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

Bull Moose Club Set to Open Summer 18'

Bull Moose Club Set to Open in Downtown Albany This Summer


The Bull Moose Club is the new coworking space to be added into the Albany Innovation Ecosystem. This site will offer members 24 hour access, private and flexible workspaces, tap beverage refreshments, wi-fi and mail and packaging services. Although new to the Albany area, owner Tom Nardacci is no stranger to innovation in the Capital Region. Nardacci is also the owner of Troy Innovation Garage located in Troy, NY and CEO of Grammercy Communications.


The new site is described as a “service oriented, hypercharged coworking ecosystem". With over 10,000 square feet to work with, The Bull Moose Club will provide innovators with open membership plans with access to their own private office suites, conference rooms, lounges and coworking spaces dependent on what the plan offers. Bull Moose is open to all creatives, but more specifically designed for business leaders in the political feild, advocacy groups, lobbyists, journalists are encouraged to join, “People like bloggers who are tired of working in coffee shops” . Mirrored to the concept of the Troy Innovation Garage, which is primarily designed for web and graphic designers, app developers, architects, IP lawyers, marketers, writers, photographers and videographers.


The Bull Moose Club is set to open sometime this summer. They also held an exclusive hard hat tour of the new location on June 28th.


More information on The Bull Moose Club and their upcoming events here.



March 7 Event to Explore Business of Digital Games and How to Find a Place In It

February 27, 2018

Media Contacts
Tech Valley Center of Gravity: Holly Cargill-Cramer    518.244.3544 (o) 518.331.4814 (m)

Troy, NY – “The Business of Digital Games,” a free event hosted by Tech Valley Center of Gravity on Wednesday, March 7, will explore the depth and breadth of the digital game ecosystem in the Capital Region and opportunities for creative and technical professionals and entrepreneurs. Companies 1st Playable, Catapult Games, Mad Glory, PrizePlay, Velan Studios and Vicarious Visions are among the presenters and planners along with Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Tech Valley Game Space, and Upstate Alliance for a Creative Economy. The event will run from 12:30 to 7:30 pm at the Center of Gravity at 30 3rd Street in Troy.

“Velan Studios set our roots down in Troy, NY because of the wealth of creative game development talent in the area,” said Guha Bela of Velan Studios. “The Capital Region is the largest, most vibrant game development community in New York State, and this summit is a great way to showcase New York’s game development history and expertise. But most exciting, the summit will provide a forum to help inform and instruct the broad set of creative and technical talent in the area on the best steps to find success in the region’s game development ecosystem.”

Supported by New York State’s Tech Valley Digital Game Hub at RPI and sponsored by Center for Economic Growth, Innovate 518 and Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, the day will begin with an introduction to the companies included in this ecosystem, what they do and who they work with and how. A deeper exploration of the growth and development of one successful business will follow that panel discussion. Then attendees will choose one of three facilitated targeted discussions on entrepreneurship, creativity or technology in the digital game sector.

“The Capital Region is home to some great game companies who have shown the viability of success,” said Dane Jennings of Catapult Games. “As a new company, Catapult Games looks to these examples for inspiration and insight. ‘The Business of Digital Games’ event will be a great opportunity to hear from some of these success stories, share our own experiences, and meet other people who share a passion for game design.”

At 5:30, the Upstate Alliance for a Creative Economy will host a networking reception where attendees can talk with representatives of the participating game design companies and sponsors. The day will be capped with a presentation by NYS Council on the Arts Program Director for Electronic Media & Film|Visual Arts Karen Helmerson on the topic "The Intersection of Digital and Media Art”

 “Game development professionals from Vicarious Visions will be in attendance to lend their knowledge and expertise to this discussion of the Capital Region’s burgeoning gaming community,” said Steve Derrick of Vicarious Visions. “’We are in this together’ is a core value at VV; and it applies not only to the creatives currently employed, but to the creative community at large. VV endeavors to lead through excellence within and community engagement without.”

While the program is free, space is limited. To encourage participants to make advance reservations, the planners are encouraging to reserve a place by making a donation to Extra Life! All donations made to reserve a space will benefit the Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center through Extra Life!, which unites thousands of digital game players around the world in 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathons to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

"As a growing firm in the Tech Valley digital game community, Lottery Rewards, which operates PrizePlay, is excited to participate in this event,” said Rob Lentz of PrizePlay. “We feel that PrizePlay and all the other firms represented in this session benefit when the talent in the local market is aware of what we do, knows the required skills to be successful and understands how to build professional experience to help each of our respective firms grow.  If this ecosystem has the best talent, we have an opportunity to bring the greatest value to the marketplace.”

For a full agenda and to register in advance for the event, visit For more information, call Tech Valley Center of Gravity at 518-244-3544.

# # #


About the Tech Valley Center of Gravity

Tech Valley Center of Gravity is a makerspace and business incubator located in Troy, NY. The not-for-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization cultivates a community of innovators and entrepreneurs to initiate creative collisions resulting in economic and personal growth by providing members access to a broad spectrum of equipment and technology in its 12,000sf makerspace and prototyping center.

Area High School Students to Compete in Local Startup Competition

Teams will pitch product ideas to a panel of business professionals at the University at Albany’s uptown campus next Wednesday.

 ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 21, 2018) –  Area high school students will compete next week at Startup High School New York, an event designed to cultivate teen entrepreneurship in the Capital Region.

The competition will take place Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 5:30-9 p.m. at the University’s uptown campus in the Campus Center (CC375).

The 17 teams, each comprising two to three students, will present a one-minute video advertisement of their product idea to a panel of business professionals.  

The program, organized by the UAlbany Innovation Center, Innovate 518 and Guilderland High School, was the brainchild of Arnav Kannan, a senior at GHS. Kannan said he wanted to create an opportunity for local high school students to acquire the skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur.

“The Albany area is filled with so many smart kids; it’s only right that they have an outlet to express their creativity,” Kannan said. “The event is almost like an incubator: these students have a network of amazing local entrepreneurs, as well as other students who have a similar burning passion for entrepreneurship.”

He said he was able to put his idea into action with the help of Joan McGrath, one of his teachers at GHS, and from mentor Robert Manasier, UAlbany’s entrepreneur-in-residence and ventures manager.

“Robert brought the entrepreneur’s perspective, Joan brought the educator’s and I brought the student’s,” said Kannan, who said he plans to host more events like Startup High School New York in the future. “All of us have skills that work very well together.”

Manasier, who is also the chief executive officer at In Focus Brands, said the goal of Startup High School New York is to use experiential learning to give students a head start in developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

“The earlier we can embed students in an entrepreneurial ecosystem, the better life skills and experiences they’ll have,” he said. “The event will also showcase that the [Capital Region] area is rich; you don’t have to look elsewhere to get an education” and become an entrepreneur. 

Manasier said local entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from throughout the region have mentored the students throughout the process, from developing their pitches to producing the videos. 

Event Sponsors

·         Innovate 518

·         Jahnel Group

·         4Cite Marketing

·         Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C.

·         KeyBank

·         Pioneer Bank

·         Beef Jerky Outlet

·         Troy Web Consulting

For more information:

The UAlbany Innovation Center serves to drive and strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University, and to accelerate the commercialization of university research and innovative ideas. The center brings industry leaders and university experts together to enable collaboration across disciplines. Support of innovation activities are provided by Innovate 518, the Capital Region’s Innovation Hot Spot. Innovate 518 is a partnership between the University at Albany, NYSTEC/IgniteU NY, SUNY Adirondack and the Center for Economic Growth, and is designated as a New York State Innovation Hot Spot by NYSTAR.



New Entrepreneurship Internship Offered to SUNY Students this Summer

The 12-week program will allow students the opportunity to gain professional experience at a START-UP NY or Innovate 518 company in the Albany area.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 14, 2018) – The SUNY Program for Experiential and Entrepreneurship Development (SPEED) is offering a summer internship-based program in 2018 that will provide students the opportunity to gain professional experience at a START-UP NY or Innovate 518 company in the Albany, NY-area.

According to Debra Gelinas, assistant vice provost for experiential education at the University at Albany, the internship is ideal for students wishing to explore entrepreneurship or to experience what it is like to work for a startup.

“Internships are a great way for students to apply classroom knowledge in a professional environment, test out possible career paths, develop new skills and network,” said Gelinas, who also serves as the director of the Center for Experiential Education.  

This program is open to students enrolled at any SUNY institution who have a 2.0 GPA or higher. The internship will require a minimum of 150 on-site internship hours over a period of 12 weeks, from late May through mid-August. Non-UAlbany students will have the ability to transfer credits to their home institution.

Both START-UP NY and Innovate 518 are programs administered by the Empire State Development, and are aimed at assisting early- to growth-stage companies with a technology or innovation focus to grow and prosper in New York State, according to Matt Grattan, director of community and economic development at UAlbany.

“UAlbany is excited to pilot this innovative applied learning concept with our industry partners in StartUP NY and Innovate 518,” he said. “By enabling students from UAlbany and throughout the SUNY system to experience the fast paced business development lifecycle of a startup company while learning additional entrepreneurship and leadership skills, we feel we have developed a unique and scalable internship model that leverages the full power of the SUNY system.” 

Grattan said other University partners include the Center for Leadership and Service and the Blackstone LaunchPad, both of which will provide entrepreneurial guidance throughout the program. 

Potential Host Companies:

·         g.tec neurotechology USA Inc.

·         XchangeWorx, Inc.

·         SparkShoppe, LTD.

·         Nowigence Inc.

·         PiSA Biopharm Inc.

·         TruWeather Solutions LLC

·         Branch VFX

·         Treebu

·         Lexikeet Learning, LLC

·         Sologistics, LLC

·         Ecolong

·         National Toxicology Center

·         Thinkboard

·         Lithoz America, LLC

·         ThermoAura, Inc.

*This is a tentative list. Companies are still identifying the types and number of openings to be available. Not all companies may have openings. 

Gelinas said 10 students will be selected for the program’s first summer.

“The companies will have access to a pipeline of the state’s most talented students, helping to develop our regional economy while allowing students the opportunity for hands-on experience at a growing company,” she said. 

The application deadline is Feb. 28. To apply:

Tuition scholarships will be available to qualifying UAlbany students. For more information, contact the Center for Experiential Education at

 The mission of Innovate 518 is to drive commercialization within the New York State Capital Region by leading the development of a supportive innovation infrastructure and connecting entrepreneurs to the startup ecosystem. Innovate 518 is a partnership among the University at Albany, NYSTEC/IgniteU NY, SUNY Adirondack and the Center for Economic Growth, and is designated as a New York State Innovation Hot Spot by NYSTAR.




High School Entrepreneurs Program: Shark Tank without the Sharp Teeth

Innovate 518 welcomed teen inventors and creators from across the region to the UAlbany campus on Saturday, Jan. 27 for a day-long workshop that connected students with local entrepreneurs.

The high school students learned what it takes to frame a business idea and develop a pitch, working in small groups with mentors from across the region.

They’ll be back at UAlbany on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 28 to pitch their ideas in what student founder Annav Kannan told the Times-Union will be a “snark-free” version of the television program Shark Tank.

Kannan, a senior at Guilderland High School, came up with the idea for the “Startup High School NY” program and recruited GHS business studies teacher, Joan McGrath, and Innovate 518’s entrepreneur in residence, Robert Manasier as co-founders.

All costs were underwritten by Innovate 518 and co-sponsors 4cite, Jahnel Group, Heslin Rothenberg Farley Mesiti, Key Bank, Pioneer Bank, and Troy Web Consulting.