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Area’s Expands E-commerce Solutions via Partnership with UAlbany’s START-UP NY Program

A first for UAlbany in New York State's program to grow business through tax-free zones and linkage to higher education 

Start-Up NY tells entrepreneurs that setting up their businesses on campuses like UAlbany's gives them immediate access to state-of-the-art facilities and talent.

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 21, 2014) -- The University at Albany today announced a START-UP NY partnership with, a Castleton, N.Y.-based provider of outsourced curriculum management and digital content for K-12 educational institutions. The E-commerce company will expand into one of UAlbany’s START-UP NY tax-free areas at 418 Broadway in downtown Albany, providing new jobs within its information technology, engineering, operations, sales and marketing teams.

"We're pleased that this innovative START-UP NY partnership with will bring creative research, economic development, and job creation opportunities to the campus and the Capital Region," said University at Albany President Robert J. Jones. "This is a textbook example of a rich public-private partnership, supported by Governor Cuomo's ambitious vision for START-UP NY, with government, higher education and the private sector creating synergies for the betterment of education and the welfare of the region."

ClassBook was founded by Anthony Pfister, a UAlbany alumnus, and currently has 11 full-time employees at its Rensselaer County headquarters. The START-UP opportunity will allow them to add ten new full-time positions in its first year of operation at the downtown Albany location and more than 60 projected new positions by the end of the fifth year. In addition, the company anticipates adding 60 part-time employees at other locations in New York State, not within the tax-free area. Its growth is primarily based within its unique software-as-a-service offering.

CEO Anthony Pfister said, "As a Capital Region native, I am pleased to be able to expand close to home and create new senior-level professional positions and economic growth in the area. The University at Albany, which has rich synergies in research and academic mission, is the perfect partner for ClassBook. As experts in educational content delivery, ClassBook has worked with public and private schools nationwide to adopt and manage digital content. We understand the challenges schools face when making this transition, and we look forward to helping these educational institutions improve the student learning experience and continuing our success right here in New York. We thank Governor Cuomo for his foresight and vision in creating START-UP NY.”

Under the state's START-UP NY program, the University will seek education and research partnerships with companies that align with its academic mission and can create jobs in or near campus facilities. The University's START-UP NY plan targets businesses within the framework of the campus's academic mission, capitalizing on strategic priorities in climate, environmental and economic sustainability, emerging technologies, human health and biomedical sciences, public service and policy, business and entrepreneurship, and liberal arts and sciences. ClassBook has already engaged with the UAlbany Department of Psychology to study the effectiveness of e-learning materials and methods.

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, including certain personal income taxes.

For more information in partnering with UAlbany, please contact Mike Shimazu, Associate Vice President for Business Partnerships and Economic Development, UAlbany.

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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.