Tech Garden expands, supports new and mature businesses in Central New York

New Tech Garden space provides resources, incubator space for growing technology businesses.

In February, the Syracuse Technology Garden expanded into an 18,000 feet space in AXA Tower, right next to the original location, to accommodate the growth of local innovative businesses.

According to the 2014 Annual Report of the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, the demand for office space among the members is full in 2013. Meanwhile, the industries of technology, utility and communications, the main industries that the Tech Garden serves are “seeing significant growth and new opportunities locally” according to the CenterState CEO 2015 Economic Forecast.

"It’s about risk-taking, dreaming, thinking ‘what if.’ It’s a place to nurture ideas."
- Thomas Theriault

In the new office space, the Tech Garden will continue to support new startups as well as accelerate growth for mature companies on the right track.

TangoSquared LLC, one of the new tenants, enjoys the office space and amenities at the Tech Garden. The Syracuse based design and development firm provides branding, marketing and implements communications design locally and globally.

Thomas Theriault, the founder of TangoSquared LLC, said it helps to validate the company's image. He recalled that his relationship with the Tech Garden went through three phases - from a follower to a virtual resident, and now, a physical tenant.

“Early on, I am sort of an admirer of the Tech Garden, especially for this area,” Theriault said.

In late 2004, the Tech Garden overcame the struggles within itself to emerge as a successful business incubator.  Since then, it has been dedicated to stimulating Central New York’s entrepreneurial environment, especially for tech startups.

Theriault said that Syracuse is a liberal-leaning city in many aspects. However, when it comes to business, people’s mindsets are conservative.

“People will wait and see somebody else to do something new. But the Tech Garden is kind of opposite – it’s about risk-taking, dreaming, thinking ‘what if.’ It’s a place to nurture ideas,” Theriault said.

The opportunity to work with partner companies at the Tech Garden allows Theriault to look at what the Tech Garden offers as an “innovation hot spot,” for entrepreneurs. Therefore, he applied and became member as a virtual resident. 

At that time, Theriault and Mark Dingman, the co-founder and Chief Compliance Officer of TangoSquared, both worked without an office. The company took advantage of the networking events to meet with like-minded people or to have business meetings at the conference room.

In the past, Theriault was fine working at home to save money, but several business negotiation experiences highlighted the importance of having a physical office.

“We had a client in Ohio, and he wanted to come and meet us. But we had to push it off,” Theriault said.

Theriault added that after moving to the Tech Garden, another client had a fascinated reaction of the company's new location.

In California, virtual offices for tech startups are standard, but not in Central New York.

“You perhaps don’t need an office, because of the different mindset [in California]. But in New York City, you probably need one,” Theriault said. “It shows you get skin in the game.”

Morgan Jenkins, the client care manager of Venturetechnica LLC, agrees that the Tech Garden provides more than a physical office at AXA Tower. She said the Tech Garden shares information about funding resources such as grants and exemptions and provides a space to collaborate with other growing businesses.

Now, the Tech Garden's many occupants, including Jenkins, make the most of the resources available to them.

"We think we have something unique to offer," Jenkins said. "It's a great platform that wouldn't otherwise exist if the Tech Garden didn't start in Syracuse."

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