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Israeli startup Zuznow among 4 companies approved for START-UP NY

An image of the homepage for Zuznow, an

An image of the homepage for Zuznow, an Israeli technology firm. Retrieved Dec. 29, 2014. Photo Credit: zuznow.com

An Israeli technology company will open its first U.S. office at Stony Brook University to take advantage of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's tax-free zones for businesses, the governor announced Monday.

Tel Aviv-based Zuznow is among four small companies recently accepted into the Stony Brook University zone. A total of 10 businesses have been chosen in two rounds.

Statewide, the zones program, called START-UP NY, has 55 participants who together have promised to create more than 2,100 jobs by 2020 and invest more than $98 million in equipment and materials.

Cuomo said START-UP NY "is attracting businesses that will drive New York's economy and create jobs and new opportunities for years to come."

In the latest round at Stony Brook, the four startups have pledged to hire 51 people. Three of the four have committed to invest $2.9 million. In return, the businesses will not pay state and local taxes for up to 10 years and their employees will not pay state income taxes for up to 10 years.

Zuznow has developed a platform to convert any website into a fully functional mobile app. The platform is being used by about 40 small- and medium-sized businesses in Israel and the company is seeking customers in the United States, specifically the metropolitan area.

Zuznow will occupy 170 square feet at the university's Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology. The company plans to invest $29,300 in the facility and hire seven people by 2020.

Two of the startups -- FlightPartner and Unique Technical Services LLC -- are already operating locally.

FlightPartner has been a tenant of LaunchPad, the co-working space in Huntington Village. The online booking system for air charter services will move into 250 square feet at the university's wireless technology center, and add nine people to its payroll of one, according to state records.

FlightPartner, which opened last year, didn't include an investment commitment in its START-UP NY application, said Jason Conwall, a spokesman for Empire State Development, which administers the program.

Unique Technical Services, or UTS, has been operating from the Smithtown home of one of its two owners. They now plan to move into 600 square feet at Stony Brook's Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center and invest $1.2 million to commercialize an energy-storage system for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The company expects to create 22 jobs.

Of the four startups, ProGen Life Sciences plans to invest the most: $1.7 million.

The new manufacturer of medical tests that help physicians to determine the most effective treatments for cancer and other diseases will occupy 500 square feet at the Long Island High Technology Incubator on campus.

ProGen expects to add 13 people to its payroll of one by 2020.

Stony Brook's president, Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Monday called START-UP NY an "economic driver" for Long Island. He said, "Stony Brook stands ready to support these new businesses with research and technology expertise to help them grow and reach their potential."

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