Student Startups from Air Force Research Laboratory Program Take Top Prizes at Business Competition
ROME, NY – Two student startups that were formed as a part of the Commercialization Academy, a program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate and Griffiss Institute in Rome, NY, took home top prizes for their businesses at the NY State Business Plan Competition’s Mohawk Valley Regional Qualifier at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Kognitiive Systems, a company comprised of students from Utica College, SUNY ESF and New Hartford high school, took home first prize and $2,000 for their predictive analytics software for industrial processes. Lilo Hydration, a startup founded by students from Clarkson University and SUNY Polytechnic, won second prize in the Product category and $1,000 for their patented inverted water bottle.
The two companies were formed last fall as a part of the inaugural Commercialization Academy, a 3-month experiential education program that pairs students with Air Force technologies with the goal of educating young entrepreneurs and launching new ventures based on AFRL Rome patents. Last year’s Academy featured 24 students from 11 universities, resulting in four new ventures formed.
“It’s great to see innovations that were developed for Air Force purposes be repurposed for the private market”, said Mike McCoy, Founder of the Commercialization Academy and Keynote Speaker at the regional event. “Both companies have investment potential and the right mix of entrepreneurial and technical talent to be successful.”
Kognitive Systems, made up of Scott Murray, Jake Clintsman and Chris Kellogg, is launching IDIOM, a predictive analytic software platform that allows industrial manufacturers to quickly discover and analyze variations in a manufacturing environment via big data analytics.
Lilo is a gravity fed, inverted, water bottle that aims to eliminate the discomfort of head tilting during the hydration process. The team, Colton Weaver, Stacey Smith and Katy Martin can not wait to get to Albany. “Making it to the competition has only increased our passion and motivation to keep us moving forward and focused in the weeks to come even more.” said Colton Weaver, Junior from Clarkson University studying Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Now, both companies are headed to Albany to compete at the NYS Business Plan Competition Finals in Albany, where they will compete with student ventures from across the state.
The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate is located in Rome, NY. The Information Directorate points its research vector towards novel and affordable Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Intelligence (C4I) technologies and continues to be recognized as a national asset and leader in C4I.
Our mission... To explore, prototype and demonstrate high-impact, game changing technologies that enable the Air Force and Nation to maintain its superior technical advantage.
The Commercialization Academy is a Griffiss Institute entrepreneurial education program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI). The Academy is run by The StartUp Strategies Group LLC under contract to the Griffiss Institute. The Academy pairs students with high-potential AFRL technologies with the goals of developing entrepreneurial leaders and launching new technology ventures.
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