The Tech Garden

Grants for Growth

Access to Capital in the CenterState region has taken a big step forward with the newly launched CenterState CEO Grants for Growth phased investment program. The new investment options include:

Grants for Growth Proof of Concept Grants: is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea awards are for periods of six (6) months in amounts up to $25,000. Apply now. (Rolling applications awarded approximately twice a year)

  • Non-dilutive funding
  • Merit/Milestone based
  • Focused on a specifically defined academic/industry project, over a clear timeframe (ideally six months), with identified outcomes that is intended to help move a concept closer to proof of concept/commercialization

Grants for Growth Accelerator Notes: Targeting advanced projects / companies that are beyond the proof of concept stage and need larger amounts of capital that are now looking to move forward with tech commercialization and scale the project to manufacturing capability. 

  • Given in the form of convertible debt notes
  • Minimum of $75,000
  • Maximum of $150,000.

Since the Grants for Growth program was launched in 2006, CenterState CEO has made 40 awards which have directly leveraged more than $5M in private sector and university matching support. Projects that have received GFG awards have successfully secured an additional $40M.

As importantly, the program has directly led to the creation of over 100 jobs throughout the region based on $2M in GFG funding disbursed to date. This represents a return on investment of one job for every $14,000 dollars of GFG funding—a very good ratio that exceeds that of many State economic development programs. Additionally over 52 patents were applied for by projects funded through this program.

Fund Goals:

  • Accelerate the growth of companies;
  • Accelerate private capital investment and shorten the time it takes companies to raise capital;
  • Create new products and services for high growth companies; and,
  • Create and retain high-paying, private sector jobs.


  • Increase product or service development and private capital investment;
  • Strengthen one or more of the regions high growth industry sectors;
  • Create and retain high-paying, private sector jobs.
  • Must have more than 50% of the business team in the CenterState region

Evaluation Criteria: Plans presented by eligible companies will be evaluated by the CenterState CEO Innovation and Entrepreneurship Advisory board.  


The Tech Garden
235 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

(315) 474-0910