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EMPEQ Wins $150,000 Grand Prize from HUSTLE Defense Accelerator Program 

empeq team receiving their prize money

EMPEQ Wins $150,000 Grand Prize from HUSTLE Defense Accelerator Program 

Rev member company Empower Equity (EMPEQ) secured a $150,000 investment last month as the grand prize winner at HUSTLE Demo Day, the culmination of the Griffiss Institute’s intensive 12-week HUSTLE Defense Accelerator. 

Co-founded by Herbert Dwyer and Derek LeClair, EMPEQ aims to revolutionize site surveys with its innovative Fast Site Survey™ technology, offering a one-click solution for capturing precise building equipment data. Powered by an underlying artificial intelligence technology called Instant Equipment Insights, EMPEQ’s innovation promises to make site surveys up to 80% more efficient, with applications ranging from commercial real estate to national security. 

“As a company that’s relatively new to the military space, the HUSTLE Defense Accelerator was a critical experience at a critical time,” Dwyer said. “When we began HUSTLE, we were still attempting to validate a discreet need within the military and, after participation in the accelerator, we have signed a $1.2 million contract with the U.S. Air Force.” 

The HUSTLE Defense Accelerator is a prestigious initiative designed to foster emerging tech startups with potential applications in the Department of Defense. Supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Empire State Development (ESD), and National Grid, the program provides education about the defense enterprise as a customer and forming partnerships in the industry. Graduates of the program join a community of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who are committed to elevating U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. 

At the Demo Day competition, eight teams were judged by a five-person panel representing technical insight, venture investing, entrepreneurship, and Department of Defense stakeholders. Recognizing the potential military applications for EMPEQ’s Instant Equipment Insights software, the judges awarded the startup the grand prize. 

Dwyer explained how the award will be used: “The HUSTLE award will be invested directly into creating jobs. Specifically, we were able to speed up our search for a Chief Technology Officer – stay tuned for further detail on this. Additionally, we will be adding a software development professional in short order as well.” 

The software harnesses the power of artificial intelligence, enabling users to identify mechanical and electronic equipment with just one snapshot from their phone’s camera. Furthermore, that image can then provide users with valuable information such as equipment age, remaining useful life, country of origin, predictive maintenance needs, and part authenticity. 

Dwyer, who is CEO of the company, started his career in the Marine Corps. Serving the country was the highlight of his career, and even as a civilian, he is motivated to continue improving national security. 

“To have our solution recognized by the military market as the most promising technology out of such a competitive field is truly a humbling reality,” he said. “We could not be more excited to have such a concrete path forward to help the U.S. military during America’s ongoing battle against global tyranny.” 

The grand prize investment underscores EMPEQ’s potential to transform site survey practices, fueling further development, expansion, and job creation within the Mohawk Valley.