Rev: Ithaca Startup Works hosted its monthly Networking Night last Thursday, February 1, focused on the theme of hardware.
At Rev, we use the term “Hardware” to describe products and systems that integrate sensors, controllers, microcomputers, cloud connectivity and often big data–sometimes referred to as the “Internet of Things.”
Hardware innovators presented their pitches in front of an engaged audience of fellow businesspeople, potential investors, and friends from Cornell Women in Computing, the Ithaca College Emerging Media program, and Ithaca Generator members:
- Dan Banach served as the keynote presenter and showcased cutting-edge tools from Autodesk, a firm that develops software specifically tailored to product design in the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, and entertainment industries.
- Jason Guss, a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell, pitched his company, OrthoFit, which makes a smart glove that can monitor and track the position, grip force, and vibration of your hand—data that can help you avoid repetitive motion injuries. OrthoFit was a graduate of the eLab program at Cornell and Rev’s Hardware Accelerator (take note- applications for Rev’s Hardware Accelerator this year are due March 1st).
- Michael Eaton, Cornell Mechanical Engineering student, class of 2018, discussed Iko Systems, the company he co-founded with two fellow Cornell undergraduate engineers. Iko Systems produces a smart herb garden, featuring an isolated, hydroponic method designed to allow for the cultivation of high-quality herbs indoors. The product was first prototyped at Rev’s Hardware Accelerator and further evolved through Cornell’s eLab program.
- Caitlin Parrucci, the CEO and Founder of Stablesense, and another alum of Cornell Engineering ’16, Rev’s Hardware Accelerator, and Cornell’s eLab, pitched her company’s chief product: a cloud connected device that monitors water intake, analyzes a horse’s normal drinking behavior, and sends alerts when it detects that there might be a serious problem with the horse, contributing to increased wellness.
- Kevin O’Brien, a PhD candidate in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Cornell ‘19, detailed his new invention: a soft, prosthetic robot hand that uses stretchable optical waveguides to detect shape and softness.
- Last but not least, our very own Ken Rother, Director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works and its Hardware Accelerator, , presented on YACC1, an educational tool to enable eager minds to learn how to build a computer CPU unit.
Who is a STEM Entrepreneur?
Xanthe Matychak, the Assistant Director of the Rev Hardware Accelerator, rounded off the event, and encouraged the audience to expand their definition of what a STEM entrepreneur looks like, “Why is this important? Because STEM Entrepreneurs solve important problems and we can’t have large chunks of the population sitting on the sidelines of that problem solving.” She argued that, with the right idea, hard work, and the proper mentorship, anyone can succeed.
Upcoming Network Nights
Rev Networking Nights—held monthly in our downtown incubator space—are free, open to the entire community, and offer local entrepreneurs the chance to make new connections while enjoying delicious local food and drink.
Applications for Rev’s Hardware Accelerator this summer are due March 1st.