From algae-based renewable energy to a restaurant point-of-sale app, new incubator clients are developing or marketing a range of technologies
The University at Buffalo's business incubators welcomed seven new tenants in 2012, including companies working in Western New York's biomedical, energy, materials and high-tech sectors.
The UB incubator program includes two facilities: the UB Technology Incubator, which opened in 1988 at Baird Research Park on Sweet Home Road in Amherst, and the UB Biosciences Incubator, which opened this year in UB's new Clinical and Translational Research Center at Goodrich and Ellicott streets in downtown Buffalo. UB's Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach operates both of the university incubators.
"We looked at several other locations, but the incubator had the advantage of having laboratory facilities and proximity to UB," said Jim Maloney, vice president of Helios-NRG, a company that joined the UB Technology Incubator in May. "The affiliation with UB is a big advantage for us, because it facilitates collaboration with faculty and lets us explore how graduate students and other UB personnel might be able to support our work."
UB incubator clients typically have a strategic relationship with the university and are starting a scalable, technology-based business. Clients accepted into an incubator program pay market rates to rent space, but receive a range of services intended to assist their growth. These services include mentoring; introductions to a wide variety of business professionals; seminars and workshops on business topics; and assistance applying for grants and seeking investment capital.
Five new incubator clients moved into the UB Technology Incubator this year, and two into the UB Biosciences Incubator. In addition, one company previously located in the UB Technology Incubator relocated to the UB Biosciences Incubator.
"We are excited about the new companies in our incubator family and our opportunities to help them build successful businesses," said Woody Maggard, associate vice provost and director of UB's incubator program. "We are also thrilled with our graduates and wish them every success as they contribute to fulfilling their own goals and contributing to the economy of Western New York."
Incubator clients who moved into the UB Technology Incubator in 2012 include:
Cloud62, a services and consulting firm that helps companies implement Salesforce.com's customer relationship management software. This software enables businesses to improve sales, manage marketing campaigns and support customers following sales. Cloud62 helps clients through implementation of best practices, helping to ensure that Salesforce.com users receive maximum return on their investment.
Helios-NRG, a technology development and consulting firm with expertise in industrial gases, gas separations and clean energy. Among other projects, the company is developing a step-change algae technology for biofuels and water remediation, and a novel gas separation membrane technology.
OptoElectronic Nanodevices, a startup that develops and commercializes novel optoelectronic nanomaterials to enhance the efficiency of devices such as solar cells and photodetectors. The firm was founded by UB professors with expertise in photonics, nanoelectronics and materials science.
Refulgent Software, a high-tech company that develops and sells Ambur, a point-of-sale app for the hospitality and restaurant industries. The app saves waiters time by enabling them to take orders, send requests to the kitchen and process credit cards using an iPad, iPod or iPhone.
UFC Biotechnology, a global provider of life sciences products. UFC Biotechnology focuses on synthesizing high-value molecules used in the life sciences, and hopes to establish partnerships conducting custom synthesis for local companies.
Website: http://www.ufcbiochem.com (coming soon).
Incubator clients who moved into the UB Biosciences Incubator in 2012 include:
AccuTheranostics, a company that aims to help cancer patients personalize their treatment by identifying which chemotherapy treatments will likely be effective. To achieve this goal, the company tests different chemotherapy combinations on cells biopsied from patients' tumors prior to the start of chemotherapy. AccuTheranostics is not a new incubator client; the company was in the UB Technology Incubator before moving into the UB Biosciences Incubator this summer.
AndroBioSys, a biomedical firm that specializes in advanced detection, diagnostic imaging and therapeutics for early prostate cancer. Two Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers founded the company.
Ceno Technologies, a materials science firm that develops novel materials for use by the automotive, manufacturing, military and other industries, along with functional materials on the nano and micron scales that can be used for targeted drug delivery systems, imaging and nanotherapeutics. Ceno Technologies is based at the Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, but has moved its bio division to the UB Biosciences Incubator.
Besides welcoming seven new tenants, the UB incubator program graduated five companies in 2012: BridgeComposites, GSELearning, Ladybug Teknologies, TPF Enterprises and Trek.
To learn about business incubation at UB, visit http://www.research.buffalo.edu/stor/incubator/.