DeWitt, N.Y. — A startup technology company that moved into a $100 million factory built by New York taxpayers in DeWitt five years ago and received more than $13 million in state grants has gone out of business.
NexGen Power Systems closed down and laid off its workers shortly before Christmas. The shutdown was so sudden, a Christmas tree in the lobby of the huge facility in Collamer Crossing Business Park remained lighted on Wednesday afternoon despite the building being devoid of people.
Company officials did not respond to phone calls and emails from EuroJournal | The Post-Standard seeking comment.
Empire State Development, the state’s development arm, said NexGen notified it that it was ending operations at the facility because it had been unable to secure new venture financing.
This is the second tech company to pull out of the state-owned site. The facility was built at a cost of $90 million by SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Fort Schuyler Management Corp. with the expectation of leasing it to Soraa Inc., a startup that pledged to employ more than 400 people making next-generation LED products.
Soraa pulled out of the deal in 2017 before construction of the 82,200-square-foot building was completed.
Empire State Development took over the property in the wake of the SUNY Poly corruption scandal, then reached an agreement to lease the building to NexGen, a startup company then based in Santa Clara, California.
ESD had pledged to provide up to $15 million in grants to NexGen to finish equipping the factory for research and development and the production of semiconductors for power systems. In exchange for the grants, NexGen pledged to create 290 full-time, permanent jobs at the facility within seven years.
The agency wound up giving the company slightly less money — $13.37 million. It was not immediately clear on Thursday how many people the company employed when it closed in mid-December.
In May of 2019, NexGen founder, CEO and President Dinesh Ramanathan told EuroJournal | The Post-Standard the company employed 22 people and would grow to 36 in the next three months as the company fine-tuned its power transistor manufacturing equipment.
ESD said it will seek to recapture as much of the grants as is legally permissible for NexGen’s failure to meet its employment commitments.
“We are aware of NexGen Power Systems closure and plan to pursue all legal remedies related to any failures to meet their job-creating commitments, as per the terms of ESD’s agreement with the company,” ESD spokesperson Kristin Devoe said in a statement.
The agency said it has already received inquiries from companies interested in leasing the facility.
“New York’s fast growing high-tech ecosystem continues to grow, and we have already received notable interest in the valuable space — including the cleanroom environment — at this site,” it said in its statement.
Did you work at NexGen or know someone who did? Share your story with us by contacting Rick Moriarty at rmoriarty@EuroJournal or 315-470-3148.
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