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Venture capital firm opens upstate office in CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden

By Eric Reinhardt (


CenterState CEO says New York City–based ff Venture Capital (ffVC) has opened an upstate New York office within the Tech Garden. The new office makes ffVC the facility’s first in-residence investor. (Adam Rombel/ CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — New York City–based ff Venture Capital (ffVC) has opened an upstate New York office within CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse, becoming the facility’s first in-residence investor.

The Tech Garden, operated by CenterState CEO, is home to the Genius NY program, described as the world’s largest business accelerator for uncrewed aerial systems (UAS).

Genius NY stands for Growing ENtrepreneurs & Innovators in UpState New York.

To date, ffVC has invested in two Genius NY portfolio companies: CivRobotics and CarScanner.

Within the new partnership, ffVC will have an office at the Tech Garden and will be available to meet with Genus NY and Tech Garden members, “bringing potential new deal flow opportunities to the region,” CenterState CEO said in the announcement.

Almost half of companies in Genius NY have gone on to raise follow-on funding from venture capitalists, with more expected. Each cohort year, companies are fundraising and seeking follow-on funding, making this partnership “crucial” for the continued growth and survival of startups, CenterState CEO contends.

“This partnership and the growth of venture capital and early-stage investment in the region is another sign of the strength of Central New York’s innovation ecosystem,” Kara Jones, director of Genius NY, said in a release. “This valuable new investment tool is part of [a] growing set of resources that will help entrepreneurs thrive here in our region.”

Founded in 2008, ffVC is an international venture-capital firm with offices and funds in the U.S. and Europe. The firm has been helping startup founders with funding and resources to launch technologies that “impact the lives of millions,” per the announcement.

Since its first investment in the drone space in 2014, ffVC has been an active investor in the automation industry, including such firms as Burro, Cambrian Robotics, Digital Twin, Lynq, Manna, PlusOne Robotics, SkyCatch, and Zenith Aerospace.