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New Rev Program Helps Startups Overcome the Valley of Death

Stock of hardware product manufacturing plant

New Rev Program Helps Startups Overcome the Valley of Death

The valley of death—or the point at which startups stall out on their journeys to success—is a massive obstacle for entrepreneurs making physical or hardware products, particularly when they make the jump to manufacturing their product and producing units on a larger scale.

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is on a mission to buoy these startups at this crucial step in their growth. Rev recently added an additional accelerator program to its portfolio: Rev’s Prototype-to-Production Hardware Accelerator.  The cohort-based program runs for 60-weeks and supports hardware startups that are ready to bring their prototypes into production. Startups enter the program with a fully functional prototype, have completed customer discovery, and identified their customers’ needs. Participants receive ongoing training, mentorship, introductions to manufacturers with a series of on-site tours and introductions to investors.
“Hardware startups need all the help they can get when they prepare to scale their production,” said Steve Supron, Assistant Director of Rev’s Hardware Programs. “This new program provides customized training on all the topics they need including protecting intellectual property, quality assurance, packaging, distribution, and logistics. At 60 weeks, this is our longest running program and it is a huge commitment for startups, but we truly care about seeing these entrepreneurs succeed and its long-term, focused support that makes a difference.”

Rev’s Prototype-to-Production Hardware Accelerator is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration with a goal to increase the number of physical product startups in upstate New York that are growing, creating jobs, and partnering with the region’s wealth of manufacturers.

“The upstate New York region is a perfect place for startups with physical products or hardware products to thrive,” said Ken Rother, Director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and Rev’s Hardware Programs. “The wealth of educated and skilled talent, variety of funding and programming for startups, long-history of manufacturing, and high quality of life mean we will continue to see startups setting down roots in our area and continue to see Ithaca top the list of national rankings as a top startup spot.”

Meet the 2020 Rev Prototype-to-Production Hardware Accelerator startups: 

1-by-1 Diagnostics

Dr. Rula Abbud-Antaki

A Cancer BioChip System, invented by Dr. Rula Abbud-Antaki, that rapidly detects abnormal generic variants and their impact on 3D growth of cancer cells, allowing for the selection of personalized therapy.

Dr. Rula Abud Antaki

Ashlawn Energy

Norma Byron, Maurice Daniel

Ashlawn Energy provides energy storage solutions to provide commercial customers with clean, cost-effective energy solutions.

Noma Byron and Maurice Daniel


Erika LaCasse

Cass Cap owns a patented measuring device that eliminates the need for measuring spoons by measuring spices and powdered ingredients straight out of the bottle. Cass Cap brings a convenient, fast, and mess-reducing solution for home or institutional cooks.

Erika LaCasse


Lana Farrell, Nathan Oakes and Hailey Scofield

A Combplex Smart frame is a regular bee frame with the ability to eliminate harmful Varroa destructor parasites within the beehive using precision technology. Combplex can also estimate the percentage of infested bees in the colony, in addition to specifically targeting the embedded mite for elimination, all without opening the hive.

Lana Farrell, Nathan Oakes,a nd Hailey Scofield

Heat Inverse

Romy Fain

Heat Inverse creates thin films that cool without additional energy input, moving parts, or waste heat.

Romy Fain


Sarah Reyes

Looe is developing a countertop breastmilk pasteurizer that brings established and safe milk pasteurization techniques into the home.

Sara Reyes


Marty Walters

RealStraw LLC replaces plastic drinking straws with all-natural gluten-free, wheat stem straws.

Marty Walters

Sustainable Viticulture Systems

Hilary Niver-Johnson

Sustainable Viticulture Systems micro-combine heat and power generation via grape-seed biomass gasification.

Hilary Niver-Johnson

Rev’s suite of 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. Rev’s hardware programs provide a methodical and structured approach to establishing and scaling hardware startups.

Applications are currently open for Rev’s Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator.