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RIT Venture Creations incubator graduates 5 fast-growings startups

The Venture Creations incubator at Rochester Institute of Technology held a group graduation ceremony, attended by U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-25th District). The ceremony honored the rapid growth of five companies that are now considered graduates of the RIT incubation program:

  • All Access LLC, a business-directory app, established 2012 and now employing 3 full time and 3 part-time;
  • BlackBox Biometrix, making blast-detection sensors for military and law-enforcement uses, established 2011 and now employing 23, 15 of them RIT graduates;
  • ClearCove Systems, with a new system for municipal wastewater, which has grown to 15 employees since entering the incubator in 2013;
  • Darkwind Media, a video game maker, founded 2007 and currently with 14 employees;
  • ThirtySix Software, with software to streamline office documents, founded 2009, currently 6 employees.

All Access and BlackBox have also employed RIT students as "co-ops" who receive paid internships under academic supervision for credit. 

For more information, see the university news release and the list of graduating companies.

New York Medical College holds grand opening for new BioInc@NYMC wet-lab incubator in Westchester County

New York Medical College held a grand opening for the new BioInc@NYMC wet-lab incubator built in a former R&D building on the college campus in Valhalla, Westchester County.

The incubator, designated a priority project by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, is the only incubator in the region that is collcoated with a health-science university campus. The NYMC campus adjoins the Westchester Medical Center and several county operations, including the county forensic and public-health laboratory. BioInc@NYMC shares space with a workforce training center operated by SUNY Westchester Community College. 

For more information, see the NYMC news release. Video of the opening ceremony is embedded below after the break.

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PowerBridgeNY, a cleantech Proof of Concept Center, joins BIA/NYS

PowerBridgeNY, a proof-of-concept center sponsored by NYSERDA to commercialize cleantech inventions, has joined BIA/NYS as our newest member. PowerBridgeNY was founded by Columbia University and the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, and it sources new inventions from  those institutions as well as at the City University of New York, Cornell NYC Tech, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and SUNY's Stony Brook University.

The PowerBridgeNY program operates as a virtual or pre-incubator, stepping faculty/postgraduate teams through a series of educational and mentoring sessions designed to help them sharpen the business case for their inventions. Winning teams are allocated up to $150,000 each to support any combination of applied research, market research, prototype development and testing, and market development. By aggregating access to excellent research spanning six institutions, PowerBridgeNY has been able to attract a strong panel of judges from the venture community and raise visibiity for the winners. For more information on the process, see Governor Cuomo's news release on the first round of winners.

Although PowerBridgeNY is a "virtual" incubator, it operates out of both NYU SoE's Urban Future Lab in MetroTech Center and Columbia's Technology Transfer Office. MetroTech Center is also home to our member incubator the New York City Accelerator for Clean and Resilient Economy (ACRE), cosponsored by NYSERDA and NYCEDC. PowerBridgeNY is paralleled by NEXUS-NY, a proof-of-concept center serving upstate academic institutions and independent inventors, housed at our member High Tech Rochester's Lennox Tech Enterprise Center. The Proof of Concept Centers program and the incubator program both fit in a spectrum of programs sponsored by NYSERDA's Innovation and Business Development unit. 

The membership by PowerBridgeNY also represents a return to our membership ranks of Columbia University, NYU's partner in the initiative. We warmly welcome all the participating institutions in PowerBridgeNY to membership! 

Ceramics Corridor incubators in WNY and Southern Tier have graduated 30 firms over the last two decades; case study of SCP in latest annual report

Over the last two decades, the two-site Ceramics Corridor Innovation Centers (incubator facilities in Alfred and Painted Post) has admitted and graduated 30 businesses, according to the incubators' latest annual report available on the CCIC website. Resident businesses have generated $97 million in employee payroll and employed 90 people on average each year.

The report also features in an interview with Martin Metzger, co-founder of early tenant Silicon Carbide Products (SCP), a manufacturerer of advanced ceramic components for challenging industrial uses. SCP now owns its own 30,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Horseheads and exports 40% of sales globally. "Without the innovation center, it wouldn't have been possible for us to move here and start our business," Metzger recalls.

Adarza Biosystems, graduate of HTR's incubation programs, announces $6.8m financing round including Siemens corporate VC unit

Adarza Biosystems, a recent graduate of the incubation programs at High Tech Rochester, announced it has completed a $6.8 million Series A financing.  A University of Rochester spinoff, Adarza developes advanced biosensor assays, mainly for health applications. It received early support from HTR and Rochester Angel Network, which is managed by HTR president (and former BIA/NYS board chair) Jim Senall. The financing round included participation by St. Louis-based Cultivation Capital and the venture capital unit of the mulitnational firm Siemens. For more information, see the firm's news release

Pratt's Debera Johnson in Metropolis Magazine on the ideas behind the new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator

The current issue of Metropolis Magazine includes a piece by Debera Johnson, the founder and director of several related design incubation programs at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. In this piece, Deb focuses on the philosophy behind the new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator set to open next month at the former Pfizer building. The article is here

NYSERDA case study on Stony Brook's Clean Energy Business Incubation Program and four Long Island startups

The Innovation and Business Development group at NYSERDA, which sponsors the Clean Energy Business incubator Program hosted by our member Stony Brook University Incubator Programs, has published an excellent case study of how CEBIP has assisted four client companies, two resident at the university's Advanced Energy Center in its Research and Development Park, and two at existing commercial facilities off-site:

  • Solar Cool, a student-initiated venture now developing a solar-power cooler with applications in leisure markets as well as transportation of temperature-sensitive medicine and vaccines;
  • ThermoLift, Inc., developing a highly efficient heat pump system;
  • WATT Fuel Cell Corp., developing a solid-oxide fuel-cell system;
  • Havelide Systems, developing a new technique for converting natural gas to liquid for easier transport.

The case study also does an excellent job explaining how the CEBIP integrates with other aspects of the Long Island venture ecosytem such as Long Island Angels, and with other aspects of state policy such as the Innovate NY Seed Capital Fund and the START-UP NY tax-free zones. For more, please read the study

SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator included in campus's approved START-UP NY plan; announces new tenant Venture Productions

Our member the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator is one of several sites approved for residency by companies qualifying for the state's START-UP NY tax-free zones, under a campus-wide plan recently approved. For more information, see the university's news release.

Separately, the incubator announced a new tenancy by Venture Productions, a digital media and education company founded by Ted Sharon, a faculty member in the university's Department of Theatre and Dance. 

Forbes profiles Zahn Center's tenant/prize-winner Homer Delivery, social venture aimed at improving restaurant delivery systems

Forbes writer Anne Field, who covers for-profit social enterprises, profiled Homer Delivery, a tenant/client of our member the Zahn Innovation Center at CUNY's City College of New York. The company is aiming to streamline restaurant delivery in a way that reduces inefficiencies for owners and boosts takehome pay and safety for deliverers. For more information, see the Forbes article

Rochester paper interviews RIT Venture Creations director Bill Jones on upcoming tenant graduations

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper previews the upcoming graduation of two tenant/clients from RIT's Venture Creations incubator, in a story that also features an excellent interview with director Bill Jones. Among six companies scheduled to graduate are two featured in the article, BlackBox Biometrics and Darkwind Media

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