Hundreds of New Job in WNY

July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 8:44 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First

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Hundreds of New Job in WNY

July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 8:44 AM EDT

The rapid growth of one Buffalo company and the arrival of another are highlights of today's announcement of Start-Up NY incentives.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at the University at Buffalo that eight firms will either expand or locate in Western New York, partly because of Start-Up NY packages.

An emerging online-benefits exchange provider, Liazon Corp., has pledged to create 500 jobs during the next five years because of Start-Up NY, while fledgling Bak USA says it will create 100 jobs.

Start-UP NY offers a decade's worth of tax-free incentives for companies that locate in one of 64 designated zones around New York. Both Ellicott Development's Fairmount Creamery on Scott Street and McGuire Development's Compass East along Michigan Avenue (where Liazon and Bak will be located respectively) are within the designated areas.

In all, the eight firms approved under the Start-UP NY program have pledged to create 659 jobs.

"Start-Up says you know how much we charge in taxes -- zero," Cuomo said. "Start-Up takes New York and turns it 180 degrees around."

Ashok Subramanian, Liazon CEO and co-founder, said the program was the key in convincing Towers Watson -- Liazon's new parent company -- to move forward with the Buffalo expansion when other states were being considered.

Liazon, which already has 175 employees, will be hiring its expanded workforce during the next five years.

"Where we might have been hiring 20 or 30 people a year, we are now thinking that we will be hiring between 75 and 100 a year," Subramanian said.

Bak, which produces electronic tablets, selected Buffalo and Compass East thanks to the Start-Up NY incentives but also a major pitch made by the University at Buffalo, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and Phillips Lytle LLP law firm.

The firm will be leasing Compass East's fifth floor -- roughly 11,000 square feet -- using half for its clean-room manufacturing space and the rest for its headquarters. Buffalo was selected over cities in several other states.

Bak hopes to begin operations by early November, producing 80,000 tablet devices within its first 12 months in Buffalo. Its parent company, Surtab, is based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In addition to Liazon and Bak, other companies receiving incentives under the Start-UP NY program include:

Appistry Partners, which specializes in genomic data analysis. The firm plans on investing $2.45 million in its Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus area operations and hopes to employ eight people.
Biologichem, a pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries research firm, which plans to locate at UB's Stor incubator at the Baird Research Park in Amherst. The company hopes to create four new jobs and invest $75,000 in start-up costs.
Canget BioTekPharma hopes to invest $100,000 and create six jobs at UB's Center of Excellence Building. The company researches anti-cancer drugs.
Clinical Support Services, a software development company, plans to invest $275,000 and create 16 jobs in Buffalo's Gateway Building.
IFYE Association of the USA wants to move its corporate headquarters to Buffalo as it markets its international programs to young adults. The company hopes to create 10 new jobs and invest $25,000 in its Buffalo operations.
Vader Systems, which produces liquid-metal jet printing devices, wants to invest $1.39 million and create 15 new jobs by expanding into the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus' Innovation Center.

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