Empire State Development

Empire State Development is New York State's chief economic development agency.
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ESD-related happenings around New York State that you can be a part of!


  • Attention NYS manufacturers: On October 3, 2014 FuzeHub will hold a Farm to Fork Solutions Forum in Rochester, NY, a free, half-day event providing in-person meeting opportunities for NYS manufacturing companies with a select group of business and technical experts to analyze, problem solve and identify solutions to meet specific company needs. Register here.

Before summer ends, make a getaway to join I LOVE NY and the Division of Tourism at the following events across New York State:

  • Golfers, head to the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Pittsford, New York from Aug 11-17. The Wegmans LPGA event features the top 150 players from 25 countries and attracts over 80,000 spectators, contributing an estimated $20 million to the Rochester economy on an annual basis.
  • Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Woodstock music festival, is celebrating the 45th anniversary of that iconic event.  Special events throughout the season include a screening of Woodstock: The Director’s Cut on the original festival field on August 15.
  • For 12 days and nights, from August 21 - September 1, The Great New York State Fair brings together the best food, music, rides, games, exhibits, animals, agriculture and so much more of all the things that make New York State special.
  • The Bassmaster Elite Series, the nation’s premier bass tournament circuit, comes to Cayuga Lake and the Finger Lakes communities of Union Springs and Auburn, from August 21st to 24th.  In addition to championship fishing, the event also features free on-the-water boat demos, lure seminars, contests and giveaways and more.
  • Check out the Adirondack Balloon Festival from September 18-21 at Crandall Park in Glens Falls, NY. Enjoy the oldest and largest balloon event on the East Coast, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.


  • ESD provides a variety of Business Programs aimed at helping businesses; whether you are an international company looking to make a move or a small business owner wanting to access capital, ESD is here to help.
  • 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.
  • 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.

State investments will result in hundreds of new jobs for Buffalo and Capital region

IBM, GE, and New York State have something in common: innovation. It is the core strategy of these technology companies and also what is driving Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s investment in economic development and commitment to growing jobs across the state. 

Earlier this summer, Governor Cuomo announced that IBM will bring 500 new information technology jobs to Buffalo, a commitment leveraged by a $55 million Buffalo Billion investment by the State in the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub. IBM will be the first anchor tenant in the Hub, which, in partnership with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, New York State Data Center, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and University at Buffalo, will train IT professionals, educate new IT staff through State University of New York partnerships, and develop next generation IT software necessary to drive state-of-the-art discoveries in the areas of molecular research, genomics, energy efficiency, and defense.


Governor Cuomo announces that NYS will partner with over 100 private companies, led by IBM, to launch the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium.

New York State’s commitment includes $25 million to establish an open innovation facility and $30 million to purchase IT equipment and software to be used at the Hub. The Hub will be owned by the State with IBM as the first anchor tenant and will be available to all IT units at all State agencies. McGuire Development Company will be the lead developer for the Hub, which is expected to open in the KeyCenter Building at Fountain Plaza in downtown Buffalo in 2015.


Also this summer, Governor Cuomo announced that the State will partner with over 100 private companies, led by GE, to launch the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium. The Consortium will invest over $500 million and create thousands of high-skilled, high-paying jobs in Upstate New York over the next five years – including at least 500 in the Capital region – focusing on the development and manufacturing of the next generation of materials for semiconductors.  Managed through the newly merged SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering / SUNY Institute of Technology, this public-private partnership will enable power devices to get smaller, faster, and more efficient.


GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, “GE is proud to support New York’s Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, which places New York at the forefront of the next revolution in power. By partnering, we are bringing breakthrough reliable technology to market faster and at lower cost so our customers and global industries see major productivity gains and operate at peak efficiency. It is true that New York is open for business, and I commend Governor Cuomo for his successful efforts to make the State a place where companies like GE want to continue to invest and expand.”

The site will act as a global “open-innovation” user-shared facility, which will enable the expansion and growth of major partners, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) with a particular emphasis on MWBE firms and ventures.

In early 2013, location scouts began appearing in the quaint Village of Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks. By late March, a major motion picture production rolled into town, bringing hundreds of people into the upstate community, including directors, actors, and crew, to shoot scenes for this summer’s latest blockbuster – Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The production resulted in more than $1 million spent at area businesses that included restaurants, hardware stores, lumber yards, and hotels, along with services such as fuel supplies, catering, and real estate rental.


Gigi Semone, Executive Director, Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development (second from right, in red) and local officials attend a community screening of TMNT at the State Theater in Tupper Lake on August 7, 2014.

“The production had a great impact on the area when the community needed it most – giving it a $1 million local economic boost during the most challenging time of the year,” said Jim LaValley, owner of LaValley Real Estate and chairman of ARISE, a local economic development organization. “They embraced the community who was sad to see them go when the filming ended. There are so many great location options in Tupper Lake and Paramount had such a great experience; they hope to come back again. We welcome filmmakers to the area.”

Lemieux Contracting of Tupper Lake was one of several area contractors who worked with the production over the six weeks of prep, filming, and wrap in March and April. Owner Mark Lemieux said, “The experience of having Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles filming in Tupper Lake was amazing, interesting, fun, as well as extremely economically beneficial. We would definitely welcome more filmmakers to the area.”

According to the Motion Picture Association for America (MPAA), the late-summer blockbuster shot for over 70 days in New York State and spent a total of more than $55 million, including $30 million in salaries for New York labor and $3.2 million in taxes paid to the State. The production took full advantage of New York’s diverse geography while filming – from downtown cityscapes to the panoramic Adirondacks.

As impressive as the numbers from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, the figures illustrate the benefits from only one production filming in New York State. The MPAA’s most recent State Economic Profile of New York shows that the film and television industry as a whole supports over 94,000 jobs throughout the State, paying over $9.4 billion in direct wages. New York’s competitive tax incentive is the driving force behind the State’s rise as a first-rate location for shooting films and television shows. The tax incentive creates opportunity for the State’s high-quality crew, vendors, and unique landscapes to play key roles in the production of major film and television productions.

"Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State has quickly turned into the country’s premier location to film a movie or television show and the impact of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the latest example of how the state’s Film Production Tax Credit program is attracting major motion pictures – along with major spending and employment opportunities – to the Empire State,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “We look forward to attracting more blockbuster productions like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as we work to grow the entertainment industry and strengthen New York’s economy.” 

“Major motion pictures require locations that are as diverse and imaginative as the content of the stories themselves. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles displays New York’s top qualities and the local economies reaped the benefits,” said Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. “Governor Cuomo and New York’s lawmakers’ leadership in offering a competitive production tax incentive continues to enable high-yielding results.”

I LOVE NY campaign activates at high-profile events all across the State

As visitors across New York have been attending countless special events being held this summer, the NYS Division of Tourism has been encouraging extended stays and new visits to destinations throughout the Empire State.  Governor Cuomo also has hosted events for opinion makers, travel industry professionals, and the media to get the word out about all the unique things there are to see and do in New York.

The Governor kicked off the summer tourism season in Watkins Glen, unveiling a new commercial with New Yorker Robert DeNiro that encourages New Yorkers and visitors to have the “Ultimate Road Trip” in New York State. The commercial highlights new tools to make travel across the State easier and more exciting than ever, including increased road signage and a social media campaign allowing travelers to share video messages about why they love New York. 


Governor Cuomo kicks off the summer tourism season in Watkins Glen.

Governor Cuomo also hosted the second annual Adirondack Challenge to bring attention to outdoor adventure activities in the Empire State. Guests joined the Governor for whitewater rafting on the Indian River, and participated in other outdoor activities like fishing, boating, hiking, motorcycling, and golf that highlighted the region.


Whitewater rafting at the second annual Adirondack Challenge.

This month, the Governor will invite guests to discover some of New York’s beautiful wineries, distilleries, and craft breweries as part of the Governor’s Wine Cup Tours of the Finger Lakes and Long Island.

Additionally, I LOVE NY has had a jam-packed summer promoting New York State tourism at the following events:

  • The Americade Motorcycle Rally in Lake George
  • Fairport Canal Days in the Finger Lakes
  • The Belmont Stakes in Long Island
  • The Clearwater Festival in the Hudson Valley
  • LGBT Pride events across the state
  • The Utica Boilermaker race
  • The Syracuse Nationals Car Show
  • The opening day of Saratoga Race Track
  • The National Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown
  • The 50th Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction in Clayton
  • The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown
  • The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Windham Mountain

This month, I LOVE NY will continue engaging visitors at events like Wegmans LPGA Golf Championship in Pittsford, Aug. 11-17; the Bassmaster Elite tournament on Cayuga Lake, Aug. 21-24; the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, Aug. 21 – Sept. 1; and the 2014 Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton, Aug. 24-31.  Be sure to stop by the I LOVE NY booth at these great events for help planning your next New York State getaway.

Help is available for entrepreneurs and new and expanding businesses

ESD is supported by a network of ten regional offices that serve as the foundation of New York State’s economic development organization.  The offices function as one-stop centers to assist companies with relocation or expansion projects and often are a business’s first point of contact.  The regional offices are led by the regional directors, who also serve as executive directors for the Regional Economic Development Councils, and are supported by a team of project managers and associates that work on the front lines to increase private sector investment and job creation in their regions.

Most recently, ESD announced the North Country’s new regional director, Stephen M. Hunt II, who previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman William Owens.  Steve is managing the North Country regional office, with former regional director Roseanne Murphy, who will be retiring this summer, assisting with the transition.


As the new North Country Regional Director, Steve works under the leadership of ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams, running daily operations of both North Country offices—Plattsburgh and Watertown—and promoting economic development practices that both retain and attract businesses and create jobs in the region.  In addition, Steve has taken on the role of Executive Director of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC), where he will help coordinate the council’s activities and implement the region’s Strategic Plan.

“I’m excited to take on this new role as ESD’s North Country Regional Director, helping to grow business and create jobs in the region I call home,” said Hunt. “There is a tremendous amount of momentum building in New York State and the North Country is making great strides under Governor Cuomo’s leadership. I’m proud to be on the ground in the region, working to provide new economic opportunity for the communities of this beautiful and unique seven-county region. I’m especially honored to join the staff at the regional office and work with the co-chairs and members of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, as we implement our region’s Strategic Plan to generate new investment and jobs.”

You may get in touch with your local ESD regional office by visiting esd.ny.gov/RegionalOverviews.

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 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.

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.”

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.”

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.”