The Tech Garden


The Tech Garden is an affiliate of CenterState CEO, a 12-county regional economic development organization that:

  • Connects innovators with technical and financial resources
  • Facilitates collaborative university-industry partnerships
  • Provides resources to accelerate technology commercialization
  • Advocates at the federal and state level for innovation policies, programs, and resources that support rapid the growth of companies in strategic sectors tied to key regional assets
  • Directly manages a portfolio of companies, providing intensive mentoring and support services through in-house resources, a network of mentors and EIR’s, and contracted subject matter experts 


CenterState CEO is working with a portfolio of nearly 200 emerging technology companies across program areas that include:

  • The Tech Garden
  • The Clean Tech Center and the SyracuseCoE Partnership
  • The Student Sandbox
  • CEO Ventures
  • Grants for Growth
  • Syracuse Tech Meetups/Mashable Meetups
  • 40 Below and the Syracuse Coworks space sponsored by Harris Beach

Associated funding programs include:


The Tech Garden fosters the development of emerging growth companies and supports technology commercialization.  Since it was launched in 2005, The Tech Garden has assisted more than 500 entrepreneurs and its state-of-the-art incubator is now home to 35 early-stage ventures that have drawn investment capital and top talent from across New York State, as well as from Ireland, Israel, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  Tech Garden incubation companies currently employ more than 150 people, with a payroll of more than $5 million.  More than 9,000 people have attended Tech Garden events such as tech expos, seminars, and other programs.  Of particular note, is the Tech Garden’s Pre-Seed Workshop Series which is an intensive start-up program for companies along the I-81 corridor.


Programs and resources at The Tech Garden include:

  • Customized services to help develop business acceleration roadmaps
  • Connections with experienced mentors and entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • Access to angel investors and venture capitalists
  • Networking events and extensive partnership networks


The Clean Tech Center is a NYSERDA-funded clean energy incubation program located at The Tech Garden, providing an integrated infrastructure for the incubation and acceleration of companies developing clean energy and renewable energy technologies.  Early stage companies receive intensive mentoring to help develop and launch next generation technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, energy harvesting, transmission and storage, smart buildings and the smart grid.  The Center is supported by a network of collaborators across New York State that includes: academic and industry leaders, angel and venture investors, financial institutions, service providers, utilities, industry associations, and government agencies.  There are nearly two dozen portfolio companies currently in the program, although the Center has provided technical assistance to nearly 150 companies in its first year.  The program has successfully attracted out-of-state clean tech companies to the region.  The Clean Tech Center was recently recognized as one of the top ten clean tech cluster organizations in the world.  The Clean Tech Center also publishes, a leading source of NYS clean tech news, with readers in more than 60 countries.

Additionally, CenterState CEO is engaged in a partnership program with the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) to advance industry collaboration and tech commercialization.


The Student Sandbox is an innovative program at The Tech Garden that helps capture talent and launch new enterprises by the best and brightest students at regional colleges and universities. The program is designed to identify student entrepreneurs and provide them with a structured assistance program to launch new business ideas under the supervision of mentors that include seasoned entrepreneurs who are committed to retaining talent in Upstate New York. The project started as a collaboration between The Tech Garden and Kauffman Foundation Enitiative schools (Syracuse University, LeMoyne College, Cayuga Community College, Onondaga Community College, Morrisville State College and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry), and has grown to include Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, SUNY Binghamton, University of Rochester, SUNY Cortland, Tompkins Cortland Community College, and Upstate Medical University.  Student teams, with student entrepreneur founders, work with teams of professional who serve as mentors to launch real ventures.  Student teams have raised more than $2 million in private equity in the first two years of the program.  It is considered to be the most successful regional model in the country for student venture development.


The Tech Garden is also home to Syracuse Tech Meetup

There are over 650 registered members of Syracuse Tech Meetup, making it one of the most successful launches in the country, and demonstrating the dynamism of the tech cluster in this region.  In addition, the Tech Garden is the home of 40 Below, a well networked regional group of Young Professionals.


Other flagship programs include Grants for Growth 

Grants for Growth is a seed program that provides up to $75,000 in matching funds for innovative applied research projects between universities and industries that have the potential to accelerate the growth of emerging technology companies. 

Program results to date:

  • 35 competitive grants, totaling $1.75 million awarded to date
  • Companies have invested $4.2 million and attracted $31.7 million in follow-on funding
  • 55 patents applied for based on Grants for Growth R&D projects


$2 million has been secured from New York State to continue the program through future rounds.

Associated Funding Programs:

The Tech Garden was instrumental in establishing the Seed Capital Fund of CNY, a private angel network of high net worth individuals who are guiding and investing in early stage technology businesses, and retains a carrying interest in the fund.  



The New York Business Development Corporation, an anchor tenant located at The Tech Garden, is a project financing partner.  NYBDC promotes access to capital for New York’s startup and small businesses, working with lending partners on government guaranteed (SBA and USDA) and conventional loans.  NYBDC, one of the largest CDC lenders in the country, was formed by special NYS legislation.  It is a 127-member bank consortium that administers SBA 504 and 7A loan programs, along with special programs such as the Statewide Zone Capital Corporation and the new NYS Small Business Revolving Loan Fund.  It manages a $1 billion loan portfolio.  The Tech Garden also collaborates with the Greater Syracuse Business Development Corporation, another SBA program which also administers a highly innovative quasi-equity loan program, as well as the CNY Enterprise Development Fund (PDF)

The Tech Garden
235 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

(315) 474-0910