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Thirteen CNY Companies Receive $675,000 in “Grants for Growth” Funds

By Staff


centerstate-ceoCenterState CEO announced $675,000 in awards to 13 central New York companies through its Grants for Growth program Aug. 27.

This competition named awards in two categories based on a company’s growth stage: Proof of Concept grants for early-stage companies, and Concept to Marketplace investments for later-stage companies.

Over 14 rounds, Grants for Growth has invested nearly $3.8 million in 54 small and emerging companies since 2006.

“These investments provide these companies with the immediate capital they need to grow,” said Seth Mulligan, vice president for Innovation Services at CenterState CEO. “At the same time, we are encouraging follow-on investments, and scaling the innovations being developed at our region’s college and university campuses.”

Six companies received Concept to Marketplace investments:

  • Ichor Therapeutics, a pre-clinical biotechnology company that focuses on age-related pathology, received $75,000.
  • LC Drives, which is developing the next generation of electric motors that are smaller, higher performance and lower cost, received $125,000.
  • Pelitex, which customizes physical and chemical properties of metal nanoparticles to improve corrosion resistance, received $75,000.
  • Euphony, which has developed novel speech synthesis technology that provides text-to-speech voices that sound more natural in the user environment, received $75,000.
  • Rosie, which is creating new technology, operational procedures, and integrative systems to address, manage, and analyze food security, access, and nutrition issues at a national scale, received $100,000.
  • New Age Renewables, which has developed a unique process to extract valuable elements from dairy byproducts, received $75,000.

Seven companies received Proof of Concept Grants:

  • Ionica Sciences, which is developing a unique in vitro diagnostic exam to detect infectious diseases, including Lyme’s disease, received $25,000.
  • UMA Bioseed, whose ‘Bioshield’ product can protect (agricultural) seeds from pathogens, namely bacteria, fungi and viruses, both on and in the immediate vicinity of the underlying seed, throughout its germination phase, received $25,000.
  • Opterus, which has developed a manufacturing process for high performance, low cost carbon fiber composite tubes, received $25,000.
  • Life Unit, works closely with the Yan-Yeung Luk Lab at Syracuse University to explore the use of specific chemicals for therapeutic development and symptomatic treatment of cystic fibrosis, and for skincare and household products, received $25,000.
  • Ecolectro, which is researching and developing patent protected materials for energy generation and storage in fuel cell applications, received $12,500.
  • Volu, which has created a volunteer management platform for nonprofit organizations, received $12,500.
  • Sound Reading Solutions, which provides reading therapy software to improve reading abilities in children and adults by using proprietary cognitive learning methods, received $25,000.

According to CenterState CEO, an enhanced Grants for Growth program will launch in the fall, with an additional $1.5 million in NYS Innovation Venture Capital funding from Empire State Development. The new program will further advance pre-seed stage company investment in additional regions in Central New York, the North Country and the Southern Tier, officials said.

Visit for additional information regarding the program.