Governor proposes creating "innovation hot spots"

Jan 11, 2013

In his third State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a new initiative to create ten "Innovation Hot Spots" - areas where startup businesses can receive support, access venture capital and possibly tax breaks.

It would fall to the Regional Economic Development Councils to tag new or existing business incubator as a "hot spot," and Cuomo says the goal is to bridge the gap between academic research and commercialization.

President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, Laura Anglin says they're thrilled that the governor has committed to help businesses grow by making the process of "tech transfer" easier.

"The most difficult part is when you actually leave the university or the college and try to go and grow those ideas, or commercialize those ideas. That's where we struggle the most, and where New York has struggled," said Anglin.

Under the program, five hot spots annually would become a two-year tax-free zone. Companies created within those zones would earn a five-year holiday on property, business and sales tax.

A $50 million state venture fund is also part of the package and Anglin says this will begin to address the problem of second stage funding -- a common challenge for new companies that often sees them migrate to other cities and states.