The New Tech Valley: 5 CapNY Companies With Global Impact

Meet the amazing tech companies that make CapNY one of the nation’s fastest growing metro areas for manufacturing jobs!

We’ve Come a Long Way

Vyv Technician

In the late 1990s, under the moniker “Tech Valley,” NY’s Capital Region committed to competing with major tech players like Boston and Silicon Valley. 

Now, CapNY has built a strong foundation of tech-centered education at RPI. Plus, companies like Global Foundries and General Electric — and others you’ll meet below — are making major strides in industries like medicine, software, semiconductors, and more. 

CapNY has increased semiconductor patents and has been named a top contender location for tech jobs. Additionally, CapNY is one of the fastest growing metro areas for manufacturing jobs!

Here’s the scoop on some of the hottest CapNY “Tech Valley” companies you should know…

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF), Malta

Global Foundries Campus

GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®) is a global semiconductor manufacturing company. Translation: GF produces chips that power everything from smartphones, tablets, and laptops, to 5G and automobiles! And, since 2009, over $15 billion has been invested in GF’s flagship manufacturing site, Fab 8, located in Saratoga County. 

Worldwide, GF employees approximately 15,000 people at sites in 14 locations across the world. 3,000 of them work right here in CapNY. A 2018 Georgetown University study on the Economic Impact of GF on the Capital Region identified over 18,000 jobs created since 2009. There’s also been expansion of regional infrastructure, housing, entertainment, and other attractions in Saratoga County and the region overall. 

 The range of opportunities at GF is impressive. “GF employs engineers and technicians, as well as people in IT, finance, business, operations and more,” said Peter Benyon, VP and General Manager at Fab 8. “Through our diversity and inclusion initiatives, GF is increasing representation of women and developing them at all levels within the company. Many of our women leaders have been recognized for excellence by community organizations.”

Global Foundries

GF is also committed to CapNY’s STEM education. “Our partnerships with the Capital Region’s colleges and universities help support our talent pipeline,” Benyon said. “(We’re) engaging K-12 students through science fairs, STEM expos, career panels and career fairs. We see STEM continuing to grow in our area, which is critical to our future talent pipeline.”

PVA, Cohoes

PVA

This Cohoes-based company creates equipment used in automated dispensing and spray coating across industries from automotive electronics, medical, alternative energy, and aerospace. Translation: PVA’s customers employ their robotics to precisely glue parts together or selectively apply a protective film on circuit boards to protect electronics from moisture, vibration, and foreign debris.

With sites in The Netherlands and China, PVA has a global reach from their Spindle City site. Exports account for over 60% of their total sales. Their customers are often in high volume manufacturing environments like China, Mexico, and India, according to Frank Hart, Managing Director – Global Sales and Marketing.

PVA

PVA is routinely recognized as an industry leader. They are a three-time winner of Circuits Assembly’s Service Excellence Award. And, to great acclaim, PVA developed and manufactured an emergency ventilator during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being located in CapNY has been a huge positive for PVA. The Albany area is centrally located and has the benefits of a big city with a small city feel. The abundance of local colleges and universities provides a diverse, qualified pool of potential employees,” Hart said. And, “with customers around the world, the ease of Albany International Airport is vital. We have visitors and are shipping products daily.”

Kitware Inc., Clifton Park 

Helicopter from Kitware Software
Using Kitware’s VTK software, this image depicts a particle and streamline visualization of airflow around a helicopter rotor. VTK allows us to render complex data at the high frame rates required for virtual reality.

Kitware creates custom R&D software solutions to help companies solve advanced scientific challenges. Some cool examples: They’ve built algorithms that can spot fake news or count marine wildlife, and technology that is used to help detect and treat cancer and plan complex surgery. Their computing tools can stimulate blood flow in the body for medical research, and others can analyze trends in climate data.

Founded in 1998 by Will Schroeder, Ken Martin, Lisa Avila, Bill Hoffman, and Charles Law, the leaders shared a passion to bring advanced visualization technology to the world

Artificial Intelligence
One of Kitware’s core capabilities is artificial intelligence. We’ve developed software tools that allow scientists to analyze image and video data collected from different camera systems mounted on various platforms. 

Early on, Kitware secured funding from the National Library of Medicine. This success led to an open source business model that eliminates competition and encourages collaboration. Impressively, they’ve grown from five original employees to over 200 worldwide, with over 100 in CapNY. And,the company remains 100% employee owned.

“Kitware is proud to have our roots and our headquarters in New York’s tech valley. We are surrounded by so much innovation and growth,” said Lisa Avila, president and CEO of Kitware. “CapNY offers some of the best culture, arts, and leisure activities in the country. The region’s proximity  to NYC and Boston, as well as the surrounding academic institutions, makes it an attractive place to live, work, play and learn.”

Vyv, Troy

Founded in Troy in 2012, Vyv (formerly Vital Vio) invented a revolutionary, UV-free approach to cleaning. Translation: Vyv’s antimicrobial lights allow people to live and work freely around Vyv lights, without the limitations of UVs. You’ll find Vyv products in overhead lighting, inside consumer products, behind elevator buttons, and in industrial processes. 

Vyv lights

Vyv began when CEO and co-founder, Colleen Costello’s grandmother contracted a serious — and preventable — MRSA infection during hospital stay. A biomedical engineering student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Costello’s research revealed that this was not an isolated incident. As a result, she and a team of engineers at RPI developed a smarter way to manage bacteria levels. Subsequently, Vyv invented proprietary continuous-use, UV-free antimicrobial light technology.

From idea to implementation, Vyv has found CapNY to be an ideal home to build upon that bright idea. 

“This has been a great area to grow our company,” said Costello. “First, there is a high-quality talent pool coming from our universities. Also, the business ecosystems have helped us to grow. And, this area’s high quality of life make us feel fortunate to be part of this community.” 

Vyv partners globally with FORTUNE 500 companies, including Delta Air Lines, Dorel Juvenile, Broan-Nutone, Middleby and a myriad of major healthcare systems.

Regeneron, Rensselaer and Troy

Regeneron

Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases, from eye diseases to cancer.

The company was founded by physician-scientists in 1988 and they quickly recognized the importance of in-house production capabilities. Therefore, they acquired the former Sterling Pharmaceuticals facility in Rensselaer and began making product for clinical trials.

Today, all of Regeneron’s nine FDA approved medicines are made at their production site in Rensselaer. In 2018, the company announced they would invest $850 million to expand existing operations and build a new fill and finish facility on Tempel Lane in East Greenbush.

Most recently, they stepped up to aid in COVID-19 treatment and research. Their antibody cocktail helps those suffering from the disease experience less severe symptoms and hopefully, make a strong recovery. More on that here.

When asked why Regeneron likes doing business in CapNY, Christine Childrose, Vice President of Human Resources responded, “The Capital Region has been a great place for Regeneron to grow and expand. In the last three years alone, we have hired more than 1,300 talented people with more than 30% of our entry level roles coming from local colleges and universities. With excellent school districts, an affordable cost of living, vibrant downtowns and a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities, the Capital Region is also increasingly attractive to people looking to relocate for a better quality of life.”

Written by: Lauren Mineau

Lauren Mineau is a marketing and communications professional with a passion for highlighting the places, spaces, and people that make upstate New York a great place to be. Her experience in local news, B2B marketing, and higher education, ignited her passion for telling stories of things people are curious about. In her spare time, you can find her searching for the perfect iced coffee, juggling five craft projects at a time, or cracking the perfect pun.

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