SUNY Downstate Will Sponsor Two STARTUP-NY Businesses at Its Biotechnology Sites

Jun 10, 2014

Brooklyn NY – SUNY Downstate Medical Center will host two of the 12 businesses that will expand or locate in New York State as a result of STARTUP-NY, the new initiative that creates tax-free areas associated with colleges and universities across the state, as recently announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The 12 businesses are projected to invest $50 million and create nearly 400 new jobs in tax-free areas sponsored by SUNY Downstate, the University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Cornell University.

“START-UP NY takes New York's number one liability – our tax capital reputation – and turns it on its head by offering companies zero taxes for 10 years, as well as access to all the assets of the Empire State, particularly the talent and research capabilities of our world-class universities," Governor Cuomo said. “Just months after the program’s launch, we are excited to announce the first businesses to participate in START-UP NY, which will bring nearly 400 new jobs and $50 million in investment to communities in Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, and New York City. This is just the beginning and we look forward to welcoming more and more businesses and entrepreneurs to the State of New York through this bold initiative.”

The first businesses participating in START-UP NY will create jobs in several key industries, including biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, high-technology research and development, and software development.  The two businesses approved for START-UP NY sponsored by SUNY Downstate are Americord Registry, LLC, and Modern Meadow, Inc. They will provide 56 new jobs.

“With these university-industry partnerships now in place, SUNY students and faculty will have unprecedented access to emerging, high-tech fields that will enhance the value of a SUNY education while creating jobs and driving our state economy,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The Governor’s vision of positioning our colleges and universities to attract new businesses to the state is working. START-UP NY is successfully fostering growth and entrepreneurialism and we are proud to welcome these first businesses to the program.”

“Significantly, these first approved businesses align with the core research sectors of SUNY’s Networks of Excellence, a key part of Governor Cuomo’s Innovation Agenda,” said Dr. Tim Killeen, President of the Research Foundation for SUNY and SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research. “The Networks support the mission of START-UP NY by bringing together SUNY's top scholars and industry experts to spur research and business commercialization opportunities in high demand areas such as health, neuroscience, energy, materials and advanced manufacturing.”

“START-UP NY represents a major opportunity to advance the biotechnology enterprise in the New York City region at SUNY Downstate," said Downstate President John F. Williams, Jr., MD, EdD, MPH, FCCM. “By encouraging companies to locate in Downstate's Advanced Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT projects, START-UP NY is stimulating job creation and additional economic development. We applaud Governor Cuomo for his vision in utilizing SUNY to advance public-private partnerships and promote innovation in entrepreneurship.”

Americord Registry, LLC, is an existing bio-tech business in Brooklyn that collects, processes and stores stem cells for future medical or therapeutic use. Americord Registry is developing a proprietary process to harvest stem cells and will be opening a laboratory at SUNY Downstate’s Advanced Biotechnology Incubator on its Brooklyn campus. The company will invest more than $402,000.

Modern Meadow, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company that uses the latest advances in tissue engineering to develop novel biomaterials such as cultured leather and meat products which require no animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy, and chemicals. The company, with locations in California and Missouri, will be new to New York State and locate at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center BioBAT facility at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The company will invest approximately $6.5 million.

Senator Diane Savino said, “START-UP NY is moving in the right direction, attracting entrepreneurs and new jobs to the SUNY Downstate campus. This program has the potential to revitalize local economies, and today’s news shows that New York is open for business."

Assembly Member Felix Ortiz said, “Working together with Governor Cuomo, we are investing in our local communities and spurring new economic growth and opportunities. START-UP New York is an important part of these efforts and I am thrilled this innovative new program is already bringing over fifty new bio-tech jobs to the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. ”

Assembly Member Karim Camara said, “New York is in the midst of an economic revival, with new jobs coming back to our communities. I’m proud to have worked together with Governor Cuomo to help make this happen, and I am thrilled to see the START-UP NY program already delivering jobs and investment here in Brooklyn.”


START-UP NY seeks to accelerate entrepreneurialism and job creation across the state on a large scale, with a particular focus on Upstate New York. The State University of New York (SUNY) campus system, City University of New York (CUNY), and private university and college communities serve as the framework of the START-UP NY program to attract high-tech and other start-ups, venture capital, new business and investments from across the globe.  Under the program, businesses have the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on eligible land and space. Businesses partner with the higher education institutions and are able to access industry experts and advanced research laboratories.

Under START-UP NY, interested colleges and universities draft campus plans that identify their goals for the program and the space that they are proposing to designate as tax-free, as well as the types of businesses and industries that they are seeking to attract through the initiative. Public colleges and universities, including SUNY, provide their plans to community stakeholders for a 30-day comment period before submitting the plans to Empire State Development (ESD), which, in consultation with the SUNY Chancellor, reviews the plans for final approval and designation of tax-free areas. CUNY plans, after a 30-day comment period, also are reviewed and approved by ESD.  Plans submitted by private schools are reviewed by ESD and presented to the START-UP NY Approval Board for final approval and tax-free designation.

Once a school is admitted to START-UP NY, interested businesses may begin to apply to the program through the sponsoring college or university. After a thorough and comprehensive review of an application by the sponsoring college or university and ESD, approved businesses that create net new jobs will operate 100 percent tax-free for 10 years, paying no state income tax, business or corporate state or local taxes, sales tax, property tax or franchise fees.   To date, 26 schools have been approved for START-UP NY, establishing more than 130 tax-free areas for new or expanding businesses to operate on or near campus.  Each school’s approved START-UP NY plan is available at

START-UP NY includes strong provisions to protect against fraud. Businesses are required to submit certification to ESD, and falsifying certifications is a felony. The program also includes strict provisions to guard against abuses such as shifting jobs among related entities or “shirtchanging,” when a company simply reincorporates under a new name and claims its existing employees are now new jobs. In addition, START-UP NY includes measures to prevent self-dealing and conflicts of interest. In cases of fraud, the State is empowered to claw-back benefits granted to the business. Companies that do not meet the terms of the program – including meeting their job creation targets – may have their benefits reduced, suspended or terminated. ESD has the authority to review company data to ensure that jobs have been created and maintained, and to end participation by companies that have not created net new jobs. ESD is required to publish a comprehensive annual report to enable the public to evaluate the program’s impact.


About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.