Griffiss Institute Launches First Cohort of HUSTLE Defense Accelerator, Offers $300K Prize for Winning Innovation


ROME, NY — Griffiss Institute President & CEO Heather Hage announced today the launch of the first-ever cohort of the HUSTLE Defense Accelerator. The program is an elite and immersive 12-week training academy for seed-stage startups developing artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, quantum science, and unmanned aircraft system solutions.

“The Griffiss Institute is incredibly excited to host these innovative startup leaders at the Innovare Advancement Center and provide them access to all of the amazing talent and technology resources we offer,” said Hage. “Creating the HUSTLE Defense Accelerator was a natural next step forward in our commitment to elevate the next generation of STEM students, professionals, and technologies. I’m confident one of these teams will emerge as the next big idea for national security.”

Throughout 12 weeks – beginning on May 23, 2022, at the Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, New York – select startup leaders will have the opportunity to sharpen their skills in running a business. They will be provided with daily education and mentoring through a group of highly talented professionals. In addition, participants can partake in a track unique to the HUSTLE accelerator, where they will learn how to work with government, opening the door to countless opportunities for their small businesses to grow.

The final day of the program will feature a “Pitch Day” where teams will present their businesses for a chance to win a $300,000 cash prize.

Participants are chosen because of their potential to elevate U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. Teams selected to be part of this first HUSTLE cohort of startups include:

McGuirk USA
The Team of McGuirk USA (MUSA), Datalytica, and Quanterion Solutions Incorporated (QSI) provide consultants for engineering, data analysis, cyber, and counterintelligence support to industry, defense, and government programs globally.

CyberSpara helps business owners, educational institutions, and government agencies (Department of Defense, Air Force, etc.) to equip themselves with proper tools and empower individuals to reduce cyber threats and mitigate such national security challenges.

Neuromorphic Intelligent Computing
Neuromorphic Intelligent Computing (NIC) is a team of entrepreneurs and inventors aspiring to form a company based on positive outcomes anticipated to flow from their participation in the HUSTLE Defense Accelerator.  The NIC team focuses on developing adaptive-learning, neuromorphic computing architectures that circumvent limitations inherent in conventional computing designs, the Von Neumann memory wall, and Moore’s law to enable agile, intelligent edge computing and autonomous vehicles, robots, and drone swarm systems.

ThermoAI develops artificial intelligence to optimize combustion- directly reducing high-risk refueling missions, cutting operational costs, and reducing emissions. Founded by a machine-learning Ph.D. from Oxford, a chemical engineer, and a published applied AI expert. Backed by NSF, NYSERDA, Creative Destruction Labs, and Techstars AI.

Secwins aims to develop a SaaS solution, utilizing digital twin technology and machine learning/artificial intelligence to more accurately model the socio-technical complexities of the cyber strategic environment. Our solution will be delivered via our web hosted data dashboard and API. We will simulate cyber scenarios that generate anticipatory insights about the complexities and nuances of the digital landscape, thereby enabling more effective data-driven strategic cybersecurity decision-making.

In addition to the comprehensive HUSTLE curriculum, these participants will gain access to many Innovare events, including guest speakers, networking, community engagement, and more. Learn more about the HUSTLE Defense Accelerator and how to participate in future cohorts on our website.

New York State and Empire State Development are steadfast supporters of the  HUSTLE program.

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