RG&E fuels local startups through ignition grants

RG&E and its sister company NYSEG, the region’s chief suppliers of electricity and natural gas, have awarded $25,000 to 25 local startups recognized for their high growth potential. The grants are part of the Innovation Zone – Ignition Grant Program, one of RG&E’s many economic development funding assistance programs to support new and existing businesses and attract new businesses to our region.

The grants offer one-time financial support to promising local, early stage startups. The program is designed to help them bring their ideas to life and in turn strengthen the upstate economy. Recipients, typically pre-revenue companies in a proof-of-concept stage, are determined based on the technical and commercial opportunity of their businesses.


The new companies must be located in Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone, where they will receive ongoing support from NextCorps. They must also 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.

“We are committed to caring for the communities we serve and helping build a healthy economy throughout upstate New York via collaborative partnerships like the Ignition Grant Program that awards local entrepreneurs for their business potential,” said Kyle Banks, senior economic development specialist at RG&E. “Our goal is to be a catalyst to increase capital investment, create jobs and build economic vitality.  The Ignition Grant Program not only recognizes local entrepreneurs who will influence our future economy and provides them funding to help launch their businesses, but also provides coaching, mentoring, and connections to help them maximize their opportunities for success.”

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