Way forward for state grant program for CNY companies unsure

Future of state grant program for CNY businesses uncertain

Syracuse, N.Y. — The way forward for a state program that gives seed cash for promising younger Central New York firms with college ties is up within the air with the pending retirement of state Sen. John DeFrancisco.

DeFrancisco, R-DeWitt, has been the legislative sponsor of the Grants for Development program because it launched in 2006. However he’s retiring on the finish of the yr.

Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO, the financial growth group that administers the grants, mentioned he is involved about this system’s future after DeFrancisco’s departure. 

In Albany, “member objects” such because the Grants for Development program are usually not  mechanically renewed after their legislative sponsor leaves. 

“We’re making an attempt to speak to different members of our (legislative) delegation about funding,” he mentioned. “And we’re speaking to non-public buyers about supporting it.”

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, a Republican like DeFrancisco, will succeed DeFrancisco after beating Democrat John Mannion within the race for the 50th District Senate seat on Nov. 6.

Antonacci mentioned CenterState is one in every of quite a few organizations which have requested to satisfy with him concerning future state funding for numerous packages. He mentioned he plans to ask all of them to reveal the success of the packages earlier than he agrees to help new funding.

“Everybody’s received to be measured and have the ability to justify their funding request,” he mentioned. “I am very dedicated to financial growth, however I am additionally dedicated to accountability for financial growth.”

Launched in 2006, this system initially offered matching grants of as much as $75,000 to firms partnering with a school or college to deliver merchandise from the analysis stage to {the marketplace}. 

In 2012, this system was modified. Firms can now qualify for grants in one in every of two classes primarily based on their progress stage: $25,000 “proof of idea” grants for early-stage firms and “idea to market” loans as much as $150,000 that CenterState can convert into possession shares in some circumstances.

This system has invested $4.47 million in state cash into a complete of 86 firms. 

Included among the many recipients are three Syracuse-area startups which might be seeing sturdy progress:

  • Ephesus Lighting, a maker of LED lights for stadiums and arenas, obtained a $150,000 mortgage in 2014.
  • Easy Admit, which gives automated affected person relationship administration providers for out-patient surgical procedure facilities, obtained a $150,000 mortgage in 2013.
  • Ichor Therapeutics, which gives analysis providers to the pharmaceutical {industry}, obtained a $75,000 mortgage in 2015.

This system sprang from a report issued by CenterState’s predecessor, the Metropolitan Improvement Affiliation, in 2004 that recognized methods for the central Upstate New York space may construct a technology-drive, knowledge-based economic system.

Known as “The Important New York Initiative,” the report really helpful that the area set up a capital community for entrepreneurs who would begin and develop expertise firms within the space.

The report recognized two causes for the crucial scarcity of enterprise startups within the central Upstate space: An absence of native industry-university partnerships to commercialize new applied sciences and a dearth of enterprise capital to assist promising younger firms get off the bottom.

The Grants for Development program was designed to handle each points. The grants can be found to help revolutionary utilized analysis initiatives between universities and {industry}, with an emphasis on these with the most effective probability of making native jobs.

“A university-industry partnership was the important thing,” mentioned Simpson.

The state is offering $400,000 for this system for 2019, although a few of that cash could possibly be doled out in grants and loans in later years if any is left over on the finish of subsequent yr.

Even when Antonacci helps funding for Grants for Development, this system’s survival is not assured. Whereas the Senate was below Republican management, DeFrancisco’s help assured that the funding can be there. Antonacci, nevertheless, will discover himself within the Senate minority.

Contact Rick Moriarty anytime: E-mail | Twitter | Fb | 315-470-3148  

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