UB launches Innovation Hub, a new initiative in downtown Buffalo to boost the startup economy

Howard Zemsky speaks from a podium during the Innovation Hub launch announcement.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky addresses the crowd assembled for the official launch of Innovation Hub. Photo: Douglas Levere

The $32 million NYS investment will match students, faculty, clinicians, and researchers with a powerful collection of resources to commercialize innovations

Release Date: May 28, 2019

“The Innovation Hub will support emerging partnerships and foster collaboration with the brightest minds at UB and throughout the entrepreneurial community to ensure even greater success for our region”
Kathy Hochul
Lieutenant Governor of New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Today, New York State and the University at Buffalo announced the official launch of the Innovation Hub, designed to help connect ideas to action and move research from the lab to the marketplace, at an event held on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The Innovation Hub is funded through a $32 million Buffalo Billion II grant commitment from New York State and supports innovation at UB and its leading research partners—including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Jacobs Institute, Hauptmann-Woodward Medical Research Institute and Kaleida Health.

“From our historic grain elevators, to the invention of electric cars and air conditioning, Buffalo is well known as a robust center of innovation,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The new University at Buffalo Innovation Hub will build upon this legacy as part of our continuing efforts to grow the tech economy and create good-paying jobs in Buffalo and across Western New York. The Innovation Hub will support emerging partnerships and foster collaboration with the brightest minds at UB and throughout the entrepreneurial community to ensure even greater success for our region.”

“By leveraging the diverse portfolio of ideas, research, technologies and innovations from UB and its partners, and coupling them with funding, incubation and support services, we have the necessary pieces to create a globally-recognized hub for start-up business formation and commercialization, ” Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said.

The Innovation Hub will make it make it easier and more efficient for business and technology leaders to collaborate with student entrepreneurs and faculty researchers. UB and its partners collectively bring more than $412 million in annual research outflows, 30,000 students, and more than 3,000-plus faculty who are focused on making new discoveries and advances in medical device technology, diagnostics, healthcare delivery, software applications, materials, imaging, sustainability, and other diverse innovative developments.

“The Innovation Hub is a natural extension of our university’s work to showcase and expand the type of collaboration that is constantly on display between our faculty experts, students, research partners, and the surrounding startup community. UB is committed to fostering an environment where entrepreneurship can grow and flourish in and across our region, and the Innovation Hub concept is a critical component in that effort, ”UB President Satish K. Tripathi said. 

Several updates on the advancement of the Innovation Hub were shared with attendees and affiliates at the event, with these developments coming in three key areas:

  • The planning, design and renovation of UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) into incubation and entrepreneur support space is underway and expected to open in early 2020. The space, which will be a designated START-UP NY-eligible location, will be made available to companies affiliated with UB and partner organizations. The university will also utilize various portions of the facility for entrepreneur support programs, events, education and related services.
  • Initial investments through the Innovation Hub’s $13.5 million fund have commenced with a focus on fueling proof-of-concept opportunities and pre-seed/seed growth. As a result, seven proof of concept accelerator fund awardees have been selected, and the fund is expected to ramp up activity later this year, with additional funding announcements expected soon.
  • Outreach engagement and support programming to best serve and guide founders and startups through the various phases of development is underway. This outreach, curriculum and programming is being introduced and implemented.

“The Innovation Hub will bridge the gap between innovations and the marketplace, connecting students, faculty and entrepreneurs to the funding, facilities and talent that are needed to bring an idea to life,” UB Associate Vice President for Economic Development Christina Orsi said.

In the coming weeks, a series of additional announcements are expected related to the Innovation Hub, including an investment fund update, incubator space preview and various profiles on existing startups, researchers and collaborators that have already been successfully utilizing the collective resources of the hub.

To learn more about the Innovation Hub, click here.

About the University at Buffalo Business and Entrepreneur Partnership office

Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships (BEP) is building bridges between academia and industry by developing partnerships to collaborate on research and development, commercialize new technology and provide students with opportunities for experiential learning and employment.

In the process, we’re transforming the innovation economy of Western New York, New York State and beyond. Startups grow in UB incubators. Faculty members get funding for breakthrough research. Students engage in hands-on learning and launch careers. Businesses expand by licensing and commercializing technology, testing products in university labs, and enriching their potential with an educated, experienced team passionate about developing disruptive technology and bringing it to market.

The University at Buffalo’s investment in fostering local companies will bolster the Buffalo region’s reputation as one of the country’s most entrepreneurial metro areas. The research and work being done in Western New York through these businesses will help solve current and future problems leading to local, national and global impact. To learn more about UB BEP, click here.

Media Contact Information

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
cmnealon@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBengineering