Startup Peak Neuro Group Aims to Improve Neurosurgery Safety (via UAlbany News)

 Pictured: Peak Neuro Founder, Micheal Riley

Pictured: Peak Neuro Founder, Micheal Riley

Having an experienced clinician in the operating room could be the difference between a successful surgical outcome and permanent neurological injury to the patient, according to Michael Riley, founder and CEO of Peak Neuro Group.

“When you speak with surgeons who are doing these advanced cases, most prefer expert clinicians in their operating room that can reduce the occurrence of false-positive and false-negative results,” said Riley, who grew up in Schenectady, N.Y. “Unfortunately, a lot of surgeons have only ever had access to a technologist to operate the IONM machine and not a fellowship-trained, professional-level clinician.”

Peak Neuro Group requires its clinicians to hold advanced degrees in neuroscience or in a related field, as well as successful completion of a one-year fellowship in clinical neurophysiology. The demanding fellowship program is designed and administered by Peak’s senior neurophysiologists, said Riley, who earned a master’s in neurobiology and behavior from Cornell University.

The startup is a partner of Innovate 518 and is a UAlbany Innovation Center company.

(UAlbany News)

See the full article here

#INTHENEWS: PEAK Neurophysiology Group (via UAlbany)

Innovate 518 and UAlbany Innovation Center company PEAK Neurophysiology Group, LLC gets featured on the UAlbany site. 


ALBANY, N.Y. (August 14, 2018) – Peak Neurophysiology Group, LLC, a startup based in Troy, N.Y., will offer hospitals in the Capital Region what it says is a safer way to perform neurosurgical procedures.
The company provides high-caliber clinicians that operate intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) equipment to assess a patient’s nervous system during high-risk procedures and to provide guidance to the surgical team.

Having an experienced clinician in the operating room could be the difference between a successful surgical outcome and permanent neurological injury to the patient, according to Michael Riley, founder and CEO of Peak Neuro Group. 

(via UAlbany News)



Check out Innovation Hotspot Certified Company CampusPro on Spectrum News Thursday,  August 9th!


Sam Mere is making some sacrifices to help college students find side jobs.

"I’ve got a $20 food budget I shop on each week,” said Mere, founder of the new app CampusPro.

He holds down a part time retail job while working full time to get his app off the ground.

"I have been bootstrapping this whole time and you’ve got to make sacrifices as an entrepreneur,” said Mere, who graduated from UAlbany in 2016.

"We give college students the opportunity to turn their free time, skills and passion into cash."

The app connects college students who need services with classmates who can provide them.

"We have variety of different services, whether you need your haircut, you need your makeup [or] you need a photographer for your LinkedIn photos," said Mere.

You need a .edu email address to register. During a spring beta launch, the app had 200 users at UAlbany with 14 service providers in three categories: tutoring, person care and "other."

"We’ve seen a couple magicians magically, no pun intended, magically pop up on the platform,” Mere joked.


Great work Campus Pro!


Innovate 518 takes UAlbany EOP Students on Tour of Capital Region

With the fall semester approaching us, we are welcoming fresh, new faces and entrepreneur hopefuls on the University at Albany campus. This year, Innovate 518 partnered with the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) of UAlbany to take a group of perspective students interested in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation on a tour of the Capital Region to visit our partners. The EOP program is a 5-week program for college bound, undeserved youth preparing them for the college experience. This years group mostly hails from New York City, Long Island, and Mount Vernon.


Over the course of three weeks, Innovate 518 will take the students to Schenectady, Troy and Downtown Albany. Week one we visited Urban Co-Works and SEAT of Schenectady. Students sat and spoke to Jeff Goronkin (pictures below) , owner of Urban Co-Works and Weekly Buzz Solutions Marketing Firm. He shared with students how his past failures and obstacles helped him get to where his is now, the importance of proper branding, and how you can network using co-working spaces like his.


"Everybody was engaged and interested in entrepreneurship... I hope some students [from] here today will move forward, some of them are going to take it to the next level -- whether it's [with] their original ideas or another idea...they're motivated", says Jeff after sitting down with the group. Some of their ideas included redesigned hairbrushes, real estate and a french fry based restaurant.


The next stop was the Social Enterprise and Training Center (SEAT) where the group spoke to owner and community advocate Jennifer Lawrence about commercialization and her role in workforce development for the youth of Schenectady.


The following week Innovate 518 and the students visited the Troy Innovation Garage and the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy, NY. The students sat down with Holly Cargill-Cramer at the Center of Gravity and also got an exclusive tour of the new Prototyping Center that opened this past Spring. They also got the chance to speak to some of the innovators at work on what they were working on.


Special thank you to our Innovate 518 partners for having us and the University at Albany for allowing us to share our opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators!

Innovative Internships: Beahive Coworking Space Draws Student Entrepreneurs to Downtown Albany (via UAlbany News)

The companies operate out of Beahive, a coworking space for entrepreneurs, freelancers and consultants, and a partner of Innovate 518, the Capital Region’s Innovation Hot Spot and NYSTAR initiative managed by the University.

Key Capture Energy

For example, a UAlbany student and a recent graduate are working for Key Capture Energy, a company that develops energy storage projects throughout New York and New England.

Working at a startup allows Gregory Mazzaro, a junior business major, to take on greater responsibility than he would likely get at a larger company.

“You get to see everything come together in what forms a business,” said Mazzaro, who said he has always been interested in getting involved in the energy industry. “No one works on just one specific thing; whether it’s land acquisition or budgeting, we all work together.”

Getting to work on statewide initiatives such as Gov. Cuomo’s mission of storing 1,500 megawatts of energy by 2025 is the most meaningful aspect of the Key Capture Energy internship, said Ryan Andrews,  a 2016 graduate of the University’s School of Business.

“It’s been cool to see that so many companies want to work in unison with us in setting the precedent in New York for energy-saving goals,” said Andrews, who minored in sustainability.

This is the first summer that the startup has could hire interns since opening operations in Albany in 2016, according to Dan Fitzgerald, co-founder and chief development officer of Key Capture Energy.

Fitzgerald, also a UAlbany graduate, said that with an expanded team, the company will be able to tackle one of their biggest projects for the year – installing four large energy storage units in the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Stillwater, N.Y.

- via UAlbany News 

Get the full article on Beahive and photos at

Partner ecoLong receives funding to move forward

“ecoLong is honored to receive the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research award with our partners at the University at Albany to develop a peer to peer energy trading platform. This platform harnesses blockchain technology to empower energy consumers and producers with more transparency and reliability in the energy transaction process.....We are proud to be a part of the capital region ecosystem, the support and guidance of our partners Center of Economic Growth, Innovate 518, Albany Small Business Development Center, and Blackstone Launchpad have been key to our growth."

- ecoLong CEO, Nancy Min


ecoLong LLC, an environmental science and renewable energy high-tech company based out of our very own Albany, New York, has succeeded in driving innovation and investing in clean energy that empowers consumers throughout the Capital Region. Distributed energy resources are in high demand, and require the constant development of new technologies to enable "prosumers"—consumers who produce their own energy, to connect directly with other prosumers to help meet each others energy needs. Thanks to funding from The Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office's (SETO) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), this project will use its new technology to allow consumers, solar owners, and utilities alike to directly connect and maximize economic and technological benefits in the renewable energy community. ecoLong was the only New York solar company to receive funding from the Department of Energy in 2018. Founded in 2015, their first technology, the Sky Imager-Radiometer (eSIR), was developed for applications in weather/climate, solar energy, and air quality. 



The SBIR program consists of three different funding levels: a feasibility demonstration (Phase I), prototype development (Phase II), and commercialization (Phase III). ecoLong recently completed phase I.


As part of the SBIR, the company must collaborate with a nonprofit research institution. We are thrilled ecoLong decided to partner with us here Innovate 518, who will continue to assist with funding and address the commercialization challenges.

Congratulations ecoLong!


Learn more about the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer here.

Gaining S.T.E.A.M.: The S.T.E.A.M Garden Breaks Ground This Past Week

 The Central Avenue Business Improvement District broke ground last week on The S.T.E.A.M Garden, an incubator center focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

A ceremony took place at 279 Central Ave. in downtown Albany, N.Y. on June 27.

The $1.7 million project will be completed and open by the end of the year, though renovations of the building, including reconstruction of the building’s historic windows, will continue into 2019, according to Anthony Capece, executive director of the Central Avenue Business Improvement District.

Capece said the S.T.E.A.M Garden will partner with Innovate 518, the Capital Region’s Innovation Hot Spot and NYSTAR initiative managed by the University.

“The University has been integral in helping us redevelop the community,” Capece said. “Their partnership with us shows their commitment to this city and to the growth of technology and small businesses in the area.”

Participating in the groundbreaking were Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, assemblymember John McDonald and representatives from the NYS Empire State Development (ESD).

Get the full article below at