Startup Raises Hopes For High-Tech Growth In Buffalo

"It was huge in bringing us here to Buffalo," JP Bak said. "With the tax breaks we are able to compete with the Chinese manufacturers, it keeps production costs down," Its pairing with the University at Buffalo will result in a UB-run lab within the factory that will be staffed with interns and graduate students, devoted to research and product development.

The Baks, who were living in Pittsburgh, have settled into a downtown apartment. "We are Buffalonians now," Ulla Bak said with her Danish accent, citing how the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise business group has acted as a concierge, making the opening of the business seamless.

Their 28-year-old son, Christian, the company's product and brand manager, has also moved to Buffalo. His older sister, Eva, a college instructor and counselor in Brooklyn, is the company's employee relations administrator. She flies in on the weekends for her duties. Bilel Neji, a UB graduate with two doctorate degrees, including one in microelectronics and electrical engineering, is in charge of product development. Before BAK came to town, Neji was toiling in Silicon Valley, searching in vain for the ideal job. BAK hired him in August.

"Buffalo is the new Silicon Valley," Neji said.

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