New publication by SUNY Geneseo’s Judy Albers examines Entrepreneurship in New York

SUNY researchers today released a study that shows New York State’s innovation profile is one of the strongest in the nation, and that continued focus on bolstering the upstate economy through Governor Cuomo’s START-UP NY program will be especially key to future growth and national competition for investment.

Entrepreneurship in New York is a joint collaboration by SUNY, the Research Foundation for SUNY (RF), SUNY Levin Institute, and SUNY Geneseo. This study shows that New York now commands a larger share of national venture investment than in past studies. Although, within this picture a significant disconnect is revealed. New York’s strong performance in academic R&D in the sciences stands in contrast with the relatively modest amounts of private investment available to move these innovations forward commercially.

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Academic Research and Development (R&D) expenditures in New York State were $5.3 billion in 2012, second only to California. Additionally, the state’s share of venture capital invested nationally rose from 4 percent ($1.2B of $29.9B) in 2007 to 7 percent ($1.8B of $26.5B) in 2012, according to the report.

The SUNY study also found, however, that while New York’s innovation profile is on the rise, the majority of investment is funneled to New York City and that statewide, there remains a disconnect between strong academic research and the private investment needed to bring innovations to market. START-UP NY, which creates tax-free business zones in college communities, is cited as a unique opportunity to close the gap.

“New York is headed in the right direction, quickly becoming a more attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “While Governor Cuomo’s leadership has positioned our campuses to ramp up research and development, create jobs, and drive the economy, it is increasingly critical that the business climate upstate stay on pace not only with academia’s growth but with investment in New York City, and this study can show us how.”

“New York’s universities, both public and private, conduct more than $5 billion in research every year, and we want to create and sustain an environment in New York where those innovations can thrive,” said Dr. Tim Killeen, RF president and SUNY vice chancellor for research. “This study helps us understand the investment climate into which faculty, researchers, and students are bringing their innovations and ideas, and together with Governor Cuomo’s START-UP NY, it can guide us toward a more business-friendly and prosperous state economy.”

Carol Long, president of SUNY Geneseo, said, “The entrepreneurial drive of our young people will shape the future of our economy, but as this study shows, we must find investors willing to bring their dreams to life. We believe that the governor’s innovation agenda can make a real difference in the Finger Lakes region and throughout New York State, and we are proud to be a part of this important study.”

The study is authored by Van Arsdale Chair of Entrepreneurship at SUNY Geneseo Judith Albers, Ph.D., and RF Director of Business and Investor Development Thomas R. Moebus.

The complete study, Entrepreneurship in New York: The Mismatch Between Venture Capital and Academic R&D, is available online. It can also be downloaded for free as an e-book via open SUNY, or purchased in paperback, from


Judith Albers, Ph.D.

Dr. Judith Albers, the Van Arsdale Chair of Entrepreneurship at SUNY Geneseo, and a respected voice in the innovation community of upstate New York, was the study’s lead researcher. “While the investment dollars in the state have increased,” said Dr. Albers, “a more detailed analysis indicates that the increase has been focused heavily on ‘soft tech’ in New York City.  In comparison, ‘hard tech’ companies in either upstate or downstate New York have a much smaller chance of securing funds to launch and grow. Start-ups in the life sciences face the most serious challenges.”

Thomas R. Moebus

Co-author Thomas Moebus, Director of Business and Investor Development at the Research Foundation for SUNY, said “The increase in venture investment in New York City suggests the potential for greater links between upstate opportunities and New York City investment to fuel entrepreneurial growth in fields like IT and services around the state.”

About the publication

Milne Library is very pleased to publish Entrepreneurship in New York and support the dissemination of this significant research report on the nature of venture investment in New York by the authors. Special thanks to Allison Brown, Milne’s Editor and Production Manager for making this and other works possible. More information about Milne Library’s Scholarship & Publishing Services is available online.