U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to do for upstate New York what the venture capital sector has not.
While New York state universities rake in $6 billion a year in government research funding — ranking it No. 2 in the country — the state and upstate New York in particular lag behind most of the country when it comes to being able to attract private-sector venture capital.
Upstate’s inability to attract venture capital has been a longstanding issue recognized by both federal legislators like Gillibrand as well as Gov.Andrew Cuomo, leading to several new programs designed to “jump-start” venture investment in university settings. Cuomo’s latest program was Start-UP NY, which allows fledgling companies that locate on SUNY campuses to operate free of state taxes for 10 years.
Gillibrand is backing a bill called the Technology and Research Accelerating National Security and Future Economic Resiliency, or TRANSFER Act, which could work in concert with Start-Up NY in attracting more venture capital.
The bill would provide start-up commercialization funding through five federal agencies. Universities would be eligible for up to $3 million each, with up to $100,000 allowed for each technology development project.
“New York is home to some of the world’s brightest minds and best ideas to grow our economy,” Gillibrand said Monday during an event at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. “This bipartisan legislation will help bring high-tech innovation into the marketplace, producing cutting-edge small businesses and new jobs.”
Gillibrand spoke at a manufacturing lab at RPI’s Low Center for Industrial Innovation along with RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson, who supports the bill.
“We are positioning our students and New York state companies to tap the entrepreneurial opportunities that are emerging from advances in manufacturing,” Jackson said. “New products, processes and ventures are likely to come from our efforts. However, moving promising ideas from the lab to the marketplace is challenging, and requires a broad range of supports, particularly at the earliest stages.”
Gillibrand wants to fill venture capital void – Times Union.