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As one of the nation’s leading research institutions the University of Rochester has brought education, research, and commercialization together to become a major hub of innovation and economic growth. The University is proud of our reputation as a national leader in translating discoveries into new technologies and practical applications. Our longstanding history of partnering with industry position our region very well to help make Governor Cuomo’s START-UP NY program a success.

The University of Rochester (UR) STARTUP-NY Plan has designated 23,547 square feet of space at the NextCorps (an affiliate of the University of Rochester formerly known as High Tech Rochester) headquarters in the Sibley Square (formerly known as the Sibley Building), along with 48,030 sq. ft. of space at the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center (TEC), which was the former headquarters for NextCorps. The University Has designated 71,577 sq. ft. of START-UP NY designated space.

photo of building interior

NextCorps Headquarters

photo of building exterior

Lennox Tech Enterprise Center

With STARTUP-NY, the University can continue to be a source of innovation, fuel a talented, highly-educated workforce with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, facilitate academic-industry collaboration, and anchor our region’s diverse knowledge-based economy. The University and its partners will leverage its comprehensive combination of infrastructure, research, education, talent, expertise, and public-private partnerships to enable companies to grow and thrive.



Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking START-UP NY program gives approved companies tax exemptions for 10 years, when they locate on designated areas associated with colleges and universities and align with a school's core academic mission. START-UP NY leveraged New York's unique assets to foster entrepreneurialism and job creation on a large scale, creating tax-free communities across the state.

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Exploring Partnerships

The University of Rochester START-UP NY plan would focus on attracting eligible companies in the broad fields of science, engineering, social science, health science, business, and music. Industry sectors would include (although not limited to):

  • Advanced Materials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Industry
  • Communications/Electronics
  • Energy (Technology)
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Nanotechnology
  • Optics, Photonics and Imaging
  • Semiconductor Industry

Research: Companies commercializing University of Rochester research or with technology interests that align with University programs and can be further developed through collaborations. Research, educational and internship opportunities with aligned companies will be actively explored, particularly among the following University of Rochester schools:

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Eastman School of Music
  • School of Nursing
  • Simon Business School
  • Warner School of Education

Training, experiential learning or mentoring: Learning opportunities for students and trainees can be facilitated between companies and University of Rochester programs or centers.

Access to facilities/research infrastructure: Companies may have use for some of the shared research facilities and centers at the University of Rochester. Additionally, companies may have unique equipment that could be utilized by faculty or students.

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Determining Eligibility

Applications will be evaluated for factors including: economic and community benefit, business model, technology cluster and alignment with specific University domains of excellence and mission. Businesses interested in partnering with the University of Rochester should initially contact Mike Kennerknecht at or 585-275-1043.

Initial Review

An initial review of the applications will examine overall eligibility. The evaluation may include a meeting with the applicant and will ensure the applicant meets all the necessary requirements (e.g., business type, review potential competitors, etc.). This initial review will be performed by representatives from the Office of Government and Community Relations, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, and the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel.

Eligible businesses will be invited to apply.

Full Review

Applications reaching the second stage of review will be evaluated more comprehensively for factors including: economic and community benefit, business model, technology cluster and alignment with specific University domains of excellence and mission. The evaluations will consider academic and research alignment, economic benefit, and community benefits.

A Review Committee comprised of representatives the University of Rochester, NextCorps, Excell Partners, and the community will review applications. Following an initial review, the Review Committee may ask the company to formally present to the Review Committee to provide additional information. If the Review Committee approves the application, the University will then work with the company to develop the balance of the information required by the State and forward the application to the New York State Commissioner for Economic Development for approval. 

University Sites

The University of Rochester STARTUP-NY plan designates 71,577 sq. ft. of space at two strategic, community assets:

NextCorps Headquarters:
260 East Main Street
Suite 6000
Rochester, NY, 14604
23,547 sq. ft.

NextCorps Lennox Tech Enterprise Center (TEC)
150 Lucius Gordon Drive, Suite 100
West Henrietta, NY 14586
48,030 sq. ft.

NextCorps is the Finger Lakes only state and federally designated business incubator, with nationally recognized entrepreneurial programs. NextCorps is a NYSTAR Regional Technology Development Center, a federal National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partner (MEP), an Innovation Hot Spot, and a NYSERDA proof-of-concept center (NEXUS-NY) for commercializing clean energy innovations.

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aerial view of River Campus

Community Benefit

The University of Rochester has launched more than 58 high-technology startup firms, including iCardiac Technologies, Vaccinex, Lucid, Inc., Sydor Instruments, and QED Technologies. Additionally, the University of Rochester is the largest private employer in Upstate New York and the fifth largest in the state overall, according to a study in 2018. The University of Rochester is proud to be a national leader in translating discoveries into new technologies and practical applications that improve public health, enhance our national security, and help our nation move toward a sustainable clean energy future. We have brought education, research, and commercialization together to become a major hub of innovation and economic growth.

The University’s STARTUP-NY Plan will generate positive community and economic benefits through job creation, including opportunities for student internships and academic/research collaborations, and will help spur additional entrepreneurial opportunities by building up the local ecosystem and helping to attract investment capital and additional talent to the region. All industry clusters identified in the UR START-UP NY plan are aligned with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s sector and regional strategies.

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Mike Kennerknecht
Economic Development Coordinator & Assistant Director of State Relations
Office of Government & Community Relations
University of Rochester
Office: (585) 275-1043

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