Six Innovative Tech Startup Finalists Announced to Pitch at Demo Day
Six teams are preparing to pitch their startups at Demo Day to win $300,000 in prize seed funding, provided by IDEA NY Mohawk Valley
ROME, NY – Griffiss Institute, together with the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, are pleased to announce the six startup finalists of the Spring 2020 AFRL Commercialization Academy cohort. This cohort’s teams are all from New York State.
These tech teams are being incubated while building their startups around Department of Defense Intellectual Property (IP) from the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) in Rome, New York.
“The life of an entrepreneur is filled with uncertainty. The current pandemic is just one more hurdle that these founders have had to face, and they have risen to the task,” says John Liddy, principal at Liddy Enterprises and coach to the Spring 2020 cohort teams. “They’ve done customer discovery when they were unable to meet face-to-face with customers, and they have created minimal viable products when resources have been much more difficult to acquire. They’ve identified value propositions, and corresponding intellectual property (IP), established go-to-market strategies, and have crafted pitch decks all while in isolation. This group exemplifies what you need to do to be a successful entrepreneur.”
The finalists selected for the Spring 2020 AFRL Commercialization Academy Demo Day are:
Atolla Surveillance – Rockville Center, NY
Atolla Surveillance is developing a sensor system for the counter-surveillance of micro air vehicles (MAVs) that would otherwise be undetectable.
BloomOptix – Rochester, NY
BloomOptix is focused on providing innovative, high-resolution, accurate and timely early harmful algal blooms (HABs) detection and future forecasting services through the collection of data using unmanned aerial and surface vehicles.
Imagine Aerial is developing and deploying UAS and data innovations that revolutionize project delivery in building construction and maintenance, infrastructure, sports and public safety.
Overseer is developing an online privacy and anonymity service through the use of artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
Seven Point Labs – Utica, NY
Seven Point Labs is a data-specific SaaS company focusing on human-centered design for municipalities, small businesses and nonprofits.
Vistex Composites is a manufacturing innovation company that has developed disruptive technology for the manufacturing of advanced thermoset and thermoplastic composite products.
“Who could imagine at the beginning of this cohort that we would be dealing with a global pandemic with many businesses shutdown or embracing telework? Like everything else, this cohort has been affected as well, with the decision of the Griffiss Institute to delay Demo Day one month,” says Dan Fayette, principal engineer at Griffiss Institute. “This has allowed the teams to have the extra time they needed to reach important milestones which were a criterion used as part of our down-select process. I am impressed with the determination these teams display as they try and grow their businesses. The teams selected are a very dedicated and determined group, and I look forward to the Demo Day competition where these teams will compete for prize money to continue to grow and succeed right here in the Mohawk Valley.”
At Demo Day, scheduled to be held on Thursday, July 16, 2020, these teams will pitch their startup in cyber security, big data, information systems, and UAS, to a panel of judges and compete to win for $300,000 in prize seed funding provided by IDEA NY. The grand prize of $200,000 will go to the overall winner and $100,000 will go to the runner-up.
If a public event is not possible by the July 16 date due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the event would then become a virtual event.
The Innovation & Development Entrepreneurial Accelerator, known as IDEA NY Mohawk Valley, is a business accelerator competition and twelve-month program that will incentivize promising entrepreneurs to create and grow viable commercial businesses in the Mohawk Valley region. This accelerator program is made possible by a $2 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant from New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
After Demo Day, eligible teams will participate in the year-long IDEA NY accelerator program. Additional assistance will be provided to the teams through the Griffiss Institute Business Incubator, a Certified NYS Business Incubator. Participating teams will be required to reside in the Mohawk Valley region for a 12-month period after Demo Day.
More information about the Demo Day event will be available soon.
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