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START-UP NY Program Continues to Grow

The expansion of START-UP NY underscores the importance of public-private partnerships, using UAlbany expertise to enhance New York State’s economy.

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 26, 2016) -- The University today announced that XchangeWorx, a software developer and SparkShoppe, a digital marketing analytics firm, have been approved as UAlbany START-UP NY partnerships.

The two new organizations join UAlbany's expanding START-UP NY portfolio, which also currently includes g.tec neurology USA, a research lab for brain computer interface neurological equipment.

Under the state's START-UP NY program, UAlbany targets business partnerships within the framework of the campus' academic mission, capitalizing on strategic priorities in areas such as climate, environmental and economic sustainability; emerging technologies; human health and biomedical sciences; public service and policy; business and entrepreneurship; and liberal arts and sciences.

“The University at Albany is pleased to partner with both XchangeWorx and SparkShoppe under the START-UP NY Program,” said President Robert Jones. “These collaborations underscore the importance of public-private partnerships and help us leverage our expertise to enhance New York’s economy. Through Governor Cuomo's ambitious vision for START-UP NY, we can partner with outstanding organizations such as these to create synergies for the betterment of the region."

Solutions for the Health Care Industry

XchangeWorx, a division of the regional health information organization (RHIO) Hixny, supports the evolving needs of the health care system. The software developer designs, develops and operates health care IT systems to promote better patient care by improving communication and information delivery.

Efforts to transform the U.S. healthcare system from a volume to value-based payment models are creating new demands for information - not just data - at the point of care. This information along with effective communication among providers, patients, health plans and other care givers is needed to coordinate optimum patient care.

“XchangeWorx was created to better connect healthcare providers by automatically capturing disparate and disjointed electronic medical records and delivering them in real-time, in a comprehensive view, at the point-of-care,” said Joel Ryba, CEO of XchangeWorx. “Our mission is to provide cost-effective solutions which deliver the right information at the right time for the benefit of providers and patients. We believe that partnering with the University at Albany through New York’s Start-Up program will help us reach our goals.”

While formed in 2015, the business is already expanding due to high demand from various forms of accountable care initiatives funded throughout the country. Through its partnership with UAlbany, XchangeWorx is projecting 23 net new jobs in the first five years with an investment $430,000 in areas such as software development, accounting, configuration and networking.

With its inclusion in UAlbany’s START-UP NY network, the organization will be located in a 4,200 square-foot space on 80 Wolf Road in Albany.

Advancing Digital Analytics

SparkShoppe LTD, a digital marketing analytics firm, holds expertise in marketing strategy, shopper and digital marketing, branding and insights. Using data analytics and digital technology, SparkShoppe delivers shopper marketing strategies through the Internet, social media and other web-based platforms to retail grocery and other industry chains to increase product movement through established relationships with large national and international consumer brands.

SparkShoppe has relationships with more than 40 major national brands in the consumer packaged goods industry. The company was founded by two former Golub Corporation Marketing executives who have a proven track record in digital technologies and analytics as well as marketing and branding.

“SparkShoppe is excited to partner with the University at Albany through its START-UP NY plan to help achieve our mission,” said Heidi Lorch Reale co-founder of SparkShoppe and an adjunct professor in UAlbany's School of Business. “We hope to maximize our relationship with the University to mentor students through classroom instruction and internships with the goal of recruiting graduates for our new and vacant positions.”

Through involvement in START-UP NY, SparkShoppe is projecting six net new jobs in the first five years with an investment $32,000. The positions will include digital marketing professionals, software developers, and brand specialists. SparkShoppe will occupy temporary space on the UAlbany East Campus awaiting approval of additional space in UAlbany’s amended START-UP NY campus plan near the uptown campus.

To be eligible to partner with UAlbany in a START-UP NY initiative, businesses must be a new company or start-up, an out-of-state company relocating to New York State, or an expanding business currently based in New York State. Businesses that meet those criteria and the law’s requirement that they align with or further the University’s academic mission may receive up to a 10-year exemption from state taxes, while new employees hired after approval in eligible net new jobs receive state personal income tax exemptions.

For more information about partnering with the University, please contact UAlbany’s director of Community & Economic Development, Matt Grattan.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.