Category Archives: Campus Events

RIT/NTID Student Entrepreneurs, Hz Innovations, Are Part of RIT’s Saunders Summer Startup Program

Photo by: Keith Delk

Imagine secure software for cybercrime prevention, equipment with real-time feedback for weightlifters, a sound-recognition device for homeowners with hearing loss, or portable technology that brews Brazilian coffee and hot beverages on the go.

These are some of the jumpstart ventures at Saunders Summer Startup, a small-business launchpad at Rochester Institute of Technology where young innovators with bright ideas form interdisciplinary teams to start real companies. The 10-week crash course is sponsored by Saunders College of Business and the Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

During the summer program, each of the eight startups below is offered a stipend, working space at the Simone Center, and receives support from RIT faculty, assigned mentors and community business leaders.

  • CASCADES: Acronym for Cyber Attack Scenario and Network Defense Simulator that streamlines the process of preventing cybercrime
  • Happy2c: A program to help people learn a new language from teachers and native speakers at a lower cost and at their own pace using a smartphone, tablet or computer
  • Hz Innovations: A sound recognition system to aid those with hearing loss that notifies the owner of a sound (doorbell, a child’s cry, alarm) through their software application on their smartphone, wearable device or laptop
  • LiftForce: Smart fitness sensor technology for gyms to provide weightlifters with real-time feedback that they can track, store and communicate to other lifters
  • Myspiderweb.com: A simplified tool for businesses to create and manage their social media content across multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • SpynAlign: A postural control device for stroke patient rehabilitation that works by placing a smartphone on a specially designed vest worn by the patient that signals and alerts them when they need to align and correct their posture
  • UNA: A sustainable, smart and portable coffee maker that will allow users to brew their own coffee or tea on-the-go without any external power supply—complete with a coffee pod that delivers high quality Brazilian coffee beans
  • Wyvrn: The next generation of PawPrints, RIT’s website platform for students to create petitions for change; the education technology company is expanding their services to campuses across the U.S. to revolutionize the way student governments are run.

“Summer Startup is the most intensive entrepreneurial experience that we offer at RIT,” said Richard DeMartino, endowed chair and director of the Simone Center. “It’s both educational and developmental, and some of these businesses will actually become high growth businesses. In the past, we’ve had a couple that have raised a half million and a million dollars, and more.”

RIT Announces Investments in Magic Spell Studios

Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to RIT to announce that the state will contribute $12 million toward construction of MAGIC Spell Studios, adding to $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems for the project.

Rochester Institute of Technology is at the epicenter of a public-private partnership that could catapult the region as a leader in the rapidly growing digital media industry. The college announced $12 million in funding from New York state, $3 million from Dell and $12.4 million from Cisco Systems Inc. that will be used to grow MAGIC Spell Studios, a university program that will link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, graphic design and imaging sciences projects. That money will be added to the $1.5 million RIT has already received through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which named MAGIC Spell Studios as a priority project. More.

RIT/NTID inducts students into new Epsilon Pi Tau national honor society

Nineteen students and eight faculty members from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were recently inducted into the college’s first national honor society, Epsilon Pi Tau.

Nineteen students and eight faculty members from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf were recently inducted into the college’s first national honor society, Epsilon Pi Tau. This is the first EPT chapter in the nation dedicated to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Newly inducted students, listed by major, are:

  • Computer integrated machining technology— Mohamed Ali (Lackawanna, N.Y.); Jonathan Cabrera (Lynn, Mass.); Keith Cahalane (Lindenhurst, N.Y.); Zachary Gery (North Wales, Pa.); Ivan Gonzalez (Louisville, Ky.); Johnny Rodriguez (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Rachel Viacava (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Art and imaging studies— Ashley Barone (Slatington, Pa.); Brittney Caldwell (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Business—Emily Berlin (Greenburg, Pa.); Mason Chronister (Red Lion, Pa.); Timothy Fitzgerald (Washington Crossing, Pa.); John Huang (Brooklyn, N.Y.); LaShonda Williams (Greenville, N.C.)
  • Applied computer technology— Timothy Bernardo (Norfolk, Va.); Mathew Mills (Gaithersburg, Md.)
  • Laboratory science technology—Elder Berroa (Hazleton, Pa.); Christine Kim (Centreville, Va.); Macie King (Columbia, Miss.)

Faculty inductees are: Gary Behm (engineering studies); Karen Beiter (information and computing studies); Bonnie Jacob (science and mathematics); Donna Lange (information and computing studies); Dino Laury (engineering studies); Elissa Olsen (information and computing studies); Mellissa Youngman (business studies); and Andrea Zuchegno (visual communication studies).

Stephen Aldersley, NTID’s associate vice president for academic affairs noted that, “Epsilon Pi Tau’s goals of promoting academic excellence and professional contributions to the advance of technology are a perfect fit for NTID. At RIT’s recent graduation ceremony, several of the inductees proudly sported the society’s blue, white and gold ribbon as they received their degrees. Membership in the society will be a significant addition to their résumés and I am confident that future students, aspiring also to become members, will strive to achieve commensurate academic success.”

Epsilon Pi Tau, the international honor society for professions in technology, was founded in 1928 as a Greek letter fraternity to recognize leaders and potential leaders in industrial arts and industrial vocational education. Today, Epsilon Pi Tau recognizes academic excellence of students in fields devoted to the study of technology and the preparation of practitioners for the technology professions. Epsilon Pi Tau also extends the honor of membership and advancement activities to outstanding practitioners in the technology professions, scholars with exemplary research interests in technology in society and/or persons who have significantly supported or advanced technology professions.

Competition Winners Announced

Competition Winners Announced

Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has announced the winners of the annual Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students. The contest, in its ninth year, resulted in dozens of entries in interactive media, graphic media, photo imaging, Web page design, film and 3D animation.

The winners of each category, receiving a $250 prize, are:
            Film: Paola Almonte of Chelsea, Mass., a student at Boston Arts Academy, for The Good Boys.
            Graphic Media: Heather Afriyie of Lorton, Va., a student at Woodson High School, for Fire on my Face!
            Photo Imaging: Tiffany M. Robertson of Sadieville, Ky., a student at Elkhorn Crossing School, for A Cowgirl’s Wedding.
            3D Animation: David Katter of Indianapolis, Ind., a student at Indiana School for the Deaf, for “Mutual Destruction.”
The runners-up were:
            Film: Jackson Callahan of Olathe, Kan., a student at Olathe South High School, for Football.
            Graphic Media: Heather Afriyie of Lorton, Va., a student at Woodson High School, for My Dear Tree.
            Photo Imaging: Calyssa Yepez of Riverside, Calif., a student at California School for the Deaf-Riverside, for “Leaf with Eye.”

The winning entries may be seen at www.rit.edu/ntid/dafac/.

Winners of the SpiRIT Writing Contest were Alexandra Creech of Bloomington, Ind., a 10th grader at Indiana Connections Academy; Jacob Custer of Lincoln, Neb., a 10th grader at Lincoln Southeast High School; Cooper Graves of Morrow, Ohio, an 11th grader at Moeller High School, for “Eco-Architecture: Next Big Thing?”; and Gracie Kelleher of Quincy, Fla., an 11th grader at Robert F. Munroe Day School, for “The Maya Angelou Effect: A Legend that Lives Past the Grave.”

Writing contest winners receive their choice of $500 or a spot at NTID’s Explore Your Future summer camp.