CEO FOCUS: Tech Garden Expansion Continues Investment in Innovation Ecosystem

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Conceptual rendering of The Tech Garden expansion project. In all, 46,000 square feet of space will be added to the current structure, in addition to a new façade that will better reflect the world-class innovation ecosystem supported by the building. The building’s expansion is an important reflection of the investments being made in the city’s convention district. (IMAGE CREDIT: QPK VIA CENTERSTATE CEO)

Central New York’s innovation ecosystem is thriving. The region has built on its historic legacy of entrepreneurship, following more than a decade of investment and strategic programming, creating a place where innovators can turn their vision into viable companies. 

We see this progress in the fact that per-capita capital investments were a mere $27 in 2000-2010, and today are $1,329. Likewise, the region has proven it can support the growth of companies from ideas to a unicorn, with more companies closing in on similar valuation benchmarks. We are also attracting entrepreneurs from around the world, through programs like GENIUS NY.

This success didn’t happen overnight. It was the direct result of many partners and their investments in the future of our regional ecosystem. As we continue to drive impact, we must advance the programming, incubation space, and opportunities that we can offer growing companies. The planned expansion of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden will provide these important tools and resources to more startup companies looking to grow. The project, on track to start construction later this year, will include the renovation of the first-floor lobby, the creation of digital outdoor signage, and the construction of a maker space along Harrison Street. These façade investments will elevate the building to better reflect the importance of The Tech Garden in the community and align with the transformation that is happening in the surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, a second-floor roof space, a new 200-seat auditorium, and an outdoor UAS (uncrewed aircraft systems) deck for continued drone testing and development will ensure companies have space they need to network, test, and grow. Adjacent is a sneak peek at the project’s current conceptual drawing.

This project is an important investment in our innovation ecosystem. Our proven track record of success has driven the need for this growth in the physical space and amenities to continue our leading-edge support of startup companies. To learn more about The Tech Garden, contact Jeff Fuchsberg, VP of Innovation at CenterState CEO, at       

Robert M. Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This article is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on June 2