The following is a republished press release and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at tips@ithacavoice.com. 

Eight teams will showcase working prototypes of their inventions during the third annual Hardware Accelerator Demo Day on August 10, 2017 – a free event for the entire community.

Selected from a competitive pool of applicants, the Hardware Accelerator entrepreneurs have been working hard all summer to bring their ideas into reality. Teams will pitch innovative ideas for a wide spectrum of products, from remote sensing technologies to beehive health monitors to improved IT applications.
Demo Day is free and open to the public. It will be held at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. The doors will open at 6:00 PM and the event will run until 9:00 PM. Each team will have a booth to present its product and will pitch its idea to a live audience. Refreshments and door prizes will be waiting for guests. Guests can RSVP at revithaca.com/events.

Adam Maher (center, seated), Rev Member and founder of Ursa Space Systems, shares his story of launching and pivoting with the Hardware Teams. Alisha Tamaerchenko/ Provided Photo

Demo Day is the culmination of an 11-week Hardware Accelerator summer program of Rev, a business incubator serving the Ithaca and surrounding business community. The Hardware Accelerator is designed as a napkin-to-prototype program, and leads product teams through a process for determining if their ideas are commercially desirable, technologically viable, and economically feasible. Director Ken Rother and Assistant Director Xanthe Matychak lead a dedicated team of tech instructors to deliver a deep dive into hardware through targeted formal curriculum, business mentor pairings, guest speaker series, and access to the purpose-built Prototyping Shop at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.

“Demo Day is the first opportunity for Hardware Accelerator teams to show their product prototype to a broader audience,” says Rother. “During the previous years’ Demo Days, teams made connections with potential customers, manufacturers, advisors and investors. For many of the teams, this is the chance to hear what product concepts resonate with customers and, more importantly, what might be missing the mark.

Teams enter the program with product ideas, working to create a prototype and validate their business model in parallel. They leave with the entrepreneurial skills necessary to move forward any business venture, whether they continue developing their original product ideas or pivot to new ones. To date, of the nineteen teams who have graduated from the program, 70% are continuing to build on their ideas, growing their businesses, and receiving additional funding.

This year, the teams consist of undergraduate and graduate students from Cornell University, including a team conducting PhD level research, students from Ithaca High School, and a local business owner. The eight teams are:

  • Combplex provides real-time and remote statistic diagnostics on bee colonies enabling beekeepers to minimize their losses due to Colony Collapse Disorder.
  • Cornell iGEM has developed genetically-engineered bacteria that offer more control over chemical processes, which can be beneficial to microbreweries, waste-water treatment plants, or controlled-environment agriculture.
  • Foodopia is prototyping a RFID (radio-frequency identification device) scanner that will scan food when it’s added to or removed from a fridge to help consumers use their food in a timely manner, thereby reducing food waste.
  • HPM Technologies is creating a tool for small IT providers, giving them a more reliable way to remotely access clients’ computers, saving time for technicians.
  • LockLine is creating a monitoring system to help federal agencies and private property owners a cheaper and more effective way to track and identify illegal off-road vehicle use.
  • MeWow is enhancing feline health and wellness with a streamlined, multifunctional carrier that can become a staple of a cat’s everyday environment.
  • Petal (Okavango Systems) is working to provide small-space food-growing systems to give city-dwellers greater access to high-quality produce.
  • Prometheus is designing a multifaceted keyboard that aims to revolutionize the way consumers interact with their computers, offering users the option for a touchscreen display and allowing room for customization of design layout and button utilities.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.