Investments Align to Company’s Growth Stage Along The Tech Garden’s Roadmap
The Tech Garden recently awarded funding to five startups through its new Fund of Funds program. Access to funding continues to be a challenge in an interior innovation hub for startups especially in Central New York. In the current economic climate, investors can be additionally risk averse. The Tech Garden sees this as an opportunity to create a streamlined program sourced from multiple pools of funding managed by CenterState CEO and The Tech Garden. This incremental support provides the fledging company initial funding on the path to commercialization and offers an opportunity for follow-on investment with less risk. Past funding programs at The Tech Garden included Grants for Growth, Startup Labs and the Germinator accelerator.
“We know that access to funding continues to be a challenge for startups, especially in Central New York,” said Rick Clonan, vice president of Innovation and entrepreneurship at CenterState CEO. “This pressure is even greater given the current economic climate, as investors are more risk averse. The program’s incremental support structure provides these high-potential companies with staged funding as they continue on the path to commercialization, ultimately gaining an opportunity for follow-on investment with less risk.”
The Tech Garden’s Roadmap provides members with a blueprint for progress along their entrepreneurial journey. Startups within the incubator are eligible to apply for funding related to their stage of growth. The Roadmap guides members from concept to commercialization through four stages: Ideation, Acceleration, Incubation and Expansion. This intentional alignment of funding to growth stage helps startups accomplish projects such as customer discovery, product development, validation and manufacturing that ultimately supports each startup’s ability to go to market.
“This funding has been instrumental in establishing Blurpop Inc. We have used the funds to help with customer discovery, patenting legal fees, and market strategy,” said Josh Jensen, CEO, Blurpop, Inc. “The Tech Garden staff have been invaluable in their knowledge base and willingness to help. We continue to look forward to working with them as our business develops and grows.”
The startups recently awarded funding are at different stages in the development of their business. Through the Fund of Funds program, Ideation stage companies can apply for up to $10,000 Ignition Grants. Acceleration stage companies can apply for funding through programs like GENIUS NY or The Clean Tech Center, or for up to $25,000 in pre-seed funding. Incubation stage companies can apply for seed funding, which typically takes the form of a convertible debt note between $25,000 and $100,000. Expansion stage companies are provided matching funding opportunities to help incentivize investors by offering a match on their investment in return for equity or convertible debt up to $100,000.
The Fund of Fund awardees include:
Blurpop – $10,000 Ignition Grant – Blurpop is a mobile app for influencers that want to monetize their videos. It allows users to watch videos and tap to expose additional content. Blurpop is using the funds to continue working on customer discovery and patents.
Cocoon Construct – $10,000 Ignition Grant – Cocoon Construct offers a rapid deployment high-efficiency retrofit platform to significantly transform the long-term energy performance of low-rise buildings. The startup is currently enrolled in The Clean Tech Center, funded by NYSERDA, and is using the funds for market research, product development and market strategy.
Liberation Lactation – $10,000 Ignition Grant – Liberation Lactation is working to design a discrete and silent breast pump that women can wear while in public to enable women to fully participate in work, school, and life while pumping. The funds are being used for prototype design, customer discovery, and company entity formation.
Ducted Wind Turbines – $25,000 Pre-Seed Fund – Ducted Wind Turbines designs, sells and produces small wind turbines for both commercial and industrial markets. They have built a first-generation working prototype, which has been in operation on the roof of Clarkson University since April 2019. The funds are being used for a prototype design for their generation two product.
Promptous – $40,000 Seed Fund – Promptous is creating a disruptive software solution utilizing blockchain technology to address major issues currently found in the healthcare insurance industry with their initial focus in the dental industry. The funds will be used to launch a pilot program along with OneGroup and support surveying research.
To learn more about membership and The Tech Garden’s Roadmap please visit,
About 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. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving. www.centerstateceo.com