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Five high-tech companies tied to UB are added to Start-UP NY

Five high-tech companies plan to create 39 jobs and invest nearly $600,000 in tax-free zones connected to the University at Buffalo, the Governor’s Office announced Monday.

The UB companies are part of the latest batch of businesses accepted into the state’s Start-Up NY program, which lowers or eliminates most state taxes for 10 years for companies that agree to set up shop and create jobs in properties connected to New York’s colleges and universities.

The newest Start-Up NY entries include 17 companies that agreed to hire 343 workers and invest nearly $13.5 million in tax-free zones linked to UB and six other schools across the state.

Added to the previously announced participants, Start-Up NY since June has drawn in 110 businesses that pledged to hire nearly 3,150 workers and spend more than $186 million over five years through the tax-incentive program.

“New York boasts some of the best colleges and universities in the country and, along with access to our talented workforce, these companies will have the opportunity to thrive in New York while creating hundreds of new jobs and boosting local economies. I look forward to seeing the companies, participating schools and New Yorkers across the state succeed thanks to this growing initiative,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.

UB has been a driving force in Start-Up NY since the university was accepted into the program in March 2014 and since the first companies were accepted into the tax-free zones in June.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, UB already had 37 company partners that promised to create 1,452 jobs and to invest $46.6 million over five years.

The five newest companies are:

• Cytocybernetics, a startup that works on drug safety screening for the pharmaceutical industry, moving into Sherman Annex on UB’s South Campus, promising four jobs and a $41,000 investment.

• Greenwich Geriatrics, a startup that designs software to help those who care for people with complicated medical problems make better treatment decisions, moving into UB’s Center of Excellence for Bioinformatics & Life Sciences in the downtown medical corridor, promising 20 jobs and a $355,000 investment.

• Geocove, a Florida company that makes geographic information system tools and provides GIS services, expanding into UB’s Baird Research Park in Amherst, promising five jobs and a $60,000 investment.

• Zintera Corp., a young California cognitive computing company that develops applications for health care, genomics and the life sciences, expanding to the bioinformatics center, promising five jobs and a $91,000 investment.

• Natural Energy Systems, a private Canadian corporation that converts organic waste to clean-burning, renewable fuel for commercial applications, expanding to New York and moving into the Baird Research Park, promising five jobs and a $50,000 investment.

The other schools included in Monday’s announcement are SUNY Downstate Medical Center, SUNY Cobleskill, University of Rochester, Binghamton University, Finger Lakes Community College and New York University.

The announcement comes several weeks after Empire State Development released a report on Start-Up NY’s performance in 2014.

While state officials lauded the program’s progress in its first year of operation, critics noted that the dozens of companies accepted into the program created only 76 jobs last year.