Investing in and Accelerating the Region’s Innovation Ecosystem

Posted on June 16, 2022

GENIUS Teams at Tech Garden

Central New York’s innovation ecosystem is thriving. The region has built on its historic legacy of entrepreneurship, following more than a decade of investment and strategic programming, creating a place where innovators can turn their vision into viable companies.

Between 2000-2010, per capita capital investments were a mere $27 in 2000-2010. Today, it is $1,329. Likewise, the region has proven it can support the growth of companies from ideas to a unicorn, with more companies closing in on similar valuation benchmarks. We are also attracting entrepreneurs from around the world, through programs like GENIUS NY.

This success didn’t happen overnight. It was the direct result of many partners and their investments in the future of our regional ecosystem. To address the unmet need for a regional seed and venture fund, for example, it helped initiate Armory Square Ventures, a fully independent, returns-oriented venture capital fund targeting the most promising entrepreneurs, businesses and innovations. At its inception, it became the first new venture capital fund focused on providing new capital for early-stage companies in upstate New York in more than a decade, and held its first closing in 2014. Development of such a fund was among the priority initiatives identified in the CenterState Agenda for Economic Opportunity, to address the gap in venture funding in the region and the need for greater investment support to emerging businesses in the region.

CenterState CEO continues to grow the programming, incubation space and opportunities that it offers entrepreneurs and startup companies. In spring 2022, the GENIUS NY program was extended through 2027, and an expansion of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden is planned to provide the important tools and resources to more startup companies looking to grow. The project is an important investment in the innovation ecosystem to continue CenterState CEO’s leading-edge support of startup companies.

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