RG&E and NextCorps Announce Milestone of $1M Awarded to Rochester Area Startups, Fostering Innovation and Fortifying Upstate New York Economy

Grants Support Local Entrepreneurs in Building Businesses Through NextCorps, Helping Them Bring Their Ideas to Life in Top Tech Hub

ROCHESTER, NY-June 28, 2023NextCorps, a non-profit incubator and accelerator for technology startups and entrepreneurs in the Rochester and Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, announced today that Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), the region’s electric and natural gas utility, has reached a major milestone in its support to the Rochester community, awarding more than $1 million in grants to entrepreneurs who are building their businesses with assistance from NextCorps. These grants fill a critical gap by providing initial funding to get a business off the ground – which is a difficult step for founders to attract funding from investors at the very early stage. Through the Economic Development Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program and several other economic development funding assistance programs designed to support growing businesses and attract new ones to the region, RG&E and its sister company NYSEG contributed more than $14.1M to the communities they serve in 2022 alone.

“Funding and support from RG&E have helped dozens of hard-working entrepreneurs create solutions and launch businesses that strengthen our local economy and enhance our community’s reputation as a world-class destination for high-tech startups,” said Matt Foley, managing director of Incubation Services at NextCorps. “This impressive funding milestone reflects RG&E’s dedication to our community and our joint commitment to innovation.”

Created in 2021, the $25K grants have provided one-time financial support to 40 entrepreneurs growing their businesses within the NextCorps incubation environment where they receive mentoring, expertise, and introductions to the area’s rich ecosystems of potential partners and investors. Recipients are typically pre-revenue companies in a proof-of-concept stage, selected based on the technical and commercial opportunity of their businesses. The new companies must be located in Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone, agree to keep their business in New York state for at least three years, and commit to making a combination of in-kind and cash contributions as a match for their grant award.

Founders typically leverage the grant funding for business planning, product development, marketing, intellectual property, and patent-related activities. To date, startups funded by the grants include Little Black Buddha, a black- and woman-owned career services software company; PBJ Pickup, a local startup company that offers a touchless, affordable app-based solution for childcare centers and preschools to track child pickup authorizations; and Perdix Software, makers of MOLI, an information processing system for digital manufacturing.

“We are committed to supporting the continual growth and development of Upstate New York. Our long-standing collaboration with NextCorps provides a powerful way to make a difference by supporting up-and-coming businesses, which creates a job and economic vitality engine here,” said Joe Sayre, senior economic development specialist at NYSEG and RG&E. “As RG&E celebrates its 175th Anniversary, it is fitting we also celebrate this important milestone that reflects our commitment to the communities we serve, and to enhancing the health and competitiveness of our region.”

NYSEG and RG&E accept applications for this program and award grants on a rolling basis. They continue to partner with NextCorps and other high-tech incubators and accelerators across New York State to support the startup community.

For more information on RG&E, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., visit rge.com.

About RG&E:

Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Established in 1848, RG&E operates approximately 8,800 miles of electric distribution lines and 1,100 miles of electric transmission lines. It also operates approximately 10,600 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines and 105 miles of gas transmission pipelines. It serves approximately 378,500 electricity customers and 313,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region in New York surrounding the City of Rochester. For more information, visit rge.com.


AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $35 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. With headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,600 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 and 2020 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit avangrid.com.

About NextCorps:

NextCorps is a non-profit helping innovative technology companies launch and grow. It supports tech startups and existing manufacturers build their businesses through a variety of programs and mentoring opportunities. NextCorps also provides incubation to more than 60 startups, and educational and coaching services to many more companies. Its incubator is located at Sibley Square at the heart of Rochester’s downtown Innovation Zone. NextCorps is an affiliate of the University of Rochester. Visit www.nextcorps.org to learn more.

Media Contact
Shannon Wojcik


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