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News about tenant/clients

News about tenant/clients of BIA/NYS member incubator programs.

RIT Venture Creations announces milestone for Sweetwater Energy, graduate of the affiliated NYSERDA Clean Energy Incubator, and new video series for regional entrepreneurs

The Venture Creations incubator at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) announced that Sweetwater Energy, a highly successful 2012 graduate of the associated NYSERDA-sponsored Clean Energy Incubator, has signed a $100 million deal to supply California-based Pacific Ethanol with industrial sugars dervied from non-edible agricultural waste that can be fermented into fuels without driving up demand for food sources like corn.

This brings the volume of contracts signed this year to over half a billion dollars, and the firm is on track to reach $1 billion in 5 years. Sweetwater sells waste-derived sugars for use in ethanol-based fuels and industrial feedstocks to customers nationwide. Up to 50 jobs will be created in Rochester through a joint venture with Naturally Scientific. For more, see the attached news release.

Venture Creations also announced the release of a series of "Startup Insider" videos aimed at first-time entrepreneurs. Venture Creations director Bill Jones is featured in one of the videos, which are available here. For more, see the attached news release.

Three wins among hardware startups at CUNY Zahn Center

Three tenant/clients of the CUNY Zahn Center hardware incubator at City College of New York announced big wins:

Haytham Elhawary, director of the Zahn Center, is currently a member of our board of directors and is a mentor with the R/GA Accelerator.

Incubator operator High Tech Rochester announces rollout of NYSERDA-sponsored Proof of Concept Center

Our member High Tech Rochester, operator of two incubators, has recently announced a NYSERDA-supported proof of concept center that will make available up to $50,000 per team to help clean-energy inventors and technologists connect with an "entrerpeneurial lead" and, under the advice of highly skilled mentors, engage in the "lean startup" process to develop a testable business model and prototype products.

The program, called NEXUS-NY, is funded at $500,000 annually by NYSERDA and will support projects emerging from universities or independent entrpreneurs across upstate. A parallel program, PowerBridge, is co-led by our member the NYU-Poly incubation programs and, along with Columbia University, engages inventors at several research institutions in New York City and on Long Island. Both programs are expected to "feed" successful graduates to the affilated incubators.

HTR also recently announced that Ovitz, an early-stage venture built around technology developed at the University of Rochester's Flaum Eye Institute, won a $10,000 award from Excell Partners at the conclusion of the annual Pre-Seed Workshop hosted by HTR. 

FluxData graduates from Venture Creations incubator, taking 4,500 square feet of commercial space; ClearCove Systems enters, with support from NYSERDA clean-energy incubator

FluxData Incorporated, a manufacturer of advanced-technology multi-spectral cameras, is graduating after five years at the Venture Creations incubator at RIT. The firm becomes the second Venture Creations graduate this year to move to Rochester's Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA). With eight employees, FluxData will double in size to 4,500 square feet of commercial space at the Village Gate center. The news release from RIT underlines how residency in a university-related incubator helped FluxData arrange important collaborations with RIT imaging-science research programs and hire students as "co-ops" (paid work experience for academic credit).

A separate story from RIT also highlights the relatively recent arrival at the incubator of ClearCove Systems, a firm developing innovative and energy-generating wastewater treatment technology. The company was founded by two alumni who had been roommates in the Class of 1981, again underlining the importance of alumni to university efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship. The company has private financing and is testing its technology at a municipal wastewater system near Ithaca. It is a resident tenant and also a client of the NYSERDA-sponsored Clean Energy Incubator co-housed at Venture Creations. 

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