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Introducing the 2022 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator Cohorts

The prototyping hardware accelerator summer cohort stands on the stairs in Rev: Ithaca Startup Works

Introducing the 2022 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator Cohorts

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is excited to welcome the newest startup cohorts to participate in the summer Prototyping Hardware Accelerator, the ClimateTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator and the inaugural AgTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator. Each track of the 11-week program provides startup teams the opportunity to test if their business idea is commercially desirable, technologically viable, and economically feasible.

Prototyping Hardware Accelerator

Offered annually since 2014, entrepreneurs across all industries are invited to take part in the Classic Track of the accelerator. The program consists of three “sprints” — feasibility, proof of concept, and prototype and pitch — where founders attend content sessions at Rev and take a deep dive into the fundamentals of early-stage startup development. The Prototyping Hardware Accelerator also provides prototyping lab space with access to state-of-the-art equipment and materials to build multiple rounds of prototypes, entrepreneurship training, workshops, one-on-one coaching, and pitch training.

“We had a diverse pool of applicants, and we’re thrilled with the cohort we were able to recruit for the 2022 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator,” said Ken Rother, director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. “This unique, impactful program empowers entrepreneurs to take the first steps towards developing a business venture. As the AgTech track joins our roster of programs, we’re looking forward to broadening our impact on the Southern Tier environmental ecosystem, and I’m excited to see the progress our startup teams make this summer.”

Meet the 2022 startup teams from the Classic Track:

  • Apricity Solutions: Led by Jeffrey Shen, Colin Erb and Jeffrey Green, Apricity Solutions developed a simple, safe, and inexpensive electrified warming blanket to prevent hypothermia in premature babies in low to middle-income countries.
  • Artēria: L. Vaughn is developing a wearable device and digital platform to expand the screening and monitoring of persons at risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • BAS Technology: Basil Alkahtani of BAS Technology is developing a new, patented technology to shave yourself utilizing your smartphone.
  • CardioVigi: Founded by Victoria DiStefano, CardioVigi is a real-time heart detection implant that measures levels of proteins indicating heart damage and alerts users/family/first responders if these levels get too high.
  • Detach/Retach: Jennifer Kahn’s Detach/Retach is creating fashionable garment pieces connected by sewn-in magnets for closure. The clothing pieces are similar to building blocks or Legos and can be used to create new ensembles.
  • InCase Technologies: Founded by Andrew Schwalm, InCase Technologies makes “smart” iPhone and Android cases that include high tech hardware for builders in the construction industry.

“For the hundreds of thousands of Americans that experience heart attacks each year, patients struggle to confidently attribute their symptoms to a cardiac event and seek out care,” said Victoria DiStefano of CardioVigi. “I hope to use my prototyping accelerator experience at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works this summer to connect with other entrepreneurs and refine my understanding of the biotechnology that will make CardioVigi possible.”

ClimateTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator

Following the success of the inaugural 2021 ClimateTech Track, Rev is excited to welcome another batch of ClimateTech startups to the Prototyping Hardware Accelerator. Supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the ClimateTech Prototyping accelerator supports startups innovating in the climate technology or cleantech space — defined as innovation that supports the decarbonization of the economy.

In addition to the resources offered to the Classic Track, ClimateTech accelerator teams also receive specialized ClimateTech workshops and resources, as well as access to industry experts and mentors.

Meet the 2022 startup teams from the ClimateTech Track:

  • AgGen: Founded by Amir Salehzadeh and Rosh Ho, AgGen is a biological systems company that processes agricultural food waste, upcycling it into nutrition for pets, livestock, people, and other products.
  • Jalavant: Piyush Jain and Chendan Luo have developed a water status measurement system consisting of a water-sensing patch (AquaDust) and a fluorescence reader. AquaDust can be used in measuring water status in soil, leaves, and synthetic membranes, and validating them against conventional tools.
  • Project Chukku: Founded by Rohit Nayak and Kengo Yasue, this startup will develop air condensing technology that uses the latest nanotechnology in order to extract water efficiently.
  • ReVert Technologies, Inc.: Ryan Li and Joseph Lybik are launching a smart power extender that uses AI and behavior analytics to optimize power delivery and guide consumers towards energy conservation in buying and recycling eco-friendly electronics.
  • Wisely, Inc.: Founded by Rachelle McCray and Charles Driscoll, Wisely has designed technology to reduce greenhouse gas by tracking and monitoring materials, food, and the environment that play a key role in food waste. The product automates the process of storing food products to alleviate human error and oversight that lead to food waste in the farming sector.

“We address the problem of quick, reliable monitoring of freshness of perishable foods leading to wastage and decreased consumer satisfaction. During the accelerator this summer, we hope to build our first prototype, and complete customer discovery interviews,” said Piyush Jain of Jalavant.

AgTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator

New to the Prototyping Hardware Accelerator, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is pleased to introduce the inaugural cohort of the new AgTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator track. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s University Center program, the entrepreneurs taking part in this program will work in tandem with the Classic and ClimateTech tracks, and receive additional training and mentorship tailored to the AgTech industry.

Following the completion of the accelerator, these AgTech startups will be able to go on to utilize and strengthen the resources offered in the New York State food and agriculture ecosystem, including potential participation in the Grow-NY Food and Ag Business Competition and related regional agrifood system.

“I’m thrilled to see the innovation that this cohort of entrepreneurs brings to the table,” said Jenn Smith, program director of Grow-NY. “From pest tracking technologies for farmers to automated kitchen solutions, the diversity of these startup teams reflect the Grow-NY mission to empower entrepreneurs working throughout the agrifood system. I’m excited to watch these startups develop over the summer, and welcome them into the NYS AgTech ecosystem as they grow and scale.”

Meet the 2022 startup teams from the AgTech Track:

  • Barn Owl Technologies: Founded by Richard Chen, Barn Owl Technologies provides farmers with a pest tracking and warning system to help growers spray fewer chemicals.
  • Equilibrate: Juan Boza’s Equilibrate produces novel sensors and algorithms to support veterinarians and horse owners in improving care.
  • Integrated Gardening Solutions: Led by Julian Carreiro, Luke St. Pierre-Nguyen, Samuel Herman, and Finn Witherup, Integrated Gardening Solutions has designed an indoor, auto-functioning growing hub for multiple plant sizes, allowing people to garden year-round.
  • Smoke Taint No More: Jen Neubauer has designed a polymer coated temporary row cover for grapes (and potentially other crops) to protect against wildfires. It will be made from a sustainably produced fiber which can be composted and/or reused depending on industry feedback.
  • MiFood Tech: Led by Mi Yan, Jack Ma and Eli Vicarte, this robotics startup that aims to provide affordable automated kitchen solutions for restaurants. The kitchen robots can automate the food-making process for restaurants, save money and human resources, enrich menus, reduce cooking errors, reduce food waste, and work 24/7.
  • Raw Butta: Shevori Gene of Raw Butta has created a multipurpose moisturizer made with raw shea butter that is whipped and infused with essential oils. Raw Butta provides better portability, appealing packaging, improved scent, repair and irritation relief, and smoother application process than traditional shea butter.

“Raw Butta targets the consistency, odor, and portability downsides of raw shea butter,” said founder Shevori Gene. “We hope to expand upon customer discovery, do product development on the content/formula/whipping tech, as well as design and develop the best packaging solution.”

Each startup in the Prototyping Hardware Accelerator has been paired with an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) for mentorship throughout the summer. EIRs are experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts who provide program participants with advice, support, and connections to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Southern Tier region and beyond. This year’s EIRs include Aaron Proujansky, Aaron Walls, Alex Hagen, Brad Treat, Brian Bauer, Ed Bizari, Gene Rendino, Greg Thomson, Gregory Ray, and Rick Hedrick.

At the culmination of the program, all of the founders will have the opportunity to pitch their products to potential investors and customers during Hardware Demo Day. Free and open to the public, Demo Day will be held at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works on August 4 from 6-8:30 PM. Space is limited and tickets can be reserved here. Get to know the teams and follow along with their progress throughout the summer on Rev’s social channels: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.