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Since its early days as the flour-milling center of the nation, Rochester has earned its reputation for turning innovative ideas into reality.

The Finger Lakes region is a global leader in optics, photonics and imaging. Its ecosystem includes excellent resources, industries and colleges and universities, as well as a bounty of fast-growing innovative companies.

The region includes the city of Rochester, the third largest city in New York State, and encompasses Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates counties.

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics TAP facility is the world’s first open 300mm State-Of-The-Art advanced ecosystem for integrated silicon photonics test, assembly, and packaging.

Among quality of life highlights are amazing health care, affordable housing, cultural amenities and affordable downtowns.

And the region toasts to more than 100 wineries and vineyards.

Among the region’s top-tier educational institutions are University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. John Fisher, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan and more. This wealth of academic institutions leads to industry-university partnerships.

The University of Rochester and its affiliated medical center is the sixth-largest employer in New York State and is fourth in the state in overall R&D funding.

Original Kodak buildingRochester is the home of the new American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics). This institute was created with $610 million in public/private funding ($250 million from NYS) to develop the next generation of integrated photonics and deliver global manufacturing leadership.

The institute’s Testing Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility, located in the 1,200-acre Eastman Business Park, will test, assemble and package microchips for semiconductors.

Monroe Community College has launched a degree in Optical Systems Technology.

Beautiful countrysides make for rich agricultural resources for dairy, apple and grape producers.

Rochester is an international center of higher education, medical and technological development, with acclaimed universities such as the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology as well as major corporations such as Eastman Kodak Co., Bausch & Lomb Inc. and Xerox Corp.

The region is now home to a large and innovative range of industries, including optics, photonics and imaging, general and advanced manufacturing, high-tech electronics and software, life sciences, telecommunications and IT, medical devices, breweries, and alternative energy (e.g., fuel cells, wind).

Finger Lakes vineyard
Finger Lakes Wine Country touts more than 120 wineries.

Technology and innovation
Brainpower is a Rochester currency. Not only do institutions like the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology help transfer ideas to the marketplace, we generate large numbers of the nation’s patents in optics, photonics and imaging, and these patent-holders live here. We embrace invention, we develop technology and have the skilled and passionate workforce necessary for businesses on the cutting-edge.

Rochester is home to some of the most respected State University of New York campuses. Our private liberal-arts colleges rank among the best in the region and nationally. Of them, the University of Rochester, is the area’s largest employer.

Arts and culture
From dance, music and theater to the visual arts, Rochester offers up a feast for the culture aficionado. We have a top music school in the Eastman School of Music and a renowned civic orchestra—the Rochester Philharmonic. Live theater, dance, including Garth Fagan Dance, an award-winning dance company, and the visual arts thrive in Rochester.

The new generation
Our energetic young professionals are the future of this city. They are fostering collaborations, becoming change agents and are quickly making downtown Rochester the place to be for work and play.

Garth Fagan Dance
Now in its 47th season, the Garth Fagan Dance company continues to be cited for its excellence and originality. Credit: Erich Camping
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ABOUT ROCSTARTS is an informational resource for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.




260 East Main Street
Suite 6000
Rochester, NY 14604