The company, owned by Beijing entrepreneur Jie Cai, will occupy part of the tax-free space in the Syracuse Technology Garden II on Madison Street that the state has set aside for SUNY Oswego's Start-Up NY partners.
Snow Dragon pledged to employ seven people at its headquarters within the next five years as it works to develop products to serve the security needs of institutions and businesses in the United States and, eventually, the rest of North America.
The collaboration with Snow Dragon grew from a visit college President Deborah F. Stanley and Pamela Caraccioli, deputy to the president for external partnerships and economic development, made to China in December 2014. With the assistance of Syracuse-based Tech Bridge International and CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, they met with representatives of several businesses, including Cai (pronounced Tsigh), in the heart of China's "silicon valley," Zhongguancun in the Haidian District of Beijing.
"SUNY Oswego has had global reach for many years," Stanley said. "This is a genuine opportunity to bring in international direct investment to Central New York, and that is a key component to our regional economic development plan."
Cai is majority owner of Cein Biotechnology Ltd. in Beijing, a biometrics company developing customized uses for patented, award-winning finger-vein scanning hardware and software to serve the security needs of a wide variety of clients that need living, no-card identity verification. The company said the near-infrared technique has a false acceptance rate of only 0.0001 percent and a false rejection rate of 0.01 percent. Cai agreed to form a new, separate company called Snow Dragon to explore potential markets for the technology in North America.
The venture also seeks to leverage SUNY Oswego's strength in wireless research and technology. The college's Advanced Wireless Systems Research Center focuses on cutting-edge research in wireless science and technologies -- including wireless sensors and devices -- and is working closely with Snow Dragon to develop a collaborative program in finger-vein imaging, according to the center's director, Patanjali Parimi.
Speaking on behalf of Snow Dragon, Todd Sullivan of Tech Bridge International said one of the company's goals is to attract U.S. investors, much as Cein has attracted two rounds of angel investment in China. To get there, the new company needs to spend several months in research, development, demonstrations of the technology, and in sales and marketing, he said.
"Snow Dragon is delighted to partner with SUNY Oswego in Start-Up NY," Sullivan said. "The company has technology that has very broad applications. Mr. Cai plans to choose projects that are going to develop revenues early and get Snow Dragon's name out there."
The college's branch campus, SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse, also is exploring synergies with Snow Dragon.
SUNY Oswego last year completed its first Start-Up NY partnership, with Designer Hardwood Flooring CNY of East Seneca Street. Start-Up NY enables new and expanding businesses to operate tax-free for 10 years on or near university campuses.
For more information, contact Caraccioli at [email protected] or 315-312-3699.