KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program, Powered By JumpStart, Awards $115,000 To Syracuse’s CenterState Corporation For Economic Opportunity

Program will celebrate National Small Business Month by awarding grants across Upstate New York to help economic development organizations connect with small businesses in underrepresented communities

The KeyBank Business Boost & Build program, powered by JumpStart, is celebrating the start of National Small Business Month by awarding $115,000 to Syracuse’s CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO).

This funding will help CenterState expand its popular UP Start Syracuse program. UP Start Syracuse helps grow businesses within vulnerable communities, contributing to stronger neighborhoods and shared prosperity. The program connects existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to the tools and networks that help them thrive, bringing together the collective resources of existing business organizations and community partners while also bridging the work of CenterState CEO’s Economic Inclusion and Innovation and Entrepreneurship portfolios.

“We are very excited about this partnership with JumpStart,” said Dominic Robinson, Vice President of Economic Inclusion at CenterState CEO. “The investment from the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program will help us expand our collective work to help expand prosperity in our community through the growth of women and minority owned businesses.”

New York’s Upstate Minority Economic Alliance (UMEA), is a key player in this collaborative project. As the only chamber of commerce in the Central New York Region for minority business owners and professionals of color, UMEA will offer discounted memberships to clients of CenterState’s UP Start program and will also offer small business owners assistance with obtaining minority and women owned business enterprise (MWBE) certification and securing other economic development investments.

CenterState will also use the funding to deepen its collaboration with two programs overseen by the Syracuse University Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, a program of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

  • The first is the South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), a community-based microenterprise incubator that provides office space, training, test kitchen space, and MWBE certification for neighborhood entrepreneurs. CenterState will refer clients to SSIC, provide supplemental technical assistance to residents and continue to work with the organization to successfully launch and grow south-side businesses.
  • The second is Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE), who CenterState will provide with new funding to deliver more workshops and technical assistance for entrepreneurs, specifically for its Exito program. Funding will also support the WISE Women’s Symposium, which is in its 16th year and attracts hundreds of female entrepreneurs and professionals.
    “We are proud to partner with JumpStart to help minority and women owned businesses grow and succeed,” added Stephen Fournier, KeyBank Central New York Market President. “The KeyBank Boost & Build program speaks to the heart of our mission: to help the clients and communities we serve thrive. We can’t wait to see the investment and wonderful opportunities this will bring to Central New York.”

Today’s event is one of four being organized in cities throughout Upstate New York (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany) to announce funding to local organizations from the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program.

Funded by a grant from the KeyBank Foundation in 2017, the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program is designed to stimulate economic growth in Ohio and Upstate New York by helping startups and small businesses grow and preparing the workforce for the needs of those companies.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the KeyBank Business Boost & Build program can visit


About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information,  follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.

About KeyCorp
KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.0 billion at March 31, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About CenterState CEO
CenterState CEO is an independent and forward thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving.

About the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship
The outreach arm of Syracuse University Whitman School of Management’s Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises department, the mission of the Falcone Center is to facilitate the entrepreneurial activity on campus and the local and regional communities. Centered on the mindset of Dream > Believe > Pursue, the Falcone Center aims to help develop the entrepreneur within, providing the resources and mindset for creating new ventures, new products and new methods through a variety of innovative programs and initiatives.