Summer Applications are Open!

Summer Applications are Open!


IgniteU is now accepting applications for the 2018 Summer Accelerator Program!

The IgniteU Summer Accelerator Program is a nine-week experiential program for early-stage startup companies. It incorporates aspects of the lean startup methodology as well as general business development and startup education to help startups build a strong business foundation. The program focuses on developing connections with important business stakeholders such as other entrepreneurs, partners, investors, and potential customers both in and beyond the local community. It also emphasizes social interaction among the startups whose relationships often continue long past the end of the summer program.

The program will run from early June to early August and the deadline to apply is March 31st, 2018. This is our fourth year running the program and we're excited to continuously improve the program year after year. Over the past three years, we've had dozens of teams involved in our summer program with many of them going on to participate in other programs, launch products, generate revenue, and raise money.


Here's some of the great things our alumni have said about the program

IgniteU was a valuable experience for the Our.News team, and we highly recommend it to any startup who is serious about moving their ideas forward.
— Richard Zack, Our.News
By attending the IgniteU Summer Accelerator in 2017, Catapult Games was able to grow from a team with an idea to a company with a solid business plan. IgniteU provides many great opportunities for networking and training in key business skills.
— Dane Jennings, Catapult Games
IgniteU was an excellent experience for me and Let’s Chat About It. The workshops provided very insightful information as our business model took shape. The cohort was incredibly cohesive and fun as we learned and bounced ideas off each other. I can honestly say that after the IgniteU program I felt way more confident about my business and the way I was able to communicate my service to people.
— Garrison Grant, Let's Chat About It

Commercialization Academy Recap

The Commercialization Academy, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), held its Fall Demo Day at Griffiss Institute in Rome, New York, on November 30, 2017. More than 100 people—including investors, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and members of the local business community—watched four local tech startups take the stage to pitch how they have been disrupting the market in Upstate New York.

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The AFRL Commercialization Academy is a Griffiss Institute entrepreneurial education program. Griffiss Institute has partnered with venture capital firm Wasabi Ventures to run the academy since 2015.

NYSTEC was a sponsor of the event, with CIO Nick Alger serving as a panel judge. IgniteU NY was also represented: three of the four teams in the competition were alumni of our program.

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Teams took the stage for four minutes each, pitching audience members and a panel of judges—and competing for up to $20,000 from program funders.

The four startup teams who took the stage on Thursday evening were:

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GivDapps (IgniteU NY ’16 alum) – GivDapps provides crowdfunding opportunities to families in need, and specific community projects that have been vetted by other charitable organizations. GivDapps is a non-profit organization leveraging technology and the power of community relationships to promote transparent charitable giving within local communities.

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Good People Energy Technologies – Good People Energy’s mission is to make energy saving technology easy, while being an example of responsible stewardship of energy, communities, and human potential. They have created the Phoenix Fan Controller, which provides 10-30% energy savings with improved quiet and comfort, and can be added to existing small fan HVAC systems (PTACs, fan coils, split systems, etc.) to extend their useful lives. 

Inky’s Bookshelf (IgniteU NY ’17 alum) –At Inky, curated selections of books are created based on your reading history and interests. The product is simple: send in a picture of your bookshelf, and once a month a book will be sent to your doorstep.

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Let’s Chat About It (IgniteU NY ’17 alum) – Let’s Chat About It is a wellness support platform and online community for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse. Let’s Chat About It is a comprehensive online platform that builds a community to share, support, and gain confidence to combat substance abuse and to better overall mental health.  

The judges’ panel evaluated each startup based on such factors as:

  • The ability of the business to affect Upstate New York’s startup ecosystem and high-tech economy
  • The culture of innovation that has been created within the startup due to incorporating AFRL technology
  • The sustainability of the solution beyond the initial startup period
  • Marketing strategy
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Ethan Durham and Devin Morgan, co-founders of Good People Energy Technologies, walked away with the judges’ vote and $15,000, while Garrison Grant, founder of Let’s Chat About It, won the audience vote and $5,000 for his startup.

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IgniteU Alums Set to Pitch Nov 30 at AFRL Commercialization Academy Demo Day

IgniteU Alums Set to Pitch Nov 30 at AFRL Commercialization Academy Demo Day

 

Come support the four startups in the Fall Commercialization Academy Cohort! Attend and celebrate their accomplishments at Demo Day on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 5:00 pm, at Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive, in Rome, New York. This final event of a four-month program will feature a pitch competition with a $15,000 judges’ vote prize and a $5,000 crowd vote. The night will be filled with great opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and the community.

The Commercialization Academy is a Griffiss Institute entrepreneurial education program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) in Rome, New York. Since 2015, Griffiss Institute has partnered with venture-capital firm Wasabi Ventures to run the academy. The program is designed to be complementary to local startup programs, and it enables participants to leverage eligible non-program resources. These entrepreneurs spend the four months of the program building their startups around U.S. Department of Defense intellectual property from the AFRL/RI.

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This year, three out of the four startups are IgniteU summer cohort alumni: GivDapps, Let’s Chat About It, and Inky’s Bookshelf.  Since completing our program, these startups moved on to the Commercialization Academy, where they were able to take advantage of more mentorship opportunities, grant funding, and access to top-tier AFRL/RI technology.

The startup teams selected for the Fall 2017 Commercialization Academy Cohort are:

GivDapps – GivDapps, operating out of New York City, provides crowdfunding opportunities to families in need and specific community projects that have been vetted by other charitable organizations. GivDapps is a non-profit organization leveraging technology and the power of community relationships to promote transparent charitable giving within local communities.

Let’s Chat About It – Let’s Chat About It is a wellness support platform and online community for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse. Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Let’s Chat About It is a comprehensive online platform that builds a community to share, support, and gain confidence to combat substance abuse and to better their overall mental health.  Let’s Chat About It provides onsite resources such as licensed therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists via video sessions. Added benefits include blogs, a 24/7 chat support with professionals, sober event meetups, progress incentives, and connecting others who are going through the similar struggles. Its platform will be a supplement to professional support mechanisms helping users re-assimilate to their life as well as providing a connecting space for users in all stages of recovery. Through this platform, users will be able to connect with one another and with licensed health care providers—helping to get out of the darkness together.

Inky’s Bookshelf – A lot can be learned about people just by taking a look at their bookshelves. At Inky, based in Loudonville, New York, curated selections of books are created based on your reading history and interests. The product is simple: send in a picture of your bookshelf, and once a month a book will be sent to your doorstep.

Good People Energy Technologies - Good People is a benefit corporation with offices in Cooperstown, New York, and Utica, New York. The Phoenix Fan Controller provides 10-30% energy savings with improved quiet and comfort and can be added to existing small fan HVAC systems (PTACs, fan coils, split systems, etc.) to extend their useful lives. It is well suited to institutions such as government buildings, schools, colleges, and hospitals, as well as commercial buildings, office parks, hotels, and multi-tenant residential buildings.