2019 New York State Business Plan Business Competition Takes Place at Massry Center of Business

Photo: Semi Finals Winner, Yumi Kageyama, CEO of EmpowerU

Photo: Semi Finals Winner, Yumi Kageyama, CEO of EmpowerU

The Massry Center for Business at the University at Albany hosted the semi-finals of the Capital Region New York Business Plan Competition on April 12th, 2019. 30 teams from around the Capital Region area came out to pitch their business and compete for the Capital Cup pgrand prize of $1,000. The competition was divided into six distinct tracks; Agtech & Food, Consumer Products & Services, Energy & Environment, Medtech & Well-Being, Military & First Responder and Technology & Entertainment. Each track produced 1 winner and 1 runner-up who were both awarded a cash prize as well as the chance to continue to the State Business Plan Competition finals which took place on Friday, April 26th at the Sage Armory in Albany.

Each track at the competition had 2-4 judges evaluating the presentations. Between the 20 judges they have over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience.

After the winners from the initial pitches were selected, the 6 first place winners from every track were then required to pitch their idea to the full panel of judges to win the Capital Cup for a grand prize of $1,000.

The 1st and 2nd place winners from each track that will compete in the State Finals were:

AgTech & Food Track

Judges: Julianne Clouthier from FuzeHub, Heidi Knoblauch from ReceiptHQ & Plum Oyster Bar and Matt Wagoner from Wagoner Law Firm

1st place - Ndriana Agro: A farming business based in Madagascar that holds social responsibility goals. By purchasing and distributing highly fertile land in economically depressed areas of Madagascar, Ndriana Agro is working to give back to the Malagasy rural community by growing the economy. This will open up opportunities for jobs and improve the standard of living in Madagascar. Presented by: Jessica Ndrianasy, Skidmore College

2nd place - Sanctuary Farm Brewing Company: Produces small-batch beer in a bucolic setting. The Sanctuary Farm Brewing Company prides themselves not only on their ingredients but also providing a holistic beer-drinking experience. They are committed to the ideas of transparency, responsibility, and community-building, from knowing where the ingredients come from to creating an environment that fosters relationship-building and responsible drinking. Sanctuary Farm Brewing Company is distinct from other breweries in the area because it not only offers high-quality beer, but also allows consumers to experience the 250 acres of land where the hops used to make the beer are grown- an experience akin to that usually found on vineyards. Presented by: Conor Austin, Skidmore College

Energy & Environment Track

Judges: Christy Alexander from WorkSmart and Dan Bullis from Saratoga CoWorks

1st place - Mobius Packaging Company: The only group in the Energy and Enviorment track Mobius Packaging Co. is a sustainable packaging company that provides packaging solutions that are biodegradable, and plant based. Their product, the BioRing, is a 6-pack ring made out of plant materials and will offer craft brewers of NY an opportunity to make their 6 packs more sustainable. Presented by: Katherine Walker, RPI

Military & First Responder Track

Judges: Eli Rabinowitz from Pioneer Bank, Dorothy Rogers-Bullis from Saratoga CoWorks and Lea Weir from CoveyCS

1st place - Iconoclasm: A collaborative reverse engineering platform that aims to change the cybersecurity and threat intelligence space by equipping tier three operators, analysts, and researchers with tools to collaborate and to protect us from the threats of the world with increased efficiency and ease of use. Iconoclasm provides an online platform equipped with best in class tooling to meet the needs of the good guys as the capabilities of attackers grow daily. Presented by: Lucien Brule, RPI

2nd place - Vets Together: An app-centric social network community-based approach to tackling the veteran suicide and PTSD epidemic. Utilizing the US Army’s “battle buddy” philosophy, the network is designed to form meaningful connections within the veteran’s area to ensure he or she has the support needed. Presented by: Benjamin Harris, UAlbany

Medtech & Wellbeing Track

Judges: Shawn Allan from Lithoz-America, Gary Goldstein the Director of Dental Programs Emblem Health, Elizabeth Meliski from Peak Neuro Group and Bill Newman the Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual

1st place - Intelligent Medicine: Developing training solutions for doctors powered by augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Intelligent Medicine hopes to solve inadequacies in current training of airway management with a modern training platform that provides users with realistic medical simulations. Presented by: Adam Ryason, RPI

2nd place - Deadeye Technology: Deadeye is reinventing the way athletes train for their sport. They offer a low-cost hardware unit similar to the size and shape of a GoPro which wirelessly connects to a smartphone app tracking the users every movement and providing targeted feedback towards what the user wants to improve on most while creating a sharing and social platform for athletes. Presented by: Daniel Lannan, RPI

Technology & Entertainment Track

Judges: Jeff Goronkin from Urban CoWorks, Marcia Mitchell from FFVC, Mike Mozill a professor at WIT, and Tyler Wrightson from CoLab

1st place - EmpowerU Virtual Reality: A Virtual Reality content house and development company specializing in developing efficient and effective training modules designed to immerse our users into stress-inducing environments to create experiential learning that bridge classroom and real-life training. This technology could be used to educate someone on how to physically do something in a virtual space. Presented by Yumi Kageyama, Siena College

2nd place - Mantapoole Technologies: MantaPoole Techonologies is developing the next generation of plenoptic cameras. This capability will allow for the accurate Identification and positional capability that is needed for the next generation of smart machines in autonomous drones, robotic manufacturing, automated agriculture, and automated surgery applications. Presented by: Jesse Claypool, SUNY Polytechnic

Consumer Products & Services Track

Judges: Tom Brownell COO/Entrepreneur, Cheryl Kennedy from Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Julie Massry-Knox the Sales and Marketing Manager at Tri-City Rentals and Jay Singh from Sunmark Federal Credit Union

1st place - Funletz, LLC: A fun accessory with school logos, animals, or sports icons that attaches to the aglet on your sweatshirt, backpack or zipper. Funletz will attach directly to drawstrings and showcase, conveniently hiding the existing aglet and making your clothing pop. Every pair of Funletz comes with a pair of Zipletz allowing you to attach them to zippers, key rings, your imagination is the only limit. Presented by: Zachary Mills, Siena College

2nd place OgaFaaji, LLC: Luxury traditional accessories uniting cultures through fashion. The name “Oga Faaji”, stems from the Yoruba language which translates roughly to “boss of flexin” Faaji is flexibly used to describe an extravagant swagger, enjoyment, or the act of flexin’. Presented by: Afolabi Soetan, UAlbany

After each of the first-place winners in every track presented their final pitches in front of the full panel of judges, they determined one winner. The winner of the 2019 Capital Cup was awarded to Yumi Kageyama and her business, EmpowerU Virtual Reality.

Yumi Kageyama created VR technology for multiple types of training purposes. Say you need to be trained for life safety procedures for work or you are a referee that needs to be coached on how to manage a contest. By immersing yourself with virtual reality visuals to gain expertise in your topic, this training process can be completed efficiently and without the cost of an actual person dictating the training. This technology Empowers U to improve the quality of your training experience. The future of this software will engage users in even more virtual reality experiences like driving a car or a boat.




#ICYMI: "Co-Working Space Opens in Downtown Albany with a Focus on Government" (via UALBANYNEWS)

The Bull Moose Club, right across from the Capitol Building at 150 State St, offers 22 offices across its 10,000-square-foot space. Additional conference and meeting rooms will help accommodate a wide range of technology startups, lobbyists, trade associations and advocacy groups, according to Tom Nardacci, founder and owner of the company…

(see the rest of the article on ualbany.edu/news here)

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#ICYMI: Sitting Down with CampusPro Founder Samuel Mere

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When you are an entrepreneur, your whole life is your work. There is no end to your work days or work weeks. Building a business from the ground up requires an undevoted amount of time and dedication to your craft. No matter how old or young you are when you pursue a business, or how long you have pursued it, it becomes you. This past summer, Founder CampusPro, an Innovate 518 Hotspot Company, Samuel Mere was selected as one of six teams to participate in the 2018 IgniteU NY Accelerator program, located in Troy, NY. Throughout the final pitch day of the accelerator program,, he made a point to speak to every person in the room  and inform them about his business. While his competition used this time to go over their presentations or panic, he charmed the room with a smile as bright as the orange shirt he wore underneath his blazer that read CampusPro, “By the way, have you downloaded CampusPro yet?”. Later, he won that competition by a landslide.


In 2015, Samuel Mere came up with the idea of CampusPro while being a Resident Assistant at the University at Albany. He noticed more than a few of his residents had talents and small businesses of their own worth raving about. He also discovered that outside of close friends, it was difficult for these freelancers to build their clientele in a convenient way. He turned to the drawing board on how he could fix this issue and help his residents make more money, from private tutors, cosmetologists to photographers and more freelancing services. A year later CampusPro was born, the mobile app that connects student freelancers with the campus community and a platform that allows student freelancers to conveniently market themselves across campus so they can grow their clientele and make more money on their free time.




When he obtained his undergrad in December 2016, Sam was lucky enough to land a full time job with C.H. Robinson, a Fortune 500 transportation services and third-party logistics company back in his hometown of Syracuse,NY. He was no stranger to the tech industry, securing an internship with Facebook for two summers prior and even working for Apple for a period of time. Nine months later, he realized it just wasn’t enough. He made a decision that most wouldn’t have the nerve to do, quit his job and relocated back to Albany where he knew he had connections to get him where he was going.  Aside from working part-time for rent and bills, he has been all CampusPro ever since. With a constant growing user base here at his alma mater UAlbany, CampusPro also hosts a number of interns and has been working on growing his presence at surrounding universities like Siena College, Sage Colleges and College of Saint Rose.  Right now it’s just me, he says as far as internal executives go,  [we] are working to on-board a potential CTO ... making strides where we are lacking the most, which is technical expertise. He has been searching for a qualified person within his already existing team for a year now, but the process is long and difficult to handle on your own. And he wants to be sure he is making the right choice.

I’ve always believed I’ve had some sort of entrepreneurial blood in me, he went on to explain. My dad had a corner store on the Southside of Syracuse (as well as his Uncle and Grandfather). Growing up he would work in those stores, stocking shelves and cashing out customers making ten dollars a day. When he wasn’t working at the store, he was out reselling video games or collecting cans, “The easiest five cents you could ever make in my opinion”.  I watched a lot of Shark Tank, everyone always says they watch Shark Tank right, he laughs, but I didn’t want to force the opportunity to become an entrepreneur. When this problem came across my path it [was] something I really wanted to pursue, it was my first bat at officially becoming an entrepreneur.

His advice to students that were in his position two years ago and wanted to start a business but had no idea where to begin? With the technologies afforded to us in this day and age, Sam’s generation has become the largest population of business owners and entrepreneurs. Time management is key, the now twenty-three year old entrepreneur says, especially as a college student. If you’re really serious about doing something you’re going to have to make those sacrifices, you’re going to have to out the time and effort to give it the best opportunity at success. Some college students say they have this idea and say they are an entrepreneur but going out every weekend and not putting the time into it, he went on to say, I always encourage people to follow their dreams and do what they want to achieve but you have to make sure you set aside the proper resources to make that happen.

CampusPro is currently still active within the IgniteU Community and also a member of the UAlbany Innovation Center and Innovate 518.




#INTHENEWS: CEG unveils “The Research Connection” to highlight local academic R&D projects

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Capital Region colleges and universities saw a 5.9 percent annual increase in R&D expenditures in fiscal 2017, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) study of new data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

 

In fiscal 2017, nine institutions spent $598 million on R&D. Local institutions that reported R&D expenditures for NCSES’s annual Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey included:

 

·         Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

·         Albany Medical College

·         Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

·         Siena College

·         Skidmore College

·         Clarkson University Capital Region Campus

·         SUNY Polytechnic Institute

·         Union College

·         University at Albany

 

“It is because of the robust R&D assets at our colleges and universities that companies such as Applied Materials, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and various startups are investing in the Capital Region to research, develop and commercialize next generation technologies,” said Center for Economic Growth President and CEO Andrew Kennedy. “These R&D stats are impressive, and they make the Capital Region a viable option for companies looking to invest and create jobs.”

 

Funding Sources

Federal funds supported $192.6 million in Capital Region university R&D expenditures in fiscal 2017, up 16.2 percent from the previous year. Contributing to that gain was SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s 2015 designation as the lead institution for the public-private partnership known as the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics). This program is being funded with a $110 million federal grant, $250 million from New York State and $250 million in private support to buy equipment and to support operations over five years.

 

“With support from the Department of Defense, AIM Photonics is proud to enable next-generation photonics R&D and commercialization opportunities through its state-of-the-art facilities at both SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Albany campus, as well as our TAP Facility in Rochester, New York, providing an open-access environment with world-class test, assembly, and packaging capabilities,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO and SUNY Poly Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology. “The interest that AIM Photonics has received from its academic, government, and industry partners from around the nation, including more than 100 signed members of the initiative, is a testament to the powerful ecosystem that AIM is enabling right here in New York State.”  

 

Nonprofit organizations drove $72.6 million in university R&D expenditures, up 183.2 percent from the previous year. The lion’s share of that increased nonprofit funding was at SUNY Poly. Institutions, namely UAlbany and RPI, also spent more of their own funds on R&D, totaling $135.7 million, up 25.3 percent from fiscal 2016. 

 

Research Fields

Life sciences R&D expenditures totaled $107.6 million in fiscal 2017, up 2.4 percent from the previous year. This growth came amid the state’s new $650 million Life Sciences Initiative, which aims to spur the growth of a new, world-class research cluster in this field.

 

The fastest-growing R&D fields with sizeable expenditures (>$10 million) were social sciences (up 81.8 percent to $19 million); physical sciences (up 53.2 percent to $24.4 million); geosciences, atmospheric sciences, and ocean sciences (up 51.5 percent to $31.4 million); computer and information science (up 29.1 percent to $14.6 million); and all non-science and engineering fields (up 12.2 percent to $24.9 million).

 

 

“One the region’s most active life sciences clusters is centered around the University at Albany‘s Health Sciences Campus and School of Public Health in East Greenbush, and one of the largest clusters of atmospheric sciences researchers in the country are based just across the Hudson River on the main campus in Albany. Together, they put UAlbany and the Capital Region at the leading edge of critical work that will shed light on the linkages among weather, climate and public health in the decades to come,” said James Dias, UAlbany’s vice president for research. “Pursuing these important cross-disciplinary opportunities and fostering regional collaborations is central to UAlbany’s role as research institution in making the Capital Region a powerful draw for biotech and weather enterprises.”

 

The Research Connection

 

For examples of life sciences-related R&D being conducted by researchers at Capital Region colleges and universities and others throughout the SUNY system, see CEG’s The Research Connection, a new quarterly feature in the organization’s e-newsletter, The CEG Indicator.

 

The Research Connection highlights R&D being conducted by researchers at Capital Region colleges and universities and others throughout the SUNY system. The Research Connection spotlights academic R&D in CEG’s focus technology sectors: Nanotechnology and Semiconductors, Cleantech/Energy, Biotechnology, Advanced Materials, Population Health Technology and Information Technology. Each edition of The Research Connection will highlight several research projects in a specific technology sector. The Research Connection will keep CEG investors and CEG Indicator subscribers informed on the cutting-edge R&D that is being conducted by SUNY and other academic researchers that could potentially transform their industries. It will also encourage collaboration, patent, licensing and other opportunities.

 

CEG Activities

CEG and its Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit leverage the Capital Region’s R&D assets to do the following:

·         Promote the region around the world at industry conferences;

·         Improve startups’ access to labs at facilities, such as those at SUNY Poly and Albany Medical College’s Biomedical Acceleration and Commercialization Center (BACC);

·         Accelerate commercialization by leveraging tech scouting, gathering technology-driven market intelligence, engaging Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) for testing and development;

·         Develop prototypes with its Stratasys F270 3D printer at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity or provide hand-on access to it;

·         Assist in the preparation of grant applications for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program; and

·         Identify potential investors and providing venture pitch coaching through the VentureB series.

 

For additional information or to talk to CEG President and CEO Andrew Kennedy, please contact CEG Director of Research and Communications James Schlett at 518-465-8975 X221 or jamess@ceg.org.

 

About CEG

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is the Capital Region’s primary regional economic development organization, with over 230 investors in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors. CEG is a New York Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation-designated Regional Technology Development Center and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

(News Release Courtesy of CEG)

 




#INTHENEWS: "Kathryn Cartini, Tyler Wrightson selected to national list of influential young executives" via Albany Business Review !

Kathryn Cartini of Chloe Capital, and Tyler Wrightson of Leet Cyber Security and Stacks Espresso Bar, have been selected to a national list of influential young executives.

The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars spotlights 100 people in business across the country who are having an impact relatively early in their careers on their companies and their communities. And, because they’re still early in their careers, these executives could be shaping how business gets done in cities across the country for years to come.

Cartini is a partner and co-founder of Chloe Capital, CMO at Upstate Venture Connect and CEO and founder of Peacock Media LLC. After spending a decade in journalism, Cartini is now a storyteller of a different kind: helping entrepreneurs and venture capital companies connect to create a stronger startup ecosystem in upstate New York. Ultimately, her dream is to help other people’s entrepreneurial dreams come true — and help reshape upstate in the process.

Wrightson is founder of Leet Cyber Security, which mimics hackers to pinpoint weaknesses in businesses’ security and prevent potential threats. He is the owner of Stacks Espresso Bar, a coffee shop with two locations in Albany, one in Boston and one opening soon in Troy. Wrightson also opened a co-working space this year in the Arcade building in downtown Albany across the hall from one of the Stacks locations. The side projects keep going. Wrightson puts it this way — When asked what the next thing is on his bucket list, he responded, “To get a bigger bucket.”

Wrightson, Cartini and the rest of the Influencers: Rising Stars were identified in conjunction with editors and staff writers across The Business Journals’ network of more than 40 publications, including the Albany Business Review. The first-of-its kind list draws in large part from the various 40 Under 40 profiles and similar efforts produced by The Business Journals publications over the past year.

Get the full article here

(Via Albany Business Review )




NEW PARTNER NEWS: INTRODUCING OUR.NEWS, PEAK NEURO GROUP, TROPHECASE AND PHARMACEUTIC LABS


OUR.NEWS (UALBANY INNOVATION CENTER) -

INTERNATIONAL CROWDSOURCING NEWS FACT CHECKER


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In the growing world of “fake news”, Our.News combats misinformation by making it easy for anyone to fact-check and rate news themselves, essentially, crowdsourcing fact-checking and also have a news-ratings component. Partnered with the UAlbany Innovation Center for news stories around the world. Founded by Richard Zack in 2016 out of Troy, NY, it is a new approach to determine the truth in news. Using Our.News you can rate the truth of any news article yourself, it is then computed into ratings across the community, and delivers back an overall score of the truth based on four metrics: Spin, Trust, Accuracy and Relevance.


PEAK NEURO GROUP (UALBANY INNOVATION CENTER) - 

NEUROLOGICAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND CLINICIANS



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Peak Neuro Group is leading the way experts view neurological procedures. A UAlbany Innovation Center company based in Troy, N.Y., Founder Michael Riley and the Peak Neuro Group offer hospitals throughout the Capital Region with what they say is a new and safer way to preform procedures. The company provides intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) equipment to assess a patient’s nervous system during high-risk procedures as well as trained, high-caliber clinicians to provide additional guidance to the surgical team. This technology can be used to eliminate the deciding factor of positive surgical outcomes or permanent neurological injury.


TROPHECASE (BIZLAB) - 

SOCIAL PLATFORM FOR ATHLETES


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Trophecase is a BizLab NY Startup Company based out of Albany, NY. Founded by Hunter Moffatt, Trophecase is changing the way athletes of all ages network and gain exposure. The mobile application provides athletes with a personal multimedia profile that combines sports statistical data with social media networking capabilities. Whether you’re looking to put all your current sports pages and highlights in one place for recruiters, or build your TropheCase from scratch, you'll find it there.


PHARMACEUTIC LABS (BACC) - 

PHARMACEUTICAL DISTRIBUTORS


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Pharmaceutic Labs is a BACC company based out of the Capital Region founded by Ernesto Samuel, a St. Rose Undergraduate who obtained his M.B.A at St. John’s University. Pharmaceutic Labs was founded in 2013 with the vision to be the outsourcing pharmaceutical distributor facility of choice for admixing, compounding and specialty products, and providing some of the best patient care in North America.