sure to check out the BMX demo, sponsored by I LOVE NY.
  • Get a taste of history at Metro-North’s Getaway Day Featuring Path Through History, Wednesday, May 14th. Held at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall and in the Taxi Stand at Vanderbilt Avenue and E. 43rd Street, this partnership serves as a kick off for Path Through History Weekends, June 7-8 & 14-15. See historic re-enactors, exhibits, artifacts, and booths with information on heritage travel getaways you can take this spring and summer.
  • The Rochester Lilac Festival draws thousands of festival-goers to Monroe County, providing amusements in the forms of wine and chocolate tastings, craft beer gardens, shopping and parades, while contributing more than $3 million to the local economy. Visit the Festival and I LOVE NY booth from May 9 – 18.
  • Check out the Air Show at Jones Beach from May 24- 25.  In the past, the show has easily seen 200,000 people fill up the beach on a single day.
  • Join thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners at the International Franchise Expo, the largest franchise expo in the country at the Javits Center, June 19-21. Register for free using the promo code NYSED.
  • Events across the nation explain to entrepreneurs how to participate in the 43North business competition.  Dates and locations are available at 43north.org/events.


  • Market NY (Tourism) Grants- Round IV- Applications Now Open!

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently launched Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, officially kicking off the 2014 competition for up to $750 million in state economic development resources. The Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) opened to applicants on May 1, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state funding programs, through a single application, for job-creating and community development projects.

     The Market NY Program, with up to a $10 million budget, supports regionally themed marketing projects that promote tourism destinations/attractions and existing/new special events. Additionally, Market NY will make grants for regional tourism facility improvement projects in New York State. Market NY specific information can be found here

  • Learn about Business Mentor NY, a new ESD business program that connects entrepreneurs and mentors to build small businesses together. Visit the newly launched Business Mentor NY website.
  • FuzeHubconnects small to mid-sized New York State manufacturers to the resources, programs and expertise they need to take technologies to market, and forms the center of a powerful network of resources that can help businesses find equipment, scale-up production and overcome business and technical challenges.
  • ESD’s NYS Beverage Biz Events & News page is a One Stop Shop website that provides everything a winery, brewery, cidery or distillery needs to get permitted, access incentives or get information on starting and growing your business in New York.
  • CitizenConnects empowers New Yorkers with the information they need to actively participate in state government. In the spirit of the old town green, CitizenConnects provides a way for New Yorkers to participate in state government and share thoughts, opinions and ideas for New York’s future. Get involved in your community by coming out to participate!
  • Are you a part of the NYS Tech industry? The Build Smart NY Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC) was created to accelerate the adoption of commercial, but not yet widely deployed, energy efficiency technologies that advance New York’s clean energy economy and reduce energy consumption in buildings statewide.To learn more about the EE-INC program and RFI process,listen to EE-INC’s informational webinar now!

Make sure to check out ESD’s Facebook Page and LinkedIn Company Page , and follow us on Twitter (@EmpireStateDev) for the most up to date events.