New York State Accelerators and Competitions

Empire State Development connects scalable companies with New York State’s top universities, talent, and manufacturing facilities through its support of several cutting-edge accelerator programs and funding competitions. These accelerators and competitions help companies solve pressing industry challenges, while also fueling the state’s innovation ecosystem. The result: a sustained and robust pipeline of companies accessing New York State’s innovation assets, supporting key industry sectors, and attracting top talent.

Each accelerator makes equity investments* in a select number of participating companies —ranging from $50,000 to $1 million. In turn, participants in these accelerators and competitions have access to industry-specific mentors, potential customers, physical space, as well as to networks to help their companies grow. These programs also help companies raise the capital needed to expand their businesses by showcasing them in pitch competitions and making introductions to potential venture capital partners.

Accelerators and Competitions

Visit the program sites below for more details about how Empire State Development is supporting innovation around New York State.


Industry agnostic accelerator program targeting high-growth startups that want to grow their businesses in Buffalo.


Optics, photonics, or image-enabled technology accelerator targeting early-stage companies located anywhere in the world and bringing their businesses to Rochester.


Food and agri-tech accelerator focused on growing the food and agriculture innovation cluster in the Grow-NY regions which include the Finger Lakes, Central NY and Southern Tier.


Uncrewed aerial systems, robotics, and big data accelerator that brings companies to Syracuse and Central NY.


AI, machine learning, cybersecurity, quantum science, uncrewed aerial system solutions accelerator for pre-seed and seed-stage companies that want to build defense technologies.

Fuzehub Commercialization Competition

Competition that supports small and medium-size manufacturing and technology companies in developing prototypes and demonstrating their commercialization potential.

New York Business Plan Competition

Statewide, intercollegiate entrepreneurship competition supporting students enrolled in accredited NYS colleges and universities.