ROME, N.Y. - The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), along with Griffiss Institute held the AFRL Commercialization Academy Demo Day Thursday evening.
This event is focused on creating more economic development in the Mohawk Valley. This is the 5th year this event was held at Griffiss Institute and Bill Wolf, Griffiss Institute President, says since the event started, there has been about 45 start-ups created and half of those companies stayed in the Mohawk Valley.
"The commercialization academy is an educational program ran by Griffiss Institute sponsored by the AFRL, designed to take high-quality founders, marry them up with the technology at the lab in the hopes that they’ll create new business in the Mohawk Valley," Wolf said.
The Innovation and Development Entrepreneurial Accelerator, also known as IDEA NY Mohawk Valley, is a business accelerator competition and 12-month program that was added this year.
“The graduates from the program this year will have the opportunity to enter into the IDEA NY program," Wolf said. "That program is funded by New York State and we have a $2 million grant and as a result we can offer prizes this year."
There were six companies that competed in front of a room full of people, including elected officials, and three judges.
The judges' panel evaluated each start-up based on their ability to affect Upstate New York's start-up ecosystem and high-tech economy, the culture of innovation incorporating AFRL technology, the sustainability of the solution beyond the initial start-up period, and go-to market strategy.
The winning company is a Utica based company, Go Figure, being awarded $200,000. This company refers to itself as the contractor’s mobile office. It will allow contractors a solution to measure, estimate, and create a proposal on site using an IPad or IPhone.
The CEO of Go Figure says his company will help with economic development in the Mohawk Valley.
"The cool thing is, everything that we're doing is happening here," Justin Call, Go Figure CEO said. "We want to be a data business. AFRL is incredibly sophisticated when it comes to data and we are using data architecture technology that they developed to become a date company. So yes, we are focused on a product for contractors, but at the end of the day we are going to be a data company that sells data services to the certainties of the world and that’s a huge business.”
The second place winner is an Oneida based company, Skytubelive, being awarded $100,000. Skytubelive is the site for live streaming drone videos.
Wolf says the other four companies were each given $8,000 for their expenses.
Written into the contract with IDEA NY, the companies competing had to concentrate in one of four different areas with were cyber security, big data, information systems, and drone technology.
The six start-up companies that competed at Demo Day were:
-Cyber Defense Network Adapter (CDNA), Oriskany, focused on in-line malware prevention.
-E-Health Now, Philadelphia, focused on breaking down geographical barriers to provide affordable world-class cancer care.
-Go Figure, Utica, focused on helping contractors offer solutions by measuring, estimating, and creating a proposal, all onsite using just your IPad.
-Skytubelive, Oneida, a safe, private, secure, live drone video streaming site.
-Stonewall Defense, Watervliet, emphasizing leadership, technology, and training, seeking to help scrap metal recyclers protect their valuable roll away containers, giving users near real-time updates on the locations of their assets.
-Tooling Intel, Yorkville, focused on bridging the gap between corporate and operations to bring real-time global tooling asset visibility and predictive tooling analytics to all corporate stakeholders.
Wolf says this event is one of his favorite events held in the area.
"To me, this is one of the best events that we hold up here, we've been doing it for five years and each one of them has been better than the one before," Wolf said. "The thing that’s really exciting is the technology comes from the lab and the technology is used by these entrepreneurs in ways the inventors never envisioned.”
News Channel 2's Chief Meteorologist Bill Kardas was the emcee for the event.
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