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Eight companies approved for START-UP NY at UB

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces the eight companies relocating on or near the UB campuses at a news conference at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published June 5, 2014

“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.”
President Satish K. Tripathi

Eight companies have been selected as the inaugural group of START-UP NY companies relocating on or near the UB campuses, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday.

Under the governor’s START-UP NY program, the eight companies are receiving major tax incentives to relocate to, start up or expand in Buffalo through their affiliation with UB.  

Each of the companies has strong ties to the university and range from a German life sciences firm to a developer of software for wearable devices. They are projected to generate a combined 204 jobs over the next five years and will collaborate with UB faculty researchers and students.

“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 President Satish K. Tripathi. “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.”

START-UP NY stands for SUNY Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate NY. The statewide program aims to spur economic development by enabling universities to identify areas where new and expanding businesses can operate for 10 years without paying New York State business, corporate, income, sales or property taxes, or franchise fees.

Approved in April by the state, UB’s START-UP NY plan designates 175,000 square feet of space as tax-free zones on or near the university’s North, South and Downtown campuses.  To be eligible, businesses must align with or further the academic mission of the university.

More than 75 companies have expressed serious interest in START-UP NY, said Alexander N. Cartwright, UB vice president for research and economic development, and the university expects agreements with additional companies to be finalized over the next few months. 

“START-UP NY is clearly an attractive opportunity for many companies and entrepreneurs,” Cartwright said. “When you add it to the exciting progress being made in Buffalo in life sciences research and informatics, advanced manufacturing, nanotechnology and medical care, START-UP NY has the potential to greatly accelerate the growth of Buffalo’s knowledge-based economy.”

The eight companies announced yesterday are either relocating to Buffalo from outside the state, expanding into new space from local incubators or are new startups spun off from partnerships with UB researchers. 

“Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) is very pleased to work with our partners at the University at Buffalo and Empire State Development to promote START-UP NY and provide economic development assistance to those companies seeking to participate in the program,” said BNE President and CEO Thomas Kucharski. “Our colleges and universities are major economic drivers and a program like START-UP NY serves as a tremendous catalyst for connecting our higher educational assets with the investment and job-creation opportunities we are seeking to attract to the region.  

“Two successful BNE projects, Sinapis Pharma and Aesku.NY, are among the companies announced today and we are looking forward to more success stories in the future,” Kucharski added.

Two of the companies — Aesku.NY and Lineagen — were attracted to Buffalo by the opportunity to partner with UB and the New York Genome Center in the work of the Genomic Medicine Network, which will use supercomputing power to analyze patient genomes and develop personalized medical treatments. The Genomic Medicine Network launched in Buffalo this year with $50 million to UB from the governor’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative. The initiative is investing $1 billion in the Buffalo area to spur significant economic growth and create thousands of new jobs. 

The eight companies’ planned capital investments over the next 5 years total $6,387,000.

UB’s eight START-UP NY companies are:

  • Aesku.NY, a subsidiary of Germany-based life sciences firm Aesku.Diagnostics, is working with the New York Genome Center and UB to advance new ways to treat, prevent and manage serious disease. The company also will collaborate with UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences by recruiting graduates and providing student internships. Aesku.NY is establishing a presence in Buffalo at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) and at Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. It projects creating 31 jobs over five years.
  • ClearView Social is a software developer that works with law firms to share news and information via social media. Located within Z80 Incubator Labs, the firm will move into the Downtown Gateway building at 77 Goodell St. It expects to create 47 jobs over five years and offer internships to four UB students. ClearView Social provides software and consulting services to the UB Law School.
  • CoachMePlus provides athlete management information systems to professional and collegiate sports teams. Located within Z80 Incubator Labs, the firm will move into the Downtown Gateway building. The company’s president and co-founder, Kevin Dawidowicz, is a graduate of UB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership; he is also an officer on the CEL’s alumni association board and mentors CEL students. CoachMePlus projects creation of 25 jobs over five years.
  • Decision Pace works with middle- and large-sized business clients to mine raw data and create real-time Web analytics that are both visual and informative. Located within Z80 Incubator Labs, the firm will move into the Downtown Gateway building. Decision Pace, which is establishing an internship program with UB’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, projects it will create 49 jobs over five years.
  • Heads Up Display is a startup company that develops software and hardware for wearable devices that allow the user to make data-driven decisions in real time. The company, which works with UB’s Department of Physics and is establishing partnerships with other UB entities, will move into Z80 Incubator Labs, where it projects to create two jobs.
  • Utah-based Lineagen is a medical diagnostics company that is working with the New York Genome Center and UB to study autism spectrum disorder and other developmental delays. It will establish an office in the CBLS; it projects hiring 10 employees over five years.
  • Nupur Technologies is a startup company that is developing an earwax cleaning device to be used by doctors. The company, which projects creating 33 jobs over five years, will open an office at UB’s Baird Research Park on Sweet Home Road adjacent to the North Campus. It plans to hire two PhD graduates from UB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and provide internships to School of Management students.
  • Sinapis Pharma is a Florida-based pharmaceutical company that is developing a novel drug for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries and stroke. The company, which will collaborate with UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will establish offices in the CBLS and the Jacobs Institute. It projects creating seven jobs over five years.