HTR rebrands as NextCorps, launches headquarters at Sibley Square
High Tech Rochester has rebranded itself as NextCorps, as it officially announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to fostering the creation and growth of high tech companies. The launch of the new space, which occupies the sixth floor of Sibley Square, marks the completion of the $16 million phase I of the project.
“By bringing together world-class academic and industry ideas and entrepreneurs and providing them with the resources and expertise necessary to grow and succeed, this new facility will help write the next chapter of the region’s economic story,” said James Senall, president of NextCorps. “Placing it in the heart of downtown Rochester will not only help us attract a new generation of entrepreneurs who want an urban work-live environment, but it will also help propel the redevelopment of the city center.”
NextCorps is an affiliate of the University of Rochester and the region’s only state- and federally-designated business incubator. The $24 million project was supported with $10 million from the state, $2.5 million from the federal Economic Development Administration, $3 million in private philanthropic donations, and is a priority project of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
“The NextCorps accelerator’s move to establish its headquarters in this downtown Rochester landmark will catalyze and continue the economic transformation of both Rochester and the Finger Lakes region,” said Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development.
The 40,000 square foot facility includes a signature co-working space located in the former Tea Room, private offices and suites, wet labs for biotech companies, a fully-equipped prototyping lab, conference rooms, a roof deck overlooking the Rochester skyline, an auditorium, and common areas, including a kitchen/cafeteria and game room.NextCorps has an option to build out an additional 28,000 square feet on the sixth floor in response to future demand. The organization also provides resident companies with mentoring, legal, financial, accounting, networking, business plan development, and marketing services. The facility will be home to an array of software, biomedical, health care, photonics, and electronics ventures and can accommodate as many as 40 or more companies.
“When we built this facility we tried to think of everything an entrepreneur would need, so all they have to do is show up and start working,” Senall said. “We know that bringing entrepreneurs together under one roof helps increase the odds of success. This entire space was designed to foster interaction and drive ‘creative collisions’ that can create connections and partnerships that lead to growth.”
The new facility will serve as the headquarters for NextCorps, which has moved its staff from the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center in Henrietta to Sibley Square. In addition to high tech incubation and acceleration services, NextCorps also runs a number of other programs supporting business growth, including:
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program – NextCorps serves as the regional office for the MEP program, which is a national network dedicated to assisting the growth of small to mid-sized manufacturing companies in the Finger Lakes region;
- Luminate NY – The world’s largest accelerator for photonics, optics, and imaging companies supported with $10 million from New York State through the FLREDC;
- NEXUS-NY – a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)-supported startup incubation/acceleration program for clean energy companies across the state;
- Rochester Venture Challenge – An annual startup business competition;
- The Entrepreneurs Network – A four-month accelerator program for startups or existing businesses seeking to grow;
- NYSERDA EIR Program – A statewide program that matches entrepreneurs-in-residence/mentors with clean-energy startups; and
- University of Rochester’s Student Incubator – part of the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and facilitates student-run businesses.
The name NextCorps was chosen to reflect Rochester’s history of reinventing itself to respond to new economic opportunities and meeting the challenge of what comes next.