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CenterState CEO supports early-stage business ideas by offering funding opportunities, incubators, accelerators and business support.

Start-up Funding & Resources

Hot Spot Incubator

Start-up and early-stage companies, either as residents or virtual residents, can receive five years of tax benefits, mentorship and other incubation services through the Hot Spot Incubator. Once they graduate from the Hot Spot program, they are eligible to join Start-Up NY Zones for up to an additional 10 years of benefits.

Grants for Growth

Over the past 14 rounds Grants for Growth has awarded more than 50 grants and investments totaling over $3.8 million. Grants for Growth offers two levels of investment; $25,000 proof-of-concept grants and $150,000 product-to-market grants.


GENIUS NY caters to business proposals in the categories of Unmanned Systems and Data to Decisions Applications. This in-residence business competition accelerator at The Tech Garden in Central New York goes beyond making a substantial direct investment. In addition to three grand prizes of up to $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000, the program also offers stipends, housing, resources, programming, and connections, making it among the largest competitions of its kind across the globe.

GENIUS NY brings together some of the most promising startups to help shape the future of Central New York.

Incubators & Accelerators

The Tech Garden

The Tech Garden is the region’s leading business incubator, offering mentoring, space and networking opportunities for those in the local innovation community. This program of CenterState CEO began 10 years ago when a dilapidated garage was renovated to create economical space for businesses to launch. Now with multiple businesses that began in The Tech Garden gaining national attention and a community of over 1,200 entrepreneurs interested in networking, The Tech Garden is the hub for the local entrepreneurship community.

This innovative, collaborative space allows businesses and ideas to collide. Members of The Tech Garden have access to The Tech Garden's programs and business support, with mentors and entrepreneurs in residence to nurture early-stage ideas and provide insight for later-stage businesses.

Central New York Biotech Accelerator

The Central New York Biotech Accelerator’s mission is to incubate and accelerate partnerships that create innovative products for the bioscience marketplace. CNYBAC offers the newest biotech lab and office space, provides business acceleration services - from early-stage formation through commercialization - and contact with mentors to assist in your business success.

The Accelerator is a joint venture of Upstate Medical University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

The CNY Biotech Accelerator is part of the New York Innovation Hot Spot Program, which provides tax benefits to members.

If your business idea is focused on biotech or biomedical industries, learn more about the accelerator program by visiting the CNYBAC site below.

Syracuse Center of Excellence

The Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) provides laboratory and office space for business ideas pursuing new environmental and energy products, systems or services. In partnership with Syracuse University, Carrier, the United States Department of Energy and National Grid, among others, the Syracuse Center of Excellence assists idea creators with access to facilities, assistance with grant proposals and other funding opportunities, networking and expertise.

To learn more about any of the above funding opportunities or accelerators, contact Rick Clonan.

UP Start Syracuse

Perhaps your business idea is brick and mortar rather than tech. CenterState CEO’s UP Start Syracuse program has launched entrepreneurs who focus on local, service-based businesses. UP Start offers introductory classes on business plan creation, business structure and assistance with launch.

Learn more about the UP Start program by contacting upstart@centerstateceo.

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