Governor Cuomo Announces First Wave of Businesses to Expand or Locate in New York State

June 4, 2014

From the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo


12 Businesses to Create Nearly 400 New Jobs and Invest $50 Million in Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, and New York City

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 12 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 12 businesses are projected 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.

“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. “Just months after the program’s launch, we are excited to announce the first businesses to participate in START-UP NY, which will bring nearly 400 new jobs and $50 million in investment to communities in Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, and New York City. 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.”

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 businesses approved for START-UP NY include the following:

  • Aesku NY, Inc., CoachMePlus (Virtuvia, LLC), Clearview Social, Inc., Decision Pace, Inc., Heads Up Display Inc., Lineagen, Inc., Nupur Technologies, LLC, and Sinapis Pharma, Inc. will be sponsored by the University at Buffalo.
  • Datto, Inc. will be sponsored by the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • Incodema3D, LLC will be sponsored by Cornell University.
  • Americord Registry, LLC, and Modern Meadow, Inc. will be sponsored by SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

“Today's announcement demonstrates that Governor Cuomo is serious about taking economic development in this state to new heights through START-UP NY,” said John Mack, Economic Development Advisor to the State of New York and Special Advisor for START-UP NY. “I look forward to the continued success of the Governor's bold and unprecedented strategy for growing New York's economy with new and expanding companies across the State.”

“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 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 12 START-UP NY businesses, including seven that are new to New York State. The jobs and investments coming to Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca and Brooklyn will have an immediate economic impact and the participating companies will operate in a completely tax-free environment, which will enable them to create even more jobs and economic opportunities for New Yorkers in the future.”

“With these university-industry partnerships now in place, SUNY students and faculty will have unprecedented access to emerging, high-tech fields that will enhance the value of a SUNY education while creating jobs and driving our state economy,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The Governor’s vision of positioning our colleges and universities to attract new businesses to the state is working. START-UP NY is successfully fostering growth and entrepreneurialism and we are proud to welcome these first businesses to the program.”

“Significantly, these first approved businesses align with the core research sectors of SUNY’s Networks of Excellence, a key part of Governor Cuomo’s Innovation Agenda,” said Dr. Tim Killeen, President of the Research Foundation for SUNY and SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research. “The Networks support the mission of START-UP NY by bringing together SUNY's top scholars and industry experts to spur research and business commercialization opportunities in high demand areas such as health, neuroscience, energy, materials and advanced manufacturing.”

“START-UP NY is a very innovative way to connect the strengths of a major research university, like the University at Buffalo, with the expertise and energy of entrepreneurs and businesspeople,” said Satish K. Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo. “The university is excited to be working closely with these eight companies as they grow, become successful and provide internships and career opportunities for our students and the Western New York community.”

“Many thanks to Governor Cuomo for the incredible opportunity that START-UP NY has made possible for our university and the Greater Rochester region,” said Bill Destler, President, Rochester Institute of Technology. “With this program, RIT is able to partner with one of its alumni to open the New York office of his Connecticut-based Inc. 500 company in the center of downtown Rochester. The arrival of Datto, Inc. will bring tremendous opportunities to retain more of our talented graduates in Upstate New York, create additional co-op and employment opportunities for RIT students and graduates, as well as set an example for other entrepreneurs that New York – and Rochester – are indeed ‘Open for Business.’”

“We are thrilled to be among the first university-company partnerships getting off the ground through START-UP NY,” said David Skorton, President, Cornell University. “Incodema 3D represents an opportunity for Cornell to leverage its expertise in advanced materials and manufacturing. The employment of 65 people in advanced manufacturing and investment of over $37 million in capital equipment to support that growth by private investors represents a significant positive impact on the region's economy.”

“START-UP NY represents a major opportunity to advance the biotechnology enterprise in the New York City region at SUNY Downstate," said Dr. John F. Williams, President, SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “By encouraging companies to locate in Downstate's Advanced Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT projects, START-UP NY is stimulating job creation and additional economic development. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his vision in utilizing SUNY to advance public-private partnerships and promote innovation in entrepreneurship.”

Additional details about the first wave of businesses approved for START-UP NY follow:

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 innovative and efficient products and services for the earlydetection, diagnosis and prognosis of autoimmune diseases. The company will be new to New York State and locate at the University at Buffalo downtown campus (Gateway Building). The company is also part of NY Genomic Medicine Network, and will invest approximately $2.8 million.

ClearView Social, Inc. is a development stage software company that is developing a social media application for the legal services community. Clearview is currently operating in the University of Buffalo’s Z80 Lab at One News Plaza and will be expanding to the University’s Gateway building. 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. CoachMePlus, currently operating at the University at Buffalo’s Z80 Lab at One News Plaza, will be expanding to the University’s Gateway building. 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. Decision Pace is a graduate of the University of Buffalo’s Z80 Lab at One News Plaza and is expanding to the University’s Gateway building. 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 test to improve personalized medicine in the areas of drug suitability for multiple sclerosis patients and deterioration rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and is a new business that is locating at the University at Buffalo’s downtown campus (Hauptman Woodward Institute). The company is also part of the NY Genomic Medicine Network and 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 is a new business that is locating at the University at Buffalo’s Baird Research Park. 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 (TBI) and strokes. Sinapis is a new business that will be locating at the University at Buffalo’s Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics. The company 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 to the Managed Service Provider channel. 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 is expanding into a tax-free area sponsored by Cornell University to begin conducting research and prototype manufacturing. Incodema specializes in high precision additive manufacturing (3D printing) in engineering grade plastics and metal. The company will invest approximately $37.3 million.

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 be opening a laboratory in the biotech incubator at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. The company 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 locate at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center BioBat facility in Brooklyn. The company will invest approximately $6.5 million.

Senator Michael Nozzolio said, “Cornell University is one of the world’s premier academic institutions, and in addition to our region’s highly educated workforce, it is a natural place for START-UP NY to work and thrive. Governor Cuomo clearing understands that our best universities are tremendous magnates for private sector job creation and it was a pleasure to partner with Governor Cuomo to attract new jobs and investment to our region.”

Senator George Maziarz said, “This is an exciting time in our region where we are experiencing growth and jobs we haven’t seen in a long time. StartUp NY continues that exciting and needed trend and provides right recipe – zero taxes for ten years - to attract even more employers and good jobs to our region. I applaud the Governor for spearheading this creative and now proven program that will help our region grow for years to come.”

Senator Joe Robach said, “Today’s announcement is proof that START-UP NY is changing the face of economic development across New York State. The companies that are being announced today represent the first of many rounds of job creators in local communities across the State, and I am proud to have worked with Governor Cuomo on this program and voted to make it a reality. I am excited for what the future holds, knowing that START-UP NY will continue to attract leading companies that will bring jobs and new investments to our region’s economy.”

Senator Diane Savino said, “START-UP NY is moving in the right direction, attracting entrepreneurs and new jobs to the SUNY Downstate campus. This program has the potential to revitalize local economies, and today’s news shows that New York is open for business."

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "This first round of START-UP NY companies is a tremendous addition to the Buffalo and Western New York economy and will help fuel the economic momentum driving job growth locally. Creating jobs and growing the economy have always been at the top of my priorities in the State Legislature, and the Governor's START-UP NY program has helped foster an improved business climate that is luring new businesses and bringing new jobs to New York State . I am thrilled to see the program already delivering results, and I will continue to work alongside Governor Cuomo to bring more economic opportunities to our region."

Senator Patrick Gallivan said, “This is the first of what we hope to be countless employers embracing this creative program and bringing good jobs to our region. By offering this attractive tax free incentive package, our state and our region can show any employer looking to start up a company that New York is truly open for business. I thank the Governor and our legislative partners for working to deliver real results for our community.”

Senator Mark Grisanti said, “Today we are seeing this innovative program take shape with real results and real jobs. Soon other employers, big and small, will choose our region for the attractive tax free program and the unmatched partnership potential with the highest quality university system. I applaud the Governor for listening to the needs of our businesses and our community and developing this creative plan that will yield even more jobs in our region for years to come.”

Senator Ted O'Brien said, “START UP NY is an attractive incentive for companies looking to grow and invest in New York State, and I am very happy to see that RIT is one of the first campuses in the State to welcome jobs through this program. I look forward to continued efforts with the Governor and my partners in the legislature to continue using START UP to bring investment and economic growth to the Finger Lakes region.”

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said, “We welcome these companies that have taken advantage of this exciting tax free program and made a commitment to our community. Their commitment demonstrates what many employers will soon realize that New York is and will continue to be a great state to start up a business. My thanks to Governor Cuomo for his vision and his determination in pushing for this important initiative. We invite entrepreneurs to learn more about this program and come grow with us.”

Assembly Member Felix Ortiz said, “Working together with Governor Cuomo, we are investing in our local communities and spurring new economic growth and opportunities. START-UP New York is an important part of these efforts and I am thrilled this innovative new program is already bringing over fifty new bio-tech jobs to the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. ”

Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Providing a tax-free environment for businesses that align with Upstate New York’s world-class colleges and universities is a tremendous way to create jobs and grow the regional economy. START-UP NY has provided us with that opportunity, and now we are seeing it translate into actual jobs and investments in our communities. I wish to commend the Governor for pushing to make START-UP NY a reality, and I look forward to many more announcements like this as more jobs and companies flock to our communities.”

Assembly Member Karim Camara said, “New York is in the midst of an economic revival, with new jobs coming back to our communities. I’m proud to have worked together with Governor Cuomo to help make this happen, and I am thrilled to see the START-UP NY program already delivering jobs and investment here in Brooklyn.”

Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "START-UP NY is going to help us grow the economies of our towns, villages and cities and build new business hubs, where academics and investors partner together to bring jobs to our communities. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s efforts on START-UP NY; today is a milestone in its progress."

Assembly Member John Ceretto said, "The Governor made his number one priority job creation and he knew he had to be resourceful and creative to reverse our state’s dismal unemployment numbers. Over the last four years, New York has gone from the “tax capital” of the nation to today, announcing 12 new or existing companies who have pledged to expand and stay in Upstate New York and I commend the Governor for this achievement."

Assembly Member Sean Ryan said, “Since its inception last year, the START-UP New York program has offered aspiring entrepreneurs and growing businesses the promise of a groundbreaking incentive to locate in Upstate New York. Today, we are seeing the fruits of that labor with the first round of START-UP NY companies that are bringing jobs, investments, and new opportunities to our communities. This is great news for the Western New York community, and I look forward to seeing many more businesses pursue New York State under the banner of START-UP NY.”

START-UP NY seeks to accelerate entrepreneurialism and job creation across the state on a large scale, with a particular focus on Upstate New York. The State University of New York (SUNY) campus system, City University of New York (CUNY), and private university and college communities serve as the framework of the START-UP NY program to attract high-tech and other start-ups, venture capital, new business and investments from across the globe. Under the program, businesses have the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on eligible land and space. Businesses partner with the higher education institutions and are able to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories.

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. Public colleges and universities, including SUNY, provide their plans to community stakeholders for a 30-day comment period before submitting the plans to ESD, which, in consultation with the SUNY Chancellor, reviews the plans for final approval and designation of tax-free areas. CUNY plans, after a 30-day comment period, also are reviewed and approved by ESD. Plans submitted by private schools are reviewed by ESD and presented to the START-UP NY Approval Board for final approval and tax-free designation.

Once a school is admitted to START-UP NY, interested businesses may begin to apply to the program through the sponsoring college or university. After a thorough and comprehensive review of an application by the sponsoring college or university and ESD, approved businesses that create net new jobs will operate 100 percent 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, 26 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 campus. Each school’s approved START-UP NY plan is available at

START-UP NY includes strong provisions to protect against fraud. Businesses are required to submit certification to ESD, and falsifying certifications is a felony. The program also includes strict provisions to guard against abuses such as shifting jobs among related entities or “shirtchanging,” when a company simply reincorporates under a new name and claims its existing employees are now new jobs. In addition, START-UP NY includes measures to prevent self-dealing and conflicts of interest. In cases of fraud, the State is empowered to claw-back benefits granted to the business. Companies that do not meet the terms of the program – including meeting their job creation targets – may have their benefits reduced, suspended or terminated. ESD has the authority to review company data to ensure that jobs have been created and maintained, and to end participation by companies that have not created net new jobs. ESD is required to publish a comprehensive annual report to enable the public to evaluate the program’s impact.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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