February 16, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of NextCorps in the Newly Renovated Sibley Building in Downtown Rochester

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Opening of...

High Tech Rochester Changes Name to NextCorps; Will Occupy 40,000 Square-Feet on Historic Buildings Sixth Floor

Investment in Transformative Downtown Project Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the official grand opening of NextCorps, formerly High Tech Rochester, on the sixth floor of the beautifully renovated Sibley Building in Downtown Rochester. The new state-of-the-art facility supports the creation and growth of high tech companies, and will serve as one of the cornerstones of the ongoing revitalization that is happening in downtown Rochester. The Sibley Building will serve as the headquarters for NextCorps, which has moved its staff from the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center in Henrietta to the renovated facility.  The transformation of the historic building is central to the ongoing revitalization of the city's urban core. 

"New York is committed to the continued renaissance happening in Downtown Rochester, and the addition of NextCorps will serve as an essential piece to these revitalization efforts," Governor Cuomo said. "Through investment in projects like the Sibley Building rehabilitation, Rochester and the Finger Lakes will continue to be attractive to businesses and will see sustained economic growth."

Included as part of the 40,000 square-foot renovation to the Sibley Building is:

  • A signature co-working space located in the historic Sibley Tea Room;
  • Private offices and suites;
  • Wet labs for biotech companies;
  • A fully equipped prototyping lab; and
  • Common areas including a kitchen/cafeteria and game room.

NextCorps also has an option to build out an additional 28,000 square feet on the sixth floor in response to future demand. 

"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 S. Senall, president of NextCorps.  "Placing it in the heart of downtown Rochester will not only help us attract new generation of entrepreneurs who want an urban work-live environment, but it will also help propel the redevelopment of the city center."  

In addition to high tech incubation and acceleration services, NextCorps also runs a number of other programs supporting business growth, including: 

  • Luminate NY - The world's largest accelerator for photonics, optics, and imaging companies;
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership - Supporting growth of small to mid-sized manufacturing companies in the Finger Lakes region;
  • NEXUS-NY - Startup incubation/acceleration program for clean energy companies across New York 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; and
  • NYSERDA EIR Program - A statewide program that matches entrepreneurs-in-residence/mentors with clean-energy startups.

The new $16 million facility was supported with $8 million from the State of New York, $2 million from the federal Economic Development Administration, and $3 million in private philanthropic donations, and is a priority project of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.  NextCorps is an affiliate of the University of Rochester, and is the region's only NYSTAR-designated technology development center.  

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,

"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."

The historic Sibley Building, the focal point for the Rochester Downtown Innovation Zone, is undergoing a $200 million renovation project by WinnDevelopment. Known as Sibley Square, the company is converting the 1.1 million square-foot building into a mixed-use development that features apartments, office, and retail space. 

Gilbert Winn, CEO, WinnCompanies said, "We're excited to welcome NextCorps to its new headquarters as we continue to transform the region's most iconic building into a modern hub for housing, retail and research and development. NextCorps' choice of Sibley Square will write a new chapter in Rochester's historic legacy of innovation through technology. Their presence will be a welcome catalyst for economic development." 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, "At long last Rochester's new high-tech business incubator is open for business - with new state-of-the-art space for dozens of businesses will soon call downtown Rochester home. NextCorps' Business Accelerator is the launching pad to spur new jobs and push Rochester's next generation of companies to new heights.  I was pleased to help secure the $2.5 million federal grant to build the Accelerator, that together with the $42.5 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits secured to greenlight the Sibley Building's rebirth, is turning Main Street and downtown into a hub for new businesses alongside new places to live, shop, eat, and more."

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "I would like to congratulate High Tech Rochester, now NextCorps, for the grand opening of their new downtown business incubator. High Tech Rochester has been instrumental in ensuring that innovators in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region have the necessary support to build their ideas into successful enterprises. I'm proud to have fought for the federal funding that will help NextCorps succeed in its mission to encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth in the region." 

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "Today is the culmination of a years-long effort. I secured the funding that helped High Tech Rochester build its Lennox Tech Enterprise Center in Henrietta more than 20 years ago. In 2016, I led the way in urging the Commerce Department to support their proposal to renovate its headquarters and take their economic development initiatives even further. This is a new era for the historic Sibley Building and local innovation that will support job creation across our region for years to come."

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said, "We would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his help in realizing our vision for the region and for the City's Downtown Innovation Zone. NextCorps' Sibley Building location reinforces that vision which aims to develop a world-class innovation ecosystem by supporting entrepreneurship, driving economic development and helping to move the Finger Lakes Forward."  

State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said, "High Tech Rochester has been a critical partner in expanding Rochester's innovation economy for many years. Now, as NextCorps, they are continuing to lead the charge in the growth of advanced incubation and acceleration services while helping to revitalize our downtown corridor in their new location. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for his support which reflects a continuing investment in the future of our region's flourishing high-tech economy."

State Senator Joe Robach said, "Today's announcement that NextCorps is now going to be calling the Sibley Building home is another example that Rochester and Monroe County is a leader in promoting world-class innovation in technology, manufacturing, clean energy, and state of the art businesses. By investing in these industries and the companies that help to foster cutting edge ideas, we can ensure that our community will continue to be a source of opportunity for all."

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "The opening of NextCorps in Downtown Rochester is an exciting milestone for our city on many levels. This high-tech incubator breathes new life into one of Rochester's most significant landmark buildings, brings more high skilled workers to our Center City and dramatically accelerates the growth of Rochester's innovation economy. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for helping to bring this win-win-win to Rochester through Finger Lakes Forward. This development is helping us achieve our goals of creating more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens."

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "Monroe County has long enjoyed a close working relationship with High Tech Rochester and invests in the organization each year to support its mission to grow local high-tech jobs and our innovation economy. As HTR begins its new chapter as NextCorps, I wish President James Senall and his team the best of luck and look forward to continuing our work together to attract new jobs and investment to our burgeoning high-tech sector."

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 

Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here. 

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office