2019 Rev in Review: Members Create 136 New Jobs

In 2019, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works celebrated its sixth anniversary and continued to make good on its core mission of positively impacting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ithaca and the surrounding region, by providing new and growing businesses with mentorship, workspace, and startup resources.

“Our membership is growing, because Ithaca is a great place to start a business—the region has a wealth of educated and skilled talent and everyday new funding resources become available,” said Ken Rother, Director of Rev and the Rev Hardware Accelerator, “We’re excited to support the entrepreneurial community and provide startups with the guidance and tools needed to be successful.”

2019: Rev Member Companies by the Numbers

Rev members continued to grow and thrive in 2019:

  • $20.1 million in revenue generated
  • $21 million in capital raised to continue expansion, scale-up production, and hiring of more employees in 2020
  • 136 high-quality jobs created, leading to a total of 282 employees at Rev member companies

Membership Growing Rapidly

In 2019, Rev added 14 new members to its ranks: Antithesis Foods, Areti Construction, BioAncient, Bright Building, Cotyra, Dos Amigos, Finger Lakes Cider House, IthaCannabis, Little Leaf Meadworks, Mars Flying Saucer Corporation, Scot Land Yard Group, SeaArctos, Startup Tree, and Urban Core Ithaca. Currently, Rev supports 44 startups at all stages of growth in industries ranging from innovative food and agri-business to the biotech hardware and software space.

In addition to gaining new members, Rev witnessed existing members grow their teams and workspaces. Highlights include Ursa Space Systems raising $15 million in Series B funding and the geospatial analytic startup’s move to a new office in downtown Ithaca, as well as South Hill Cider’s unveiling of its tasting room near Buttermilk Falls State Park.

More Mentorship

In the past year, Rev welcomed Nate Cook, Alex Hagen, and Susan Fleming as Entrepreneurs in Residence in the regional startup network. Leveraging their years of entrepreneurial experience, Entrepreneurs in Residence guide Rev member companies, LaunchNY startups, and incubators in the Southern Tier Startup Alliance, through business challenges, such as strategizing funding, structuring finance deals, and tackling new markets.

Events, Networking, and Workshops

Rev continues to serve as an entrepreneurship hub for the Southern Tier’s startup community. The state-of-the-art incubator space hosted dozens of events in 2019, including community networking nights, as well as member workshops and trainings led by Rev’s Entrepreneurs in Residence and industry experts. In 2019, Rev welcomed 1,883 visitors to its entrepreneurial events.

Rev Expands Hardware Accelerator Programs

Rev’s hardware programs support entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey—from the entrepreneurs with an idea sketched on a napkin to startups poised to scale and manufacture. Currently, Rev supports three hardware programs:

  • Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator – This 11-week summer accelerator guides early-stage entrepreneurs as they take their ideas and turn them into hardware prototypes and determine the size and scope of the market need for their product.
  • Prototype-to-Production Hardware Accelerator – Startups enter this 60-week cohort-based accelerator with a fully-functional prototype and learn how to create a reproducible product and work with manufacturers to scale production at the required quality, while keeping costs reasonable.
  • Rev & NextCorps Hardware Scaleup – Launched in 2018, this program, funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), helps clean energy entrepreneurs develop a comprehensive roadmap for scaling their prototype into a design that is easy to manufacture and mass produce in New York State.

Rev’s newest hardware program, Prototype-to-Production, was launched in 2019 and recently welcomed its first cohort, consisting of eight teams with innovations ranging from a countertop breast milk pasteurizer to a biochip capable of detecting abnormal generic variants and their impact on three-dimensional growth of cancer cells, allowing for the selection of personalized therapy for cancer patients.

Ithaca and the Southern Tier: Ripe for Innovation

In the past year, Bloomberg listed Ithaca, New York as #6 on its top 10 list for “America’s New Top Tech Hubs.” Recent research briefs from the Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) at Cornell University support this claim. According to CREA’s research analysis, among metro areas in Upstate New York, Ithaca had the highest concentration of federal grants awarded to STEM startups and small businesses in 2018.

CREA also found that the Southern Tier saw $1,674 per capita in higher education R&D expenditures in 2017, greater than any other region in New York State and a 34% increase from 2010. Cornell University leads the state in R&D expenditures ($985 million in 2017), particularly in computer and information sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences expenditures.