When Rami Katz came to Rochester in 2001 to get an MBA, he never dreamed he would still be here almost 18 years later.
But the chief operating office of Excell Partners Inc., a venture capital fund affiliated with the University of Rochester, said he “fell in love with the region.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced a new $25 million venture capital fund aimed at high-tech startups in the Finger Lakes region.
The Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund (FLX Fund) will be managed by Excell Technology Ventures, an offshoot of Excell Partners, making early-stage investments ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million, according to an outline of the program.
The Governor today announced the establishment of the Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund (FLX Fund). The $25 million targeted investment fund will provide early-venture stage capital investments ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million for startup companies in key high-tech industries such as advanced manufacturing, life and material sciences, optics, photonics & imaging and others. The fund will be managed by Excell Technology Ventures, an offshoot of Excell Partners, and was a priority project identified to help increase access to capital for growing companies in the FLREDC’s Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative strategic plan.
The Rochester section of the American Chemical Society next week will honor a Rochester business owner with its 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Michel Franz Molaire founded Molecular Glasses Inc. in 2015, following nearly four decades at Eastman Kodak Co.’s research laboratories. While at Kodak, Molaire received 57 patents, the C.E.K. Mees Award for Excellence in Scientific Research and Reporting, induction into the Kodak Distinguished Inventors Gallery and selection as an African Scientific Institute Fellow.
A native of Haiti, Molaire in 2010 formed Molaire Consulting LLC, which focused on materials and formulations for high technology applications. In 2013, he identified a need for non-crystallizable organic light emitting diodes (OLED) materials that could be used in convenient and cost-effective solution-based manufacturing.
It was that discovery that led to Molaire’s Molecular Glasses enterprise, located at Eastman Business Park. Molecular Glasses recently was one of the 10 companies selected from roughly 100 competing companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe for participation in the 2018 Luminate-NY inaugural cohort, the world’s largest optics, photonics and imaging business accelerator.
Molaire will receive the ACS Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the section’s annual recognition dinner at Nazareth College of Rochester Oct. 2.
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Congratulations to American Fuel Cell (AFC), an Excell Portfolio Co. developing fuel cell membranes (MEAs) in Rochester NY, on its acquisition by Plug Power.
The acquisition is not only very positive for Excell who has led the only investment round in AFC 18 months ago, but it is also beneficial to Plug Power- whose shares rose by 4.4% upon announcing the deal in addition to strengthening its team through the addition of AFC’s management.
Further this acquisition will help bring in additional R&D and manufacturing jobs to the Rochester region and Eastman Business Park.
Please help spread the good news and join us in congratulating the AFC management team for their hard work and success.
NEXUS-NY portfolio company, Molecular Glasses, receives $100,000 investment; Selected for new Luminate NY Accelerator
Molecular Glasses was among ten photonics, imaging and optics companies chosen to participate in the inaugural Luminate NY accelerator program. Selected from over 100 applicants from around the world, Molecular Glasses will now receive a $100,000 investment to help commercialize its organic semiconductor technology.
Cerion Advanced Materials today announced a flexible, cost-effective synthesis process that yields uniform, high-purity ceria nanoparticle dispersions ideally suited for chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) slurries and other precision polishing applications.
The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has announced the winners of the 2017 EDspaces Innovation Awards. Vidget won the International Interior Design Furniture Innovation Design Award.
In October, Excell held an Open House in order to showcase their new office space inside Kodak Tower. We were pleased to welcome officials from the City, County and the State as well as our many friends in the professional and university communities across upstate including Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo.
Georgann Carrubba, Katie McGuire, and Theresa Mazzullo
Molecular Glasses, Inc. announced today that operations have expanded into larger laboratory and office space at Eastman Business Park. Additionally, the company has added critical team members to accelerate ongoing development and commercial activities.
“We continue to assemble a world class commercial and technical team,” notes Mike Molaire, CEO and Founder of Molecular Glasses. “We will be increasing market engagement activities in the immediate term and are staffing accordingly. We are also expanding our technical capabilities in material synthesis and purification, as well as our photophysical characterization capabilities.”
WROC TV interviews Chrystal Schlenker, Manager of Business Development at Viggi Corp., where she displays the Vidget Flexible Seating System. This new chair that allows children to move freely, and may make the days of teachers asking students to sit still in class become a thing of the past.
According to Viggi Corp. CEO,Sandra Turner, schools locally and across the country have purchased the Vidget — an inclusive, sensory, flexible seating system that comes in five sizes. She invented it as a student at Rochester Institute of Technology,
StrongArm Technologies’ Wearable Tech featured on PIX 11 News
The NEXUS-NY Clean Energy Accelerator has worked with dozens of emerging clean technologies – ranging from renewables and energy storage, to wind turbines – all of which have great potential. Excell Partners, Inc. is a seed stage venture fund that invests in emerging technology spinning out of Upstate NY universities and our regional communities. With a portfolio of nearly 50 companies and counting, Excell is playing an important role in accelerating the commercialization of game-changing new technologies, including cleantech.
Viggi was selected as a Finalist for the Digital Rochester GREAT Award – Technology Innovation Award category
Watch this 3-minute YouTube video spotlighting StrongArm Technologies: The High Tech Startup Keeping Blue Collar Workers Safe @ Forbes.
It features Founder/CEO Sean Petterson, 27, who designs Exoskeletons that help industrial workers do their jobs without injury.
BATAVIA — A Batavia medical device start-up has received a second entry into the 43North competition, which will award $5 million in funding, incubator space in Buffalo and mentoring for eight winners.
TenCar founder Georgann Carrubba, whose patented Choice Cap ostomy system is set to go to market in the fall, leads one of 134 semi-finalists announced by the state, and one of 18 from western New York.
NYS is ranked 2nd largest state for company count, deals closed and capital invested in 2016 and 3rd largest state for VC capital raised according to the 2017 National Venture Capital Association yearbook.
There is growing focus on women entrepreneurship in local communities and nationally. Excell is proud to be led by Theresa Mazzullo, our CEO and according to Columbia University, “women only make up approximately 5.7% of the decision makers in VC”. With 1/3 of our portfolio companies being MWBE certified we are able to be a part of this driving force to bring Women and Minorities into the VC space.
The Rochester Professional Consultants Network has announced its 2017 Entrepreneur Wall of Fame Award winners, honoring some of the region’s most successful consultants and their roles in impacting the economic development of the Rochester area.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award Mike Moliare, Molecular Glasses Inc.
When a new U.S. patent is your second-biggest announcement of the day, you’re probably in a good place. It’s all smiles (with healthy teeth, of course) lately at Stony Brook-based Traverse Biosciences, which on Tuesday announced a new patent and a material transfer agreement with what CEO Joseph Scaduto dubbed a top-10 global animal-health company essentially, an agreement to privately test flagship formula TRB-N0224 against a host of animal illnesses.
Splyce, an electronic sports franchise, has entered an agreement with Buffalo-based Delaware North Cos. Inc. The deal, announced Friday, allows Delaware North to expand its e-sports offerings, including holding e-sports events in the future. Delaware North is a global foodservice and hospitality company. It owns the NHL’s Boston Bruins, TD Garden and operates in the lodging, sporting, airport, gaming and entertainment industries.
Check out StrongArm’s latest YouTube video explaining the vision and how they are going to reduce work injuries for the ‘industrial athlete’.
This video will guide you through the steps to properly fit and use your FLx ErgoSkeleton (1 minute)
BATAVIA – With a $100,000 investment announced Monday, TenCar founder Georgann Carrubba says the Choice Cap ostomy prosthetic appliance will be in production later this year.
Excell Partners of Rochester and Launch NY of Buffalo each aided Carrubba as she turned an idea to give comfort and security to colostomy and ileostomy patients into a physical product.
Adarza BioSystems Inc., a Henrietta-based company, has raised $17 million in its Series C financing round, officials said Friday.
Efferent Labs, Inc., a developer of high-value medical technology and devices, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Prime Standard, ISIN: DE 000 566480 9, WKN 566480) for the continued development of Efferent’s CytoComm Living Biosensor System.
Under the agreement, Efferent will work with Evotec to further develop and validate the CytoComm Living Biosensor System.
After nearly four years, IMSWorkX has found its footing. The software company, which provides phone carriers with a platform to deploy voicemail, as well as call routing solutions, conferencing controls and more, has experienced a lot of growth in the past year.
High tech devices that help veterans take their medicine have been donated to the VA Medical Center in Canandaigua. Medacube uses robotic technology to let patients know when it’s time to take their meds. “One of the biggest reasons people end up in the hospital is they don’t take their medication as they’re supposed to,” said Bradley Hardaway, Support Manager at Pharmadva. “It’s not necessarily because they don’t want to, they just cant remember.”
The global photonics market is estimated to be worth nearly $700 billion. That’s why investors and businesses are taking another look at New York’s Finger Lakes region. (Click to watch video)
Excell’s Senior Investment Manager, Alan Lee, lectures at Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in China, in Collaboration with TechBridge.
Paul Cypher’s a-ha moment came while working as the executive director of the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
He helped found afterschool and preschool programs at the neighboring charter school, which worked closely with the museum.
Through those programs, I realized there was a great need for a flexible, low-cost, high-quality training system that let people meet their certifications regarding teaching and childcare said Cypher, now a Pittsford resident.
Excell Partners was a leader in providing $500,000 in convertible debt financing to support operations and advance product development efforts for Traverse Biosciences, officials announced Wednesday.
ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–3M Personal Safety Division announces that StrongArm Technologies ErgoSkeleton personal performance equipment will now be available for purchase through 3M’s distribution channels within the United States.
StrongArm’s ErgoSkeleton line includes the V22 ErgoSkeleton and the FLx ErgoSkeleton, designed to help protect industrial workers from back injuries.
Nathan Benson, WGRZ, Buffalo Channel 2 News, interviews Bill Rader, President/CEO, and Dr. Spencer Rosero, CMO, of Efferent Labs, who describe how they are using an implantable sensor to gain access to real-time information inside a body to aid cancer treatment.
Online instructional programs are increasingly taking the place of traditional educational methods as businesses seek to cut their training costs….CypherWorx Inc. also includes gamified courses in its catalog. The Fairport firm, which uses only online courses for instruction, helps train child care workers, zoo employees and others in the skills they need to function on the job.
LONDON, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — ONEm is pleased to announce its partnership with Lexifone that will allow Mobile Operators to provide their subscribers with Lexifone’s automatic, in-call translation services.
Bea Arthur founded and serves as the CEO of In Your Corner, a tele-health platform that counts firms such as Excell Partners and Startup Labs among its investors. She also was the first African American woman to be accepted into the Y Combinator accelerator program, which her company graduated from in summer 2014.
MONTEREY, Calif., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, awarded five FLEXI Awards in the categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, in a category new this year, Industry Leadership….
The first FLEXI Award for Innovation was awarded to Sensor Films Inc. (SFI), for their Starlight Digital Manufacturing Platform, which enables a modular approach to flexible and hybrid electronic manufacturing with large area deposition of functional and decorative materials on cut-sheet, flexible, porous or rigid substrates and is scalable to roll to roll production. Peter Hessney, SFI’s president noted, “We are truly grateful to be recognized by the FlexTech Alliance as the 2016 FLEXI Innovation Award winner. The award represents everything we at SFI having been working towards in bringing an additive manufacturing prototyping and production system to the emerging market of functional printing.”
The Department of Defense is relying on a local firm to make bullets denser. Cerion Technology Inc. has teamed up with the Defense Department under the U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology Program to develop tungsten carbide nanoparticles for ammunition.
The team that brought us sticky notes and scotch tape has poured millions of dollars into a young company started by two Rochester Institute of Technology graduates. 3M has invested in StrongArm Technologies, a company with Rochester roots that moved to New York City.
Schumer Pushed To Increase Funding In FY16 Omnibus Bill For U.S. Army Manufacturing Technology Program To Create Nanomaterial For Next-Generation Army Ammunition. Program Will Enable Cerion to Create New Nanomaterial R&D And Production Capability At Eastman Business Park, Supporting Troops And Local Jobs
Study results released Wednesday by the faculty at St. John Fisher College’s Wegmans School of Nursing could lead to a breakthrough in the care of those who forget to take their medication, officials said.
MedaCube, a system that includes an automated dispenser for medication, is a product of PharmAdva LLC. Early results from the study show the dispenser significantly improves medication adherence rates in previously non-adherent patients.
e2e Materials is now introducing a new way to fabricate bent plywood using soy skins adhesive film. Soy skins are films of e2e Materials patented soy resin system that are dry and easy to handle at room temperature but readily bond to wood veneers and similar materials when heat and pressure are applied. The soy skins replace the wet glue normally used and are completely free of formaldehyde, red list chemicals, and all petroleum-based products. Click to see this 1 ½ minute video of the process.
A small company started by a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester has moved closer to providing doctors with what he says is a simple, computer-based tool to help detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Cerebral Assessment Systems has received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Cognivue, a cognitive-assessment tool that functions somewhat like a video game. A patient can perform the inexpensive and simple test while a time-strapped primary-care physician tends to other patients. The 10-minute, non-invasive examination can detect subtle lapses in the brain’s perceptual ability that may signal the early stages of mental decline caused by dementia.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State is launching a $2 million MWBE Investment Fund to provide seed financing to certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises. The launch of this first-of-its-kind investment fund will help further increase opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses in New York and help this vitally important part of this state’s economy grow, Governor Cuomo said. Under this administration, great strides have been made to support these businesses and encourage diversity in the private sector, and this new fund will go a long way toward making those gains permanent and building a brighter future for New York. This fund will be managed by Rochester-based Excell Partners.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a $2 million MWBE Investment Fund to provide seed financing to certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE). Rochester-based venture capital firm Excell Partners will manage the fund, targeting its investments to high-tech MWBE start-up companies with significant growth potential in New York State.
Theresa Mazzullo, CEO of Excell Partners, said that Albany, New York is not singular in its struggle to find capital for startups. The problem, she said, spans across all of upstate New York.
HENRIETTA – Women who get the dreaded phone call after a mammogram, summoning them back for more images, could have an alternative to the pain and anxiety of the repeat process. A new imaging system developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center that uses 3-D technology that gives a more precise view of breast tissue without compressing the breast has been cleared for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration, the university announced Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved a University of Rochester Medical Center spinoff’s new breast imaging systems, URMC officials said Wednesday. URMC researcher Ruola Ning invented the breast imaging system and heads Koning Corp., the spinoff company that plans to produce and market the Koning Breast CT system.
Nearly 7,000 companies from all over the world submitted applications for the 43North business competition, vying for $5 million in cash prizes. But in the end, the local team carried the day.
PharmAdva, a medical device manufacturer, has been approved to participate in the START-UP NY economic development program. The company will locate in High Tech Rochester’s (HTR) Lennox Tech Enterprise Center in Henrietta. ‘I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature for their vision in creating this initiative which will help our region attract new and grow existing companies, create new jobs, enhance technology commercialization, and revitalize the Upstate economy’ said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester. PharmAdva is just the first of many companies that will be able to accelerate their commercialization and job creation goals under the START-UP NY program.
A University of Rochester Medical Center spinoff is one of 17 businesses across the state participating in the new initiative creating tax-free areas around colleges and universities. PharmAdva LLC, a company launching a medication adherence system designed to extend the independence of elderly patients, is expected to create 132 net new jobs and invest $1.8 million in the region.
Cerion LLC plans to add 60 to 80 jobs over the next two years to Eastman Business Park. The growth reflects an effort to support the growing firm and to revitalize the park as a hub for advanced materials manufacturing.
You use LinkedIn to find a job, Twitter to spread the news, and Facebook to connect with friends, but where can you post about and find volunteer work in today’s social networking era? From Ithaca, New York, GiveGab has set out to increase volunteering worldwide by developing software and a social network that helps nonprofits, communities, and volunteers manage and promote their efforts. Beyond providing a listing of opportunities like Volunteermatch.org or LinkedIn’s volunteering site, GiveGab offers a social space, where people and organizations can connect and share.
Charlie Mulligan is the founder and CEO of GiveGab.com, the social network for volunteers. Entrepreneurship has always been a part of Charlie’s life. His father left a great job and started Mulligan Printing when Charlie was only 6 years old. Starting in their family’s living room, Charlie could see first hand that building a great company is possible with effort, perseverance, and the willingness to ask for help.
Bea Arthur, Pretty Padded Room Arthur’s UberX for therapists seems like an idea whose time has come. With the rest of our everyday needs sourced on-demand through the Internet, Arthur thought, why shouldn’t talk therapy be too? Arthur left her job as a domestic violence counselor to start Pretty Padded Room in 2010.
Excell is a proud organizer of Start up Weekend Rochester! The purpose of this symposium is to shine a light on the exciting research taking place in Upstate New York in the health sciences. Learn about the advances and progress going on in cancer biology and neurobiology from researchers at Cornell University and University of Rochester. Join us for a day of speakers, followed by a poster and networking session that will also highlight technologies in the life sciences.
CypherWorx Inc. sees a world of potential in zoos and museums. The Fairport-based e-learning company is seeking to grow through its training programs offered to professionals, and its executives predict nearly tenfold growth within the next five years.
“Startup Insider,” a new online video show, aims to strengthen Rochester’s entrepreneurial climate by linking entrepreneurs with local experts to help startups succeed. The need to support and educate local entrepreneurs led members of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Work Group of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to the idea of an accessible online show.
“Our scientists have developed a process to make cerium oxide and other nanoparticles at a size and consistency that no one can match,” Landon Mertz, who is CEO of Cerion says. “And not only can we make these amazing compounds on the lab bench,
Excell Partners Inc. awarded $10,000 to a new business startup called Ovitz at the conclusion of High Tech Rochester’s annual Pre-Seed Workshop. For the past 10 years, HTR Pre-Seed Workshop has provided inventors, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals with resources to assess their market opportunities and identify steps needed to create a new business around their technology innovation. On Friday, at the conclusion of this year’s workshop, Ovitz, a University of Rochester-based team working with technology developed at the Flaum Eye Institute, was awarded the Excell Partners presented its Excell Challenge Award of $10,000. One of 13 participating teams, Ovitz is working on commercializing a portable eye diagnosis instrument that is smaller, cheaper and more accurate than existing devices and is especially suited for use with children.
A Rochester, NY venture capital fund made its first investment in an Albany-area tech company, and it won’t be the last. Excell Partners provided $150,000 to MICROrganic Technologies, a start-up near Troy, NY that works to convert chemical energy from wastewater treatment systems into electrical energy. Brent Solina, a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, founded the company in 2010. MICROrganic set up shop in the basement of Schodack middle school earlier this year. Rami Katz, chief operating officer for Excell, said he is interested in working with more companies in the Capital Region because of the area’s strengths in biotechnology and nanotechnology.
“About 40 percent of our technologies are life sciences and biotechnology,” Katz said. “Another 30 percent is in materials science and energy-related. It all has to be high-tech, and we look at strength across upstate New York.”
Excell has invested in more than 40 companies, with an average investment of $200,000. Excell provides funding for about 10 companies per year. The fund currently supports businesses in Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester and Syracuse. Katz said Albany is an important addition to the organization’s footprint. “In Albany, there are a lot of resources and it is an inexpensive area to do business and grow a start-up,” he said. “We are hoping that this investment is the first among many.”
I asked Katz if Excell has its eyes set on any particular start-ups in the Albany area. He said the fund is in discussions with a couple of other companies located in the region. “We are hoping some deals will be not too far around the corner,” Katz said. “Albany is a very good place to do business.” Viccaro covers state government and technology
Excell Partners Inc. has invested $50,000 in Microrganic Technologies Inc., and plans to place at least $100,000 more, company officials said. Microrganic, based in Albany, was founded in 2010. Its mission is delivering sustainable, organic waste-to-energy products through its microbial fuel-cell technology for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment, officials said.
The technology converts chemical energy in billions of gallons of wastewater to electrical energy while aerating the liquid, officials said. “Microrganic solves a big problem in waste treatment and offers a great opportunity to both help the environment and create a promising business,” said Rami Katz, Excell chief operating officer, in a statement.
Excell Partners, formed in partnership with the University of Rochester and the State of New York, is a venture capital fund based at Eastman Business Park. Its investment strategy is focused on technology companies, including biotechnology, energy, agro-technology and information technology/software..
There are two key ingredients to the success of a high-tech startup: Sufficient capital and intellectual property safeguards. But getting a patent can be expensive – easily $10,000 to $50,000 or more- making the need for capital even more important as entrepreneurs budget for other expenses too. So, unlike a large established company with its own legal staff and lots of experience maintaining an intellectual property portfolio, startups need a well thought out plan for IP legal services.
Although not as enthusiastic about taking startups as new clients, local experts say law firms in the Rochester area offer adequate IP services. Attorneys here recognize the financial limitations of new ventures and are willing to work within those limitations, often with the expectation that getting in on the ground floor can mean a lucrative business relationship down the road.
Social network for volunteers GiveGab has debuted a new suite of tools to help organizations manage all their volunteer activities. The Ithaca, New York-based company also says it has closed $1.6 million in funding.
GiveGab connects aspiring volunteers with positions that match their skills and interests. It has worked with more than 1,500 nonprofits and nearly 200 colleges and universities to post volunteer opportunities. Its new premium services suite gives these organizations tools for building online profiles, promoting events, programs, and opportunities, creating reporting on volunteer activity, and measuring progress. They can quantify their programs and gain greater insight into why certain programs are popular and how much of an impact the volunteers are having.
Excell Partners Inc. in Rochester tied for 20th on a trade publication list of the most active seed-stage investors in the first six months of this year. Excell Partners, with five deals, tied with 10 other seed and angel investment firms, rankings compiled by Pitchbook Data Inc. show. “We believe the entrepreneurial climate in Upstate New York is on the rise,” said Excell Partners CEO Theresa Mazzullo in a statement. “We see increasing opportunities for start-up companies to attract more venture capital to this region.”
Excell Partners is an affiliate of the University of Rochester, and one of seven participants in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Innovate New York Fund. It is a $45 million seed-stage equity fund that invests in high-technology, high-growth companies. It is supported with state funding of $35 million and $10 million from Goldman Sachs.
Seattle-based PitchBook is a research firm for private equity and venture capital.
Graphene Devices Ltd. won first place in the 2013 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest. The winner was announced Thursday at the Fifth annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon Hyatt Regency Rochester. Some 300 people attended.
Excell Partners Inc. and the Cayuga Venture Fund have invested in StormBlok Systems Inc., a Wayne County business that helps protect manufactured homes from hurricane damage, officials announced Wednesday. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. The standard range is $150,000 to $250,000, Excell Partners said. Excell Partners is based in Rochester. The Cayuga Venture Fund is based in Ithaca.
StormBlok, formed in 1999, serves the southern United States and coastal markets. It has invented a patented system to protect physical assets exposed to hurricanes, Excell Partners said in a statement. “StormBlok is very excited about this newly created partnership with Cayuga Venture Fund and Excell Partners,” StormBlok’s President and CEO Parr Wiegel said in a statement. “We are now ready to move the Stormblok concept forward and begin outreach to the areas of the country that are in great need of an economical, easy-to-install solution for both residential and commercial hurricane and storm protection.”
The product consists of an aluminum and Fiberglass frame stretched with high-strength fabric that anchors onto a wall structure, officials said. It reduces wind loads by as much as 90 percent and creates a water-resistant impact barrier away from the object, officials said. “With this combination of technology and management, StormBlok is positioned to grow and bring manufacturing jobs to the upstate region,” Excell’s chief operating officer Rami Katz said in the statement.
StormBlok Systems Inc. is raising $1 million to begin selling a system that protects windows, ATMs, gas pumps and other sensitive structures from hurricane damage. Cayuga Venture Fund and Excell Partners have committed to the Series A round, which has raised nearly $700,000 so far. The funding will enable the company to start selling its pyramid-shaped covers, which attach to mounted anchors to cover a fragile structure during a storm. The pyramid shape deflects wind, and the metal frame provides a barrier and shock absorber against objects caught up in heavy winds.
StormBlok’s system is available for commercial or residential use. A typical system to protect an ATM could cost around $700 to $850, according to founder and Chief Executive J. Parr Wiegel. The company says its system will save users money in the long run over plywood boards by providing better protection and reducing weather-insurance premiums. The company, based in Palmyra, N.Y., has finalized reseller and installation partnerships with companies to reach the widest possible customer base, and it’s close to signing additional partnerships. Mr. Wiegel wouldn’t name the corporate partners.
StormBlok, founded in 1999, originally developed its system to protect mobile homes in hurricanes. However, the company realized the cost of entry for customers was too high, Mr. Wiegel said, so about six years ago the company began altering its product line to focus on signs, ATMs and gas pumps. The company is now ready to launch sales. Mr. Wiegel said he’ll head to Florida shortly to pitch the systems directly to credit unions and banks to protect their ATMs. The Series A round, which Mr. Wiegel said could wrap up as early as next month, was the first new investment from Cayuga’s fourth investment fund, according to Managing Partner Zachary Shulman. He declined to disclose the company’s valuation, but he said it was commensurate with upstate New York’s valuations, which he said are more “rational” than in New York City. Cayuga is raising its fourth fund, which has commitments of about $23 million and could reach $30 million to $50 million within the next six months, Mr. Shulman said. http://www.stormblok.com.
Write to Christopher Zinsli at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @zinsli
Excell Partners Inc. has provided investment capital to Graphene Devices Ltd., a material science company at Eastman Business Park, officials announced Monday. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Graphene Devices develops proprietary capabilities for managing graphene surface chemistries, which will improve performance in printed electronics, energy storage devices, advanced composites and anticorrosive coatings, officials said.
Graphene Devices also has received funding from federal and state agencies.
“These investments validate the market potential of this technology and provide value-added support to Excell’s investment,” Excell CEO Theresa Mazzullo said in a statement. “We are also pleased to have this company co-located with Excell on the Eastman Business Park campus where material science technologies have access to the very best tools and expertise to accelerate the company’s growth.”
Graphene Devices was founded in 2009.
A non-profit business development program sponsored by the University of Rochester has received $2.5 million from Empire State Development Corp. Excell Partners LLC received the award as part of a $25 million investment by Empire State Development to investment fund entities statewide. The money came from the federally funded Innovate NY program. Excell Partners is a non-profit UR affiliate founded in 2005 by Empire State Development with matching funds from UR and Excell’s board of directors.
The organization will use the funding to invest in seed stage businesses focused on life sciences, energy and software and consumer products throughout Upstate New York, organization officials said.
LOS ANGELES — Heart disease kills more people than any other disease in the U.S. But a new type of technology could help turn those numbers around. An implantable heart monitor helps patients take control of their health. This new technology gives doctors an “inside” look into a patient’s heart and how well they are doing. And it could help millions of heart patients live better, more productive lives. Rodney Clarke already has a pacemaker, defibrillator and an aortic valve implant. Now he’s one of the first heart-disease patients to get a new implanted monitor.
“It’s given me the availability of being able to have some of the quality of my life back,” said Clarke. “It’s actually one of the latest technology advances that allows us to move to what we call ‘personalized medicine,'” said Dr. Spencer Rosero, director of the Pacemaker Clinic, University of Rochester.