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Matthew Leonard, Editor

Editor for the Innovation Trail

Matthew Leonard has been involved in public broadcasting since 1988, having worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio New Zealand and for the post-apartheid South African Broadcasting Corporation. He is the recipient of Australiaâ

  • In this hour of "Connections: Innovation Friday", we take a look at how safe Rochester is for pedestrians. New data shows 47,000 people pedestrians died…
  • The lengthy dispute over casino royalties was resolved in Niagara Falls on Thursday with the signing of new deal between the state of New York and the
  • In an attempt to boost New York’s entrepreneurial atmosphere, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed new “Innovation Hot Spots” in his third State of the State speech Wednesday. They would be areas where startups can get free assistance and maybe even a break from taxes. Cuomo pointed out the state struggles to bring in venture capital, or investment dollars, for startups. California and its Silicon Valley rakes in 47 percent of venture capital dollars in the country. New York’s 4 percent cut pales by comparison. Cuomo has proposed in his 2013 agenda creating a $50 million state-run venture capital fund. That fund will, in part, pay for the “hot spots”. According to the governor’s proposal, there will be 10 designated “hot spots” across the state. They can be new or existing incubators. How those locations are picked will fall to his Regional Economic Development Councils. Five of those locations will be picked to be tax free zones for two years at a time by the governor’s administration. Companies that start in a “hot spot” will not have to pay property taxes, business or sales taxes for the first five years of their existence. The five designated “hot spots” will also be given additional state support. Promotion of upstate Among initiatives aimed at developing upstate New York's economy, the governor announced today two efforts to promote the region's agriculture and natural resources. Taste-NY will promote New York-grown and produced products through statewide duty-free stores. And the Adirondack Challenge will promote whitewater rafting in the state through a new national competition in the sport, which will be hosted in the north country. In addition, a $5 million advertising competition will be held to help bring counties together to coordinate regional marketing efforts. You can read the whole State of the State here.