April 7, 2021
Press Release
Funding will be used to support software startups in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region and engage student talent from local universities

April 7, 2021 (Rochester, NY) –Today, Congressman Joe Morelle, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that NextCorps has been awarded a grant through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. The EDA grant, totaling $743,000, will be combined with matching and in-kind funds of $241,000 to support a nearly $1 million program to assist entrepreneurs in jumpstarting new businesses.

“I’m thrilled that NextCorps has been awarded this significant investment to fuel the growth of software and high-tech startups right here in Rochester,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “Our community has always been a hub for innovation, and this grant will help cement our place as a national leader in advanced technology. Not only will this award help strengthen our local economy at a time when it’s needed most, it will engage talented students from our world-class universities to develop relationships, get hands-on experience, and create more opportunities to stay in the Rochester region post-graduation.”

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, “With the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no better time than now to help new high-tech software start-ups grow in Rochester and create new jobsRochester, with its cutting-edge universities and skilled workforce, is quickly becoming a hub to develop and attract new software development businesses.  As a lead negotiator of the CARES Act, I was proud to help secure this funding for NextCorps which is perfectly situated to put this funding to good use by launching this software accelerator and supercharge the Rochester area’s ability to capitalize on the expanding software industry with new innovation, new ideas, and new jobs.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has stunted economic growth and far too many entrepreneurs in New York are struggling to keep their doors open, let alone grow their businesses,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This forward-thinking funding is great news for NextCorps and Rochester businesses investing in their communities, and will help people with non-technical backgrounds and students from local universities get valuable experience and contribute to Rochester’s economic growth. Our regional economies rely on innovative startup incubators like NextCorps for new economic opportunities, and I will keep fighting for the resources they need to thrive as we recover from this economic crisis.” 

"We wish to thank our federal delegation for the support on this EDA effort, as well as their continued support for entrepreneurship and innovation.  With their help, we will be able to finally launch a dedicated new program focused on the already growing software sector, and help to create more businesses and more jobs here in our region," said James Senall, president, NextCorps.

The EDA award is administered through the SPRINT Challenge, a program authorized through the CARES Act—enacted by Congress last year with the support of Congressman Morelle and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand—to build regional economic resiliency in the wake of COVID-19. NextCorps is one of 44 organizations nationwide chosen to receive funds, which will be used to launch and administer a software startup accelerator for non-technical founders, helping to make the high-tech sector more accessible for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. The program will also engage students from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Rochester (UR) to work closely with these founders on their startups, and potentially encouraging them to remain in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region post-graduation.

NextCorps is a Rochester-based non-profit that runs multiple incubator and accelerator programs for technology startups and entrepreneurs in the Finger Lakes region. To learn more about their programs and services, visit