Griffiss Institute is pleased to announce the eight startup teams of the next AFRL Commercialization Academy cohort. The companies, which are developing innovations in the cyber security, big data analytics, information systems, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, were selected from an ambitious pool of applicant submissions.

The eight startup teams joining the Spring 2020 cohort are as follows:

Atolla Surveillance – Rockville Centre, NY

Atolla Surveillance is developing a sensor system for the counter-surveillance of micro air vehicles (MAVs) that would otherwise be undetectable.


BloomOptix – Rochester, NY

BloomOptix is focused on providing innovative, high-resolution, accurate and timely, early harmful algal blooms (HABs) detection and future forecasting services, through the collection of data using unmanned aerial and surface vehicles.


Future Skills USA™ – Utica, NY

Future Skills USA™ is a Homeland Defense & National Security social enterprise focused on the economic development and workforce development of the Mohawk Valley, and security and sustainability of U.S. commercial and military enterprises, as well as global and national information infrastructures.


Imagine Aerial – Manlius, NY

Imagine Aerial is developing and deploying UAS and data innovations that revolutionize project delivery in building construction and maintenance, infrastructure, sports and public safety.


Name Pending – Oneida, NY

This company [Name Pending] is developing an online privacy and anonymity service through the use of artificial intelligence and cloud computing.


OMADA Group – Long Beach, NY

OMADA is a training organization which also partners with additional companies in the UAV space to provide consolidated programs to law enforcement, fire services, emergency services, etc.


Seven Points – Utica, NY

Seven Points is a data-specific SaaS company focusing on human-centered design for municipalities, small businesses and nonprofits.


Vistex Composites – Schenectady, NY

Vistex Composites is a manufacturing innovation company that has developed disruptive technology for the manufacturing of advanced thermoset and thermoplastic composite products.


During the cohort, the teams will be incubated and educated while building their startups around Department of Defense (DoD) Intellectual Property (IP) from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in cooperation with the other AFRL Partnership Intermediaries around the Nation.

“The Spring 2020 cohort is an impassioned group of startups with many creative ideas that can positively impact Central New York and the entire country,” says AFRL Commercialization Academy program manager Dan Fayette. “I look forward to watching their progress through the Commercialization Academy as they gather valuable information to help their businesses prosper and thrive. I wish the best of luck to all, as they strive to make the cut and compete at Demo Day for IDEA NY prize money.”

Beginning this month, the startups will enter the Commercialization Academy cohort, participate in bi-weekly online classes and one-on-one sessions, go through a down-select process in April, with the remaining selected teams competing live by pitching their tech businesses to a panel of judges at a June Demo Day event for a piece of the $300,000 in prize seed funding from IDEA NY.

A grand prize of $200,000 will go to the overall winner, and $100,000 will go to the runner-up.

After Demo Day, eligible teams will participate in the IDEA NY accelerator program that will incentivize promising entrepreneurs to create and grow viable commercial businesses in the Mohawk Valley, by requiring that the company’s primary office be located in the Mohawk Valley region for a 12-month period.

The AFRL Commercialization Academy is a Griffiss Institute entrepreneurial education program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI). The Commercialization Academy pairs high-caliber founders with high-potential AFRL technologies with the goals of developing entrepreneurial leaders and launching new technology ventures.

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