Local businessman and entrepreneur Bernard Kozel was known for having as much passion for helping others develop their businesses as he did for developing his own. Kozel’s dedication to supporting his partners, employees, and entrepreneurs in creating success is the inspiration behind several gifts to RIT.
On June 16, five business technology start-up companies graduated from RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator with a commitment to continuing to engage local and regional suppliers, expand labor forces locally and nationally, and impact the regional economy.
Circle Optics, a member company of RIT’s Venture Creations technology business incubator, has earned two significant investments totaling $800,000 to further advance its panoramic imaging technology. As a result, the company enters the second quarter with $2.5 million in total contract awards.
Two member companies at RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator are continuing their upward trajectory with the help of two multimillion-dollar investments: Casana, a healthcare technology firm that is reinventing in-home health monitoring, and Owl Autonomous Imaging (Owl AI), which is developing monocular 3D thermal imaging and ranging solutions for automotive active safety systems.
RIT is contributing to Rochester’s revitalization efforts in a significant way, bringing a creative energy and economic development acumen translating into important arts, cultural, educational, and economic opportunities for the city.
RIT Venture Creations client company Circle Optics was awarded a $500,000 investment from the GENIUS NY accelerator competition. The year-long GENIUS NY program is the world’s largest business competition focused on unmanned systems, cross-connected platforms and other technology-based sectors.
Entrepreneurship expert Johan Klarin comes to Venture Creations from Columbia University, where he served as manager of the NYSERDA-funded Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, assisting clean-tech startups in New York state. Prior to that, he was managing director of Viaduct Inc., a consulting company focused on Western New York startups.
Circle Optics was one among 600 applicants that rose to the top five for the program, which will come with an investment of $500,000 to $1 million to help advance the enterprise. Circle Optics is a deep-tech R&D company specializing in wide field-of-view imaging systems, also known as 360-degree cameras.