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Start-Up NY chooses 5 local businesses

Five businesses, including four medical industry companies, have been picked to be part of the tax-free zones established by the state as part of the Start-Up NY program.

The companies, including Buffalo biotechnology company ZeptoMetrix Corp., are promising to create 123 jobs and invest more than $3 million in the region, state officials said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the latest additions to the Start-Up program Tuesday, calling the tax-free benefits available under the initiative part of the state’s broader effort to reinvigorate the Western New York economy.

Cuomo established the Start-Up NY program more than a year ago to eliminate sales taxes and property, business and corporate taxes – for a decade – for companies that open on or near State University of New York campuses. The employees of companies in the program also do not pay state income taxes for up to 10 years.

Participating businesses must have a connection to the SUNY campuses’ academic missions, cannot move from one part of the state to another, cannot compete with an existing business and cannot displace a campus program. Two-thirds of the companies in Start-Up NY are sponsored by UB.

“It has substantial benefit to our academic enterprise – from new internship and entrepreneurship opportunities for our students; to more jobs that attract global talent to our region and create new professional avenues for our graduates; and new pathways for our faculty to lend their expertise to industrial research and development,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi said in a statement.

The latest group of companies selected for Start-Up NY include:

• Mitigate Injury Management, a new management consulting business that will provide services to Fortune 1000 companies to improve their safety records and lower their worker compensation costs.

The company plans to move to the Gateway Building in the former M. Wile factory on Goodell Street to develop proprietary software to provide consulting services in a more cost-effective way. The company, which will offer internships to UB students and work with UB’s Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology, expects to create 81 new jobs and plans to invest $115,000 in its operations.

• You First Services, an existing Amherst business, is trying to commercialize technologies that have been created in a laboratory setting but have not been yet had the resources needed to reach the market.

The company does the research and development needed to assess the commercial potential of a technology and determine the steps that need to be taken to bring it to market, such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a product.

You First Services plans to create seven new jobs including some UB dental school students, as it expands its administrative, business development, and research and development R&D staff so it can handle more commercialization projects at one time. The company, now at 300 International Drive, plans to move to UB’s Baird Research Park in Amherst in a $110,000 expansion.

• HarkerBIO LLC, a new biotechnology business, provides services to speed up the development of pharmaceuticals. Using technology developed at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute in Buffalo, HarkerBIO determines the near atomic-resolution, three-dimensional structures of drug target and drug target–therapeutic agent complexes to accelerate the drug design process.

Working with industry partners. Harker BIO is developing next-generation drugs for a broad spectrum of diseases and health conditions. The company, which will collaborate with UB’s Center for Computational Research, will open an office at 700 Ellicott St. in Buffalo and has pledged to create 10 net new jobs while investing $500,000.

• ZeptoMetrix, which specializes in products and services for the global infectious disease diagnostic market, plans to expand its operations to the Innovation Center Annex, at 847 Main St., on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

ZeptoMetrix, which works with UB’s Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology, said it would invest $575,000 in its expansion and create 10 new jobs.

• Robb Surgical Devices, a new surgical device company that has secured the rights to manufacture a new type of patented, laparoscopic sponge, plans to move into the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics Building in Buffalo. The company has pledged to invest $1.87 million, while creating 15 new jobs.