Two clients of Venture Creations Business Incubator at Rochester Institute of Technology have advanced to the final round of the 2016 Rochester Venture Challenge business competition. The winner—who will receive $25,000 in cash—will be announced during the Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon on April 20 at Hyatt Regency Hotel Rochester. Cash and prizes will also be presented to the runners-up.
Cenify LLC, founded in 2013 by Alec Satterly, a management information systems and entrepreneurship student, helps other companies make their products “smart.” The company’s first product, Alarmify, was a vibrating alarm clock that can be controlled through a phone app. Cenify is expanding its range of products to cover most household items, such as coffee makers, blinds and door locks, and use voice commands so that a user can use Google Now to control their products through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
In 2014, Cenify earned several awards and recognitions. It won third place in the New York Business Plan Competition Finger Lakes Regional Contest, first place in NTID’s Next Big Idea competition, and was a finalist in the New York Young Entrepreneur Challenge.
Molecular Glasses Inc., founded by Michel Molaire, focuses on technology that converts materials to noncrystallizable and soluble molecular glasses— without affecting their original photo physical properties—for stable and long-lived organic light-emitting diodes and other organic electronics. According to Molaire, the materials will be used to manufacture large-sized televisions, smartphones, tablets and commercial-lighting modules.
The two Venture Creations companies will compete against three other finalists, selected from an applicant pool of 29.
“RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator is always proud when the companies we serve are successful,” said Richard Notargiacomo, incubator interim director. “By providing quality coaching, professional consulting and connections with industry professionals, Venture Creations creates an environment in which new businesses can develop and thrive. Cenify and Molecular Glasses are two examples of companies that are blossoming in Rochester’s innovation ecosystem.”
Venture Creations was created in 2003 to establish an environment in which new and technologically innovative businesses could develop from the research conducted or sponsored by RIT, translating academic research into commercially viable high technology. The incubator was designed to provide services to incubating companies, facilitating the design, development, construction and operation of these companies for the purpose of advancing the educational and research missions of the university through the enhancement of faculty, student and staff involvement in high technology. It was also created to promote economic development and competitiveness in Monroe County and New York State by encouraging and facilitating the transfer of technology resources to the marketplace. Thirty-one companies have graduated from the incubator and together have created 439 jobs.
The Rochester Venture Challenge is a collaborative effort among community organizations High Tech Rochester, Digital Rochester, The Entrepreneurs Network, Excell Partners, Nazareth College School of Management, RIT and University of Rochester.