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Introducing the 2023 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator Cohorts

Group photo of the 2023 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator Cohort.

Introducing the 2023 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator Cohorts

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is excited to welcome the newest entrepreneurs joining this summer’s Prototyping Hardware Accelerator. This 10-week program helps teams move from a “back of the napkin” idea to launching a fully-fledged startup. Teams participate in either the Classic, ClimateTech, or AgTech Track, where they gain access to industry experts and test if their ideas are commercially desirable, technologically feasible, and economically viable.  

The programming consists of three sprints: feasibility, proof of concept, and prototype & pitch. Teams explore the fundamentals of early-stage startup development through customer discovery, prototype development, and formal pitch training. In addition to formal programming, Rev also offers a series of speakers and workshops to help entrepreneurs grow their network of thought leaders, industry experts, and successful startups.  

“This year’s cohort was selected from the largest number of applicants we’ve ever had. They come to us with creative and innovative ideas to solve problems facing today’s world. Over the next ten weeks, they’ll be empowered to explore the market fit for their product and come out the other side, ready to form a fully-fledged startup. Our program team is incredibly excited to work with them,” said Ken Rother, director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. 

Meet the startup teams from the Classic Track:  

  • Carry Clear: Ithaca High School students Mika Gazit and Lindsay Wang are developing a portable glasses lens cleaner that combines a lens cleaning spray with microfiber cleaning pads into one convenient pocket-sized product.  
  • Docfully Healthcare: Jacques Stroud is creating a wearable device that alerts users when they suffer from a mentally distressful episode such as anxiety or depression.  
  • Exokicks: James and Erin Herard are designing a sneaker exoskeleton to protect, preserve, and display sneakers in your sneaker collection.  
  • HUG Smart Sticker: This team of Cornell University students has created HUG, an intelligent medication/supplement management system that promotes informed and safe medication usage for community-dwelling older adults.  
  • Palpaid: Shivani Tuli is the founder of Palpaid, an easy-to-use palpation tool that aims to address the shortcomings in breast self-examination and mammographic screening practices by enhancing the roles of patients and primary care physicians in the breast screening process. 
  • PhoneBelt: James Coleman is working to make roads safer by reducing distracted driving. PhoneBelt’s technology detects phone use and chimes like a seatbelt until the phone is put away.  
  • ReviMo: Aleksandr Malashchenko is developing a robotic mobility device to enable people with self-care disabilities to move around their house and use the bathroom independently.  

“ReviMo is aimed to help people who currently cannot leave a bed without external help to become more independent and perform toileting and other everyday tasks on their own. At Prototyping Hardware Accelerator, I want to improve my customer discovery skills, clarify device features important for users and create a prototype of ReviMo to conduct customer tests,” said founder Aleksandr Malashchenko.  

ClimateTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator 

After two successful years of ClimateTech Tracks, Rev is looking forward to supporting another batch of clean energy startups. Supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the ClimateTech Prototyping accelerator trains innovators working to support the decarbonization of the economy.  

ClimateTech startups are matched with experienced clean energy and clean tech mentors and provided access to industry-leading guest speakers.  

Meet the startup teams from the Climate Track:  

  • AirVitalize Innovations: Serena Allen is the inventor of Particul8r, a scaled-down and decentralized industrial technology that captures airborne particulate matter pollution. 
  • Aruna Revolution: Co-founders Rashmi Prakash and Lanna Last are revolutionizing the way people manage menstrual health by creating compostable menstrual pads locally made of natural fibers from local food and crop waste.  
  • This team is developing a loT device that enables landlords to provide backup and solar power to tenants on a paygo service, thus turning buildings into their own clean energy utilities.  
  • NextMed: Emily Roos is creating reusable IV bags called NextIV to provide an eco-friendly alternative to single-use bags, diverting up to 44,000T of plastic annually from landfills in the US and Canada.  
  • N’ụlọ Adaeze: Founder Nnennia Mazagwu focuses on a three-part mission: to help people create energized and elevated spaces, to offer services at crucial stages in the life span of their products, and to bring ease to the process of moving by creating beautiful and useful modular pieces.  
  • OPhone: Founded by Cornell University student Asma Ansari, OPhone is a modular smartphone made from compostable and recyclable materials. 
  • Snowbotix: Abhijit Dongare and Sasi Prabhakaran are developing a multi-utility robot platform for outdoor maintenance.  
  • Tree Gate Farm: Cornell University alum Dean Koyanagi is developing an electric agricultural platform for ergonomic support for small vegetable farms.  

“We want to start a menstrual health revolution; our priority is to ensure that we no longer have to choose between our well-being and the planet’s well-being. This Prototyping Hardware Accelerator will allow us to accelerate our technology and solidify our business growth too – we are very grateful for this opportunity,” said Rashmi Prakash, CEO of Aruna Revolution. 

AgTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator 

After last year’s highly successful inaugural AgTech track, Rev is excited to introduce the second annual cohort. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s University Center program, these entrepreneurs are immersed in specialized training and connected to experts within the agriculture industry.  

Following the completion of the accelerator, these AgTech entrepreneurs have the opportunity to utilize the skills acquired and connections made within the New York State food and agriculture ecosystem. This includes potential participation in the Grow-NY Food and Ag Business Competition, where startups can win up to $1 million and further contribute to the regional agrifood system.  

“I’m thrilled to welcome these teams to the AgTech track of the Prototyping Hardware Accelerator,” said Jenn Smith, director of food and ag innovation programs at Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. “They bring a great deal of potential to address pain points in the agrifood system and will be well-positioned for success after connecting with the expert farming and food production resources within our region. I look forward to watching their entrepreneurial journeys unfold.” 

Meet the startup teams participating in the AgTech Track:  

  • LuminoStream Solutions: This Cornell University-affiliated team is developing a product to automate the repetitive benchtop immunohistochemistry staining process using microfluidic liquid handling technology.  
  • ClimateTech team Aruna Revolution is also participating in the AgTech track.  
  • ClimateTech team Tree Gate Farm is also participating in the AgTech track. 

Each startup in the Prototyping Hardware Accelerator has been paired with an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) for mentorship throughout the summer, including advice, support, and networking connections. EIRs are experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts who can provide niche content support and broader industry knowledge and connections.   

The Prototyping Hardware Accelerator culminates with Networking@Rev: Hardware Demo Day, a networking event where each team will have the chance to demonstrate their progress and pitch their product to community members, potential investors, and partners.  This event is free and open to the public, taking place on August 3rd at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. Tickets can be reserved here. This is one you won’t want to miss!  

In the meantime, get to know the teams and follow along with their prototyping journeys on Rev’s Instagram and LinkedIn channels.