You might think of business incubators as buildings.

That’s often true, but what incubation really means is providing entrepreneurs with services necessary for their growth. Most business incubator clients are startups with significant potential to scale, whose capabilities are still incomplete. Innovate 518 provides services to help entrepreneurs and ventures thrive.

Affiliated partners, in Innovate 518, include incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and community & entrepreneurial service providers. Each partner has a unique industry focus, expertise, clientele, and culture. At each incubator location, a plan is developed for each client as determined through the intake process. Company needs are documented, a strategy for addressing them developed, and then Innovate 518 and regional resources are mobilized to implement the plan. We live within a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, and our mission is to connect startups with resources that may include:


  • Access to angel investors, private equity, and venture capitalists

  • Connections to banks

  • Access to various forms of grant resources


  • On site spaces that allow you to focus on running your business

  • Shared services including libraries, reception, copy machines, mailrooms, and high speed internet access

  • Connections to strategic partners and higher education institutions

Experts in Industry

  • Assistance with business functions including accounting, finance, marketing, strategy, legal issues and regulatory compliance

  • Mentoring and advice from successful entrepreneurs and subject matter experts

  • Technology transfer and commercialization

  • Presentation skills and pitch practice sessions

  • Intern and student support

  • Networking events

  • Recruitment of executive leadership and employees

  • Approved vendor list (discounted services may be available)

Tax Incentives

These incentives provide for up to five years of corporate tax exemption in NYS in addition to sales tax refunds.  The incentives are not available in conjunction with the similar tax incentives in the Start UP NY program, but meant to serve as a pathway into Start UP NY.  For more information on Start UP NY, please visit

To receive tax incentives through the Hot Spot program, companies must be certified and meet the following criteria and complete the below steps. To learn more about certification, contact Innovate 518.

  • Company must be in good standing with an Innovate 518 Affiliated Partner, be on a path toward scalable development, and less than $2 million in operating annual revenue

  • Provide a scanned copy of their articles of organization or other suitable documentation demonstrating that the venture is in its first five (5) years of operation; (seven (7) years is acceptable for life science ventures).

  • Provide a scanned copy of the Innovate 518 CEO Endorsement signed by the venture’s CEO.

  • Provide a scanned copy of a signed letter from their host Innovate 518 Affiliated Partner certifying: 1) that the venture is in good standing with the affiliated partner; and 2) the date which the venture joined the affiliated partner.

*Note: Not all companies receiving services through an Innovate 518 affiliated partner program are eligible for tax incentives. The recommendation for tax incentives is made by the affiliated partner program in consultation with the Innovate 518 Operational leadership. 

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