We provide the environment and resources for your startup.
The Tech Garden helps create technology-leveraging start-ups, fosters the development of entrepreneurs, and supports the innovation ecosystem throughout the Central New York region. Entrepreneurs are wrapped into our Events, Programs, and Resources, offered business planning assistance, mentoring, specialized advice, targeted referrals, networking opportunities and inspiring space from which to grow their businesses.
The Tech Garden is a program of CenterState CEO. CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. Its vision is for a vibrant and globally connected region recognized as a place where business thrives and people prosper.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Originally conceived as a way to turn two empty MONY Plaza buildings (one, a collapsed parking garage) into a business incubator for manufacturing and services businesses, The Tech Garden overcame a number of political and financial hurdles to open its doors as a technology-oriented business incubator in late 2004. Learn more about the history of The Tech Garden here.
DID YOU KNOW THE TECH GARDEN
DOES THE TECH GARDEN DIRECTLY INVEST IN COMPANIES?
Yes. We have several programs that offer grants, minor equity investments, and convertible debt note investments. In an average year, we invest over $600,000 via competitive programs like Grants for Growth and the Clean Tech Center. We do not offer “space for equity” arrangements.
CAN ANYONE BE A RESIDENT AT THE TECH GARDEN?
Not exactly. The Tech Garden is industry agnostic. While we welcome a wide variety of startups and entrepreneurs, applications and staff interviews determine acceptance. We’re looking for entrepreneurs leveraging technology with an opportunity to be a net wealth generator for our region.
WHAT DOES THE TYPICAL RESIDENT GET IN TERMS OF SPACE AND AMENITIES?
Average suite sizes are 500 square feet, although we have suites as small as 95 sq. ft. and as large as 4,000 sq. ft. Admin, internet, copiers, conference rooms, etc. are included. We can also include some furnishings. We try very hard to find the right size space and options for each resident.
WHO ARE YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL ALUMNI?
We have several great stories about current and past residents of The Tech Garden. One standout is, BrandYourself.com, started in our Student Sandbox. During their time at The Tech Garden, they refined their product and pricing strategy, were awarded a $200,000 business plan competition prize from The Tech Garden, went to market, and raised a seven-figure Series A venture capital investment. Although rapid growth necessitated a move to New York City, they maintain a Virtual Membership to continue working with local interns and the Sandbox program.
WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY?
Syracuse University (SU), like so many other Central New York organizations, is a strong partner in many of our programs and offerings. For example, Syracuse University and The Tech Garden are NYS Hotspot partners. We work closely with the SU's Falcone Center, Whitman Business School, and the Engineering school.
WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STATE OF NEW YORK?
The state of New York is the funder of several grants and programs that The Tech Garden delivers. In 2014, the State named The Tech Garden an Innovation Hot Spot and bestowed tax credits and program connections to Startup NY Zones, and NYS resources.
HOW CAN I APPLY TO BE A RESIDENT AT THE TECH GARDEN?
HOW LONG CAN A STARTUP RESIDE AT THE TECH GARDEN?
Generally about 4 years, but our graduation milestones are often based on performance and growth metrics rather than time. Our goal is to position companies for rapid growth. We succeed when companies outgrow The Tech Garden.