Transformational Tech Garden Expansion Kicks Off

Posted on August 9, 2023

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Officials pose with a signed beam from CenterState CEO's The Tech Garden.

$32 Million Project Will Add 46,000 Square-Feet of Space to the Facility, Including the Addition of a Second and Third Floor

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that construction has officially kicked off for the transformational expansion of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse. The project will include a two-story, 46,000 square-foot addition, renovations to the facility’s existing space, and updates to the on-site mechanical and security systems. Expansion of The Tech Garden, which is home to the New York state supported GENIUS NY competition, also includes a 5,000-square-foot roof terrace for uncrewed aerial systems companies to launch and test drones, a 3,000-square-foot meeting room with seating for up to 180, private tenant offices for 35 additional resident startups, coworking areas, an expanded hardware space for prototype and product development, and a new entrance. The building will receive an entirely new façade that will better reflect the world- class innovation ecosystem supported by the building. The expanded space will also allow for enhanced programming to support inclusive entrepreneurial growth, at all stages of their startup journey and regardless of industry.

“The expansion of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden facility will be critical to our strategy to make Upstate New York the next major hub for innovative, high-tech, 21st century businesses,” Governor Hochul said. “With these new state-of-the-art facilities and additional seats for start-up companies, CenterState CEO will be able to continue its important work to expand the innovation economy in Central New York and set promising, early-stage businesses on a path for success. My administration is committed to supporting organizations like CenterState working to spark growth, empower businesses, and boost the local economy.”

The expanded facility will serve as the anchor of Syracuse's City Center Innovation Hub, a core component of the Syracuse Surge economic development strategy and will serve as the gateway to the "Innovation Alley" on Warren Street in Syracuse. This project will work to connect major assets like the Marriott Syracuse Downtown Hotel and Convention Center, while expanding the ability of the incubator to accept new businesses. It will continue to be the central hub for the GENIUS NY program, bringing UAS companies from around the country and world to Syracuse, as well as the new Syracuse Surge Accelerator, a one-year in-person accelerator that supports Black-Indigenous-Persons of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs in launching tech-related and tech-adjacent startups.

The Tech Garden, a NYS Certified Innovation Hot Spot, is the key tech business incubator for the Central New York region. In 2022, 114 companies were served by one of CenterState CEO’s technical assistance programs. These teams employed 409 people, created 113 Jobs, had $70.7 million in total revenue and half were minority-, woman-, veteran and/or disabled-owned businesses. Collectively over the lifetime of these programs, companies have raised $348 million in follow-on funding and created 1,340 jobs. An expanded Tech Garden will continue to provide an even higher level of support to entrepreneurs as they grow and develop their businesses.

CenterState CEO and President Rob Simpson said, "Syracuse is a rising tech hub and this project will enable us to keep pace with that rapid growth. Furthermore, an expanded Tech Garden provides an opportunity to reimagine who we serve and how, and to broaden our reach and impact to drive more equity and inclusivity through the programs we offer. In addition to incubation, acceleration and support of tech startups, we will serve non-tech startups and small businesses run by founders from underrepresented populations. I am excited that we can provide Central New York with the space and programs it needs to continue to grow and be a community of the future."

The revitalization of downtown is a top priority of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, a public-private partnership made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations who are redefining the way the region invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach to access available state resources.

Empire State Development is providing up to $16.6 million for the project, which is projected to cost $32 million, through the regions’ CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Construction is expected to take 14 months.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “The transformational expansion of The Tech Garden space will allow the successful incubator to continue to create a more productive environment for entrepreneurs to grow and develop their innovative business ideas. New York is committed to the continued renaissance happening in downtown Syracuse, and this incredible new space will serve as an essential piece to those revitalization efforts.”

State Senator Rachel May said, “The expansion of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden further cements Central New York’s place as one of the premier technology hubs in the country. It ensures that more tech businesses will call this area home, bringing high- paying jobs and boosting the local economy. This project will also help continue the success of the Tech Garden’s GENIUS NY Accelerator program, creating a larger space for tech startups to innovate and bring their inventions to market. I want to thank Governor Hochul for her work on this exciting investment to continue the momentum of Syracuse’s resurgence.”

State Senator John W. Mannion said, “I am thrilled to see the expansion of The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse. This project will provide a much-needed boost to our local tech ecosystem and help to create even more jobs in the region. I am grateful to Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for their support of this important project."

Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli said, “Syracuse established itself as a leader in the high-tech industry, thanks in part to the innovation that comes from the Tech Garden.  The expanded  facility will continue to allow Syracuse to be a prime example  of advanced incubation and tech startups.”

Assemblymember Pamela Hunter said, “Expansion of the Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse will deepen opportunities for innovation in our region and fosters the development of new thriving businesses. These upgrades are responsive to business needs and will bring new startups to Syracuse. I commend Governor Hochul and CenterState CEO on these continued initiatives and look forward to furthering collaboration that allows for new growth and inclusion for our communities.”

Assemblymember Al Stirpe said, “The exponential growth of our regional technology industries is increasing, and the Tech Garden expansion project is another step forward in positioning Central New York as a nation leading hub of innovation. This renovation and expansion will create first class space for many of the startups, especially those who have been on a waiting list to locate at the Tech Garden. In addition, this iconic design will speak to the world that CNY is ready to help create the future. When people say “I’ll meet you at the Tech Garden”, they’ll know exactly what building they’re talking about.”

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “The project is a game-changer. The transformational expansion of The Tech Garden space will serve as a visible reminder of the momentum underway not only in Central New York, but in downtown Syracuse proper. This multi-million-dollar investment will help this already successful incubator to provide more opportunity and an even greater user experience for forward- thinking entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their business in the region. I want to thank the Governor, as well as all of our other partners, for helping us with our continued commitment to revitalizing and enhancing the downtown experience for workers and residents alike.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “The Tech Garden is the anchor to the Center City Innovation Hub, an important component to the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. With this expansion, Syracuse will grow as a greater destination for tech startups in Upstate New York. The renaissance of downtown Syracuse will also continue to flourish, furthering the City’s commitment to be a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all. I am grateful to Governor Hochul, Empire State Development and CenterState CEO for their commitment to Syracuse.”

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Randy Wolken, President and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York and Le Moyne College President Linda M. LeMura said, “We would like to thank Governor Hochul for her continued efforts to help us in realizing our focused vision for the region. The Tech Garden project reinforces that vision which aims to develop a world- class innovation ecosystem by supporting entrepreneurship, driving economic development and helping Central New York to continue to rise."


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Photos from The Tech Garden Kickoff Expansion Event

Photo Credit: Wainwright Photography

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Community leaders and supporters gather at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Elected officials sign a steel beam at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Dan Kolinski speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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State Senator Rachel May speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Andy Bruer and Eli Smith pose in front of a steel beam at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Assemblyman Al Stirpe speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Community leaders and supporters gather at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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CenterState CEO's Dominic Robinson and Lori Dietz sign a steel beam at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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State Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Community leaders and supporters gather at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Mayor Ben Walsh speaks at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff
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CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson poses with the region's elected officials in front of a steel beam at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson takes a photo of a note he wrote on a steel beam at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Community leaders and supporters gather at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff.
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Community leaders and supporters gather at The Tech Garden Expansion Kickoff

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