But the part of the bill that could have the most direct impact on Buffalo is its call for the development of 10 regional tech hubs. Metro areas with an already-huge tech presence, such as Austin, Texas, would not be eligible – but areas such as Western New York would be.
“You give a billion dollars to each tech hub,” Schumer said. “It would be flexible so that the funds can be used for commercialization, for capital startups, for workforce training, for infrastructure, for supply chain.”
Most of the hubs would probably focus on two or three technological areas, Schumer added.
The New Frontier Act has already generated significant excitement in Western New York. M&T Bank, now developing a tech hub at Seneca One tower, supports a Western New York bid to become one of the 10 tech hubs the bill would create. And tech executives in the region are already putting together a joint Buffalo-Rochester bid for a tech hub.
“I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for the Western New York community, and I believe that all the right people are collaborating together as we speak to make sure that we put forth the best application possible,” said William Maggio, managing partner of the private equity firm Lorraine Capital and chairman of the newly formed 43North Foundation.
Schumer is excited about the bill, too – so excited, in fact, that he went to the Senate floor Wednesday to tout it.
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