By Madison Barlow
A balloon device that collects clean water from clouds, a shoe insert to assist those suffering from neuropathy or numbness in the feet: these are just two of the ideas behind the 11 teams participating in Rev: Ithaca Startup Works’ Hardware Accelerator (#HardwareAccelerator19).
For 10 weeks this summer, the 11 teams will work to develop prototypes and receive mentoring, education, training, and support to help them refine their ideas and draft initial business strategies. Successful inventors, startup founders, and program alumni will offer guest lectures and a team of mentors will offer feedback throughout the program as teams evolve their prototypes. The teams will also be tasked with conducting customer discovery and will interview potential customers as they assess their product market. The program will culminate with a public Demo Day on August 1 at which teams will pitch their product and business plans to a live audience.
Meet the 2019 Rev Hardware Accelerator teams:
Note: The accelerator program emphasizes customer discovery—teams will be interviewing potential customers throughout the program and they could make a major pivot from the ideas below as they explore the market for their product.
Team Name:Elegant Spines
Members:Yuying (Silvia) Zhang
College/ Affiliation: Cornell University, W.E. Cornell
Product Summary:A spinal cord protector for professional equestrians that features strong shock absorbance and adheres to the criteria for riding gear—being light-weight, slim, and “professional-looking”.
Team Name: Fless
Members:Daniel Fidanque and Noah Milian
College/Affiliation:Fordham University, University of Chicago
Product Summary:An affordable and effective method for flossing that leverages the water pressure of one’s sink
Product Summary:A collapsible, portable cup used to clean menstrual cups
Members:Irena Gao, Brayan Pena, Khalid Nadi, Joel Garcia, Canaan Delgado, George Orellana, and Juan Garcia
College/Affiliation:Cornell University, Texas A&M
Product Summary:A workout band that tracks a user’s form and provides data via a coordinating app
Members:Samik Shrotriya, Ethan Liu, Jason Chen, and Jeremy Kline
Product Summary:A helium balloon that floats up to the clouds, collects sufficient water, and is weighed back down for collection or consumption
Team Name:Internet Innovations
Members:William Block and Jaden Wright
Product Summary: A 4g internet booster for rural areas
Members:Vini Tripathii and Eeshan Tripathii
College/Affiliation:Cornell University, MIT, W.E. Cornell
Product Summary:Affordable neuro-prosthetics that provide near-natural function for users
Members:David Reyes, Kelly Hulse, Paul Reyes, and Sarah Reyes
Product Summary:A countertop breast milk pasteurizer
Members:Anthony DelVecchio, Phoenix Romero, Reagan Jung, and Jai Karnik
Product Summary:A portable device that administers eye drops in the form of a mist
Team Name:Organic Robotics
Members:Ryan Bayne and Alec Cornwell
Product Summary:A smart, synthetic skin that enables pressure and motion tracking for robots or humans
Team Name:Stead Ease
Members:Veronica Weser and Mark Lawley
College/Affiliation:Yale, Dartmouth, New York University
Product Summary:Ashoe insert that prevents falls in those with loss of sensation in the bottoms of their feet
Meet the Director:
Ken Rother is the Director of Rev and its Hardware Accelerator program. He is the Managing Director of Cornell’s eLab student accelerator program, teaches entrepreneurship at the Johnson School, and instructs and coaches in several technology commercialization programs.
Ken has held multiple senior business and technical positions for organizations such as Discovery Communications, Reuters, Matrox, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has direct startup experience having co-founded a software business in Toronto and joining an early stage online media business in New York—both of these startups concluded with successful exits. Most recently Ken was the Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Discovery.
Meet the Associate Director:
Steve Supron has more than 30 years of experience in the mechanical design, development, and global manufacturing of complex, electro-mechanical products. He has experience leading engineering teams and working with cross-functional teams including management, manufacturers, and customers. He maintains a deep knowledge of intellectual property and is named as inventor or co-inventor on 36 U.S. Patents. Most recently, Steve was the Manufacturing Lead for Maidbot.
Meet the Student Instructors:
Ava is a rising sophomore in Cornell’s class of ‘22. Majoring in Information Science. Her experience with hardware includes: rapid prototyping, design process, and software.
“I was a participant in the program last year and really enjoyed the program, so I wanted to be involved again.”
Amil is a rising senior in Cornell’s class of ‘20. He is an M.Eng student studying Mechanical Engineering, and has experience with mechanical design, rapid prototyping, 3D printing, laser cutting, and woodworking.
“Instructing the Hardware Accelerator gives me a chance to teach others what I have learned over the past few years and help them realize their ideas, while also deepening my own knowledge.”
Joseph is a rising senior at Cornell studying Mechanical Engineering. He has ample experience with hardware. As a member of Cornell’s Formula SAE team, he designed engine cooling systems and braking systems for a small race car. He also has experience with electrical systems and has developed hands-on skills with TIG welding, CNC machining, and rapid prototyping.
“I enjoy helping other people with their designs just as much I enjoy working on one of my own—I find it just as rewarding of a learning experience from my end. The Hardware
Accelerator presents a perfect opportunity to share my experiences while also acquiring new ones.”
Max is a rising sophomore at Cornell, planning to major in electrical and computer engineering or computer science. His experience with hardware started in high school when he participated in Engineering Technology Camp (ETC) in Cupertino, CA. He is a member of Cornell University’s Unmanned Aerial System’s electrical team, where he has designed and built PCBs for various purposes.
“I am eager to share my knowledge with the teams and teach them to design their own electronics.”
Be sure to follow the program on social media #HardwareAccelerator19 to stay up to date.