On Thursday, March 24, nearly 100 members of the Ithaca startup community convened at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works for a night of networking and celebration. During Networking@Rev: New Year, New Faces, attendees were able to spring into 2022 and acquaint themselves with new startups in the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Featuring three newer startups that have worked through the challenges of the past year, the quick pitches were a source of inspiration for all in attendance. The event also marked a return to normalcy, as it was the second in-person Networking Night at Rev since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The night opened with remarks from Tom Knipe, deputy director of economic development for the City of Ithaca. Knipe discussed the diversity of Ithaca’s economic development and the resilience and challenges faced by our local economy throughout the pandemic. He also recognized the resources for startups and small businesses in Ithaca, including the Small Business Development Center, Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for Manufacturing Technology, and the commercialization activities at Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement and Rev.
“Rev is a fantastic resource that we’re really lucky to have around, and we also have a lot of other wonderful resources in this community,” said Knipe. “We’re small here in Ithaca, but we’re a community that loves and supports our startups. What you’re all doing is a critical part of our local economic recovery and our economic development strategy.”
Next, three female-founded startups, including two Rev member companies—Navigating AWEtism and SimpliFed—pitched their businesses to the crowd:
- Navigating AWEtism: Founded by Theresa Lyons after her daughter was diagnosed with severe autism, this innovative new startup seeks to close the 30-year gap between scientific autism research and the implementation of those findings into treatment protocols. Between one-on-one counseling, books and other publications, and an app, Navigating AWEtism is working to improve the health and happiness of parents and people with autism.
- Levelle: Levelle Sports Nutrition is revolutionizing the sports nutrition industry by focusing on female athletes. With only 2.5% of sports nutrition products designed specifically for female bodies, co-founder Linda Alvarez shared that products designed for men’s physiology can cause side effects in female athletes and make them think that their bodies are the problems. The startup is working with female marathoners as they develop their pilot product Levelle Set, a shelf-stable organic endurance gel.
- SimpliFed: Andrea Ippolito is changing the face of the baby feeding and nutrition industry with SimpliFed, a maternal and baby health company centered on baby nutrition. Through a lactation and breastfeeding telehealth support platform (covered by insurance plans under the ACA!), SimpliFed is optimizing the feeding experience and educating new parents throughout the entire pregnancy process. The startup is also working to develop a high-quality, affordable, non-GMO formula for parents who choose not to breastfeed.
The night concluded with more time for networking while attendees enjoyed bites and beverages from Ithaca-area companies. The atmosphere was lively as guests mingled, made new connections, and learned about the resources available in their local startup community.
Don’t miss out on all the action in your local entrepreneurial community — join us on Thursday, April 14 for the next Networking@Rev event! Hosted in collaboration with food and agriculture business competition Grow-NY, Food & Ag Networking@Rev: Eat, Drink, Innovate will celebrate the programs and people advancing sustainable food and ag systems and creating space for startup innovation. Register here to reserve your space.