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New York State


When measured by venture capital investment and value creation, New York state is the 2nd largest state ecosystem in the US, after California.

More than 200 unicorns have been built in New York. Many global technology firms call the state home, including one of the most important technological innovators in the last 100 years, IBM.

New York City is the #2 hub for VC activity globally, trailing only the Bay Area, and raising more investment in the last five years than London, Bengaluru and Beijing.

For the purpose of this guide, we exclude New York City and Long Island to focus on the need-to-know stats and trends in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for Upstate New York.

Venture Capital

Venture capital investment in New York state (including New York City and Long Island) reached $17B in 2023.

New York City continues to make up the largest share of VC investment across the state, accounting for 96% of total VC investment raised.

However, Upstate New York VC investment has been growing at a faster rate than NYC investment in the last five years.

NYC vs Upstate New York

New York City over-indexes for investment into startups operating in fintech and enterprise software. Some more capital intensive and infrastructure-leaning industries including Energy and Transportation find their place outside the metropolis.

By city

Startup ecosystems in cities and towns like Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse and Buffalo have been emerging with high levels of venture capital in recent years.

By industry

Energy, Transportation and Enterprise Software startups raised the most VC investment in 2023 in Upstate New York.

Learn more about the VC investment trends by industry and sub-industry in Upstate New York on the platform here.

By Stage

Early stage
Access early-stage funding rounds into Upstate New York startups on the platform here.

Breakout stage
Access breakout-stage funding rounds into Upstate New York startups on the platform here.

Scaleup stage
Access scaleup-stage funding rounds into Upstate New York startups on the platform here.


Most active investors
Of all of the investors headquartered in Upstate New York, Launch NY, Rethink Capital Partners and MasterCard have been the most active in the last five years.

For the most investments in Upstate New York startups, the top VC is Launch NY, followed by Excell Partners, Rand Capital and Buffalo Angels.

Leading Universities

Upstate NY is home to several prestigious universities that have established themselves as leaders in science, technology, and entrepreneurship, including big name universities of Cornell and Syracuse.

Discover these leading education institutions driving innovation in the Upstate New York ecosystem here on the platform


By size

Below are the top categories by the number of patents granted in 2022 per superclass and subclass by companies based in Upstate New York.

By growth

In the last decade, some of the fastest growing areas of innovation and patent filing in New York have included Machine Learning, Blockchain and Immunogenics.

NYC vs Upstate New York

The most prolific patent areas for Upstate New York are in the classes of Information and Semiconductors. This can be easily explained by who is doing the filing, considering IBM is headquartered in Westchester County.

Subclass patents


Top companies by patents

IBM - the Colossus of Armonk - has filed over for over 40k patents since 1990, by far the most of any company based in Upstate New York.

Related Content

US Guide: Venture Capital in the USA
Dealroom Global Ecobenchmarking Report: View how NY and the US compares globally
Invest New York platform Discover innovative startups in Upstate New York