Research News

Eighteen new companies approved for START-UP NY through UB

Eight of the companies are 2016 winners of 43North

By UBNow staff

Published February 27, 2017

Together, the businesses expect to create 238 jobs and invest $4.2 million in the region within five years.

The START-UP NY economic development program continues to expand in Western New York, with 18 new companies joining the program through their affiliation with the University at Buffalo.

Each of the new participants will open or expand operations near UB’s campuses. Together, the businesses expect to create 238 jobs and invest $4.2 million in the region within five years.

The companies have ties to UB’s academic and research strengths, and will look to collaborate with the university by partnering on research projects, offering internships and jobs to students, and otherwise engaging with UB.

The companies are:

3AM Innovations, LLC

Expected investment: $130,000
Location: UB Gateway Building, 77 Goodall St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 19

The company created a product and service that will locate and track firefighters inside a burning building using a proprietary point-to-point switch network. The data will be then transmitted to a mobile table for incident command to review and monitor.

3AM Innovations will create additional internships — it already uses two engineering interns — and will hire UB graduates.

Acudex Inc.

Expected investment: $340,000
Location: UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 11

This biotechnology startup is developing a novel technology platform technology for the detection of immunological markers, primarily for new biomarkers for autoimmune and other immunological non-autoimmune disorders.

The company was awarded a grant from the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT) to work with a UB researcher on research and development. Acudex intends to partner with UB researchers on clinical trials and hire UB interns and graduates.

Asarasi, Inc.

Expected investment: $25,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 11

Asarasi is a Delaware corporation and a 43North business plan competition winner. The company is headquartered in Connecticut and will be expanding its corporate presence into New York State. Asarasi is pioneering the recovery and bottling of a half billion gallons of organic maple tree filtrate waters, which is currently a byproduct of maple production. Asarasi creates eco beverages, producing value-added products for maple farmers and creates a renewable and sustainable source of fresh pure water. The product is a pure maple tree-drawn water — a novel, unique source of plant-based waters.

The company will create internships and hire UB graduates. The company is also working with Cornell University and Hartwick College.

Bounce Imaging Inc.

Expected investment: $25,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 5

This 43North winner is developing a 360-degree, tactical throwable camera to give first responders critical intelligence as they enter dangerous spaces. Bounce Imaging has patented hardware and software technology. Its potential markets include security, law enforcement, fire safety, industrial safety and the military.

Bounce Imaging plans to offer internships to UB students and hire UB graduates. The company intends to engage UB engineering faculty on projects ranging from app development and programming to pattern recognition, machine learning and product design and development.

Dive Pool Systems, Inc.

Expected investment: $790,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 25

A 43North winner, Dive Pool Systems has been engaged in research and development in Canada as Formarum since its inception in 2013. It will expand into the United States in Buffalo. The company has created a family of technical intellectual properties relating to the design of efficient, low-cost, miniature and in-line hydro-turbine systems capable of producing electricity from the flow of fluids in small to medium pipes. The company has developed its first commercial product, Dive Smart Sanitizer, a self-powered and self-contained swimming pool water treatment system.

The company will offer internships, hire UB graduates and seek research collaborations.

HigherMe Inc.

Expected investment: $25,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 8

This 43North winner, a software-as-a-service company, will expand its operations into Buffalo. It is developing a platform that uses data and video to help retail and service employers find, screen and hire better employees faster. It will target companies hiring hourly workers.

HigherMe intends to hire UB interns and recruit MBA, marketing and computer programming graduates. The company founder will mentor entrepreneurs and support UB programs that encourage entrepreneurship.

interactive X Inc.

Expected investment: $48,300
Location: UB Technology Incubator, 105 Baird Research Park, Amherst
Expected jobs: 9

This educational technology startup’s primary product is an interactive platform for delivering educational content that creates an interactive experience for students and teachers in classrooms. The company’s technology will allow teachers to create interactive course lectures, improving the classroom learning experience for students of all ages with 3-D simulations, advanced graphics and other features embedded within the narrative of textbooks.

This company, founded by a UB student who is now a graduate, participated in the Buffalo Student Sandbox, won the grand prize in the 2015 WNY Student 2 Biz Challenge and received support services through UB’s Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab) course. The company is working with several UB professors, including one who intends to be an early adopter of the technology. The company intends to collaborate with UB on research and hire interns and UB graduates.

LenderLogix LLC

Expected investment: $53,000
Location: UB Gateway Building, 77 Goodall St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 13

Founded by a UB alumnus, this emerging financial technology company is creating a software platform aimed at helping mortgage bankers identify and cultivate stronger relationships with real estate agents.

The company intends to hire financial and technical interns from UB. The company will recruit graduates and participate in entrepreneurship and mentoring opportunities through the university.

Omantec, LLC

Expected investment: $30,000
Location: Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, 485 Cayuga Rd., Cheektowaga
Expected jobs: 10

Omantec LLC is a development stage, pre-revenue company organized in 2012 to commercialize its patented wall-mounted mechanical lift device to enable the movement of limited mobility patients for personal hygiene and therapeutic purposes who are cared for at home.

The company will create internships, hire UB graduates and work with UB’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering to improve the product.

Oncolinx Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Expected investment: $1o5,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 19

This 43North winner, in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, is developing targeted cancer immunotherapies: antibody-drug conjugates (ACDs). Oncolinx ADCs carry a patented, immune-activating drug payload called the Azonafide directly to the tumor, thereby avoiding many of the side effects associated with traditional forms of chemotherapy. The Oncolinx platform is partnered with 14 leading pharmaceutical companies and is planned to enter clinical trials in later this year. The company is collaborating with UB researcher Dhaval Shah, PhD, assistant professor in UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and will engage in clinical trials with Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

The company will create internships and hire UB graduates.

PathoVax LLC

Expected investment: $955,000
Location: TBD
Expected jobs: 16

This 43North winner is advancing a patented human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine technology to target all 15 cancer-causing HPVs and others responsible for anogenital skin diseases.

The company plans to offer internships and hire graduates, and is planning to work with researchers in areas such as pathology, dermatology and autoimmunology.

Qoma, LLC

Expected investment: $75,000
Location: UB Gateway Building, 77 Goodall St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 3

Qoma is a “value added developer” for Fidelity National Information Services (FIS).

FIS has a $100 million per year licensed information technology product called "FAME" (forecasting analysis and modeling environment) that is chronically difficult to find programmers and system administrators to service. Qoma is developing a product (Seamless for Data Scientists [TM]) in response to that problem.

The company expects to work with the UB Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the School of Management.

Rx Tracker Corporation

Expected investment: $178,500
Location: UB Technology Incubator, 105 Baird Research Park, Amherst
Expected jobs: 9

A description of the company is forthcoming.

StartSmartR Capital Corporation

Expected investment: $173,000
Location: UB Technology Incubator, 105 Baird Research Park, Amherst
Expected jobs: 16

This information technology company will license exclusive technologies and provide software development services to various companies in vertically integrated markets in diverse sectors. Employees will identify underutilized or new technologies that can be enhanced with StartSmartR Capital Corporation’s “Collective Intelligent Innovation Technology.” The company’s developers and experts will create or improve products for deployment, establishing new companies to commercialize these products or services or enabling client companies to do so on their own.

StartSmartR Capital Corporation intends to offer internships to students and hire UB graduates.

Tactiva Therapeutics LLC

Expected investment: $1.1 million
Location: UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 18

This expanding company’s business involves the production of engineered T-cell therapy for the treatment of solid tumors. Tactiva intends to initiate clinical trials soon and is also involved in the discovery of mutational tumor antigens as targets for future therapy. This type of immunotherapy is a promising therapeutic approach to the treatment of cancer.

Tactiva’s founder is Adekunle O. Odunsi, MD, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The company expects to engage with UB faculty on projects in facilities in UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, including the proteomics core and clean room.

UltraCell Insulation, LLC

Expected investment: $25,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 20

This 43North winner is launching a technology to convert recycled cardboard into a high performance building insulation. The Buffalo-based company has entered into a long-term feedstock supply agreement with a manufacturer based in Niagara Falls, New York. and plans to build a manufacturing site.

The company plans to create internships and hire UB graduates and work with university researchers.

Vivacelle Bio Inc.

Expected investment: $100,000
Location: UB Biosciences Incubator, 875 Ellicott St.
Expected jobs: 6

This biotechnology startup is developing and commercializing its first product — VBI‐1, a novel intravenous resuscitation fluid based on phospholipid nanoparticles with a unique mechanism of action. The technology is intended to reverse the consequences of hypovolemic shock, which can occur as the result of conditions including injury due to attacks from radioactive materials or biological or chemical weapons, bloodstream infection, severe blood loss and Ebola. Potential uses include treating injured soldiers and patients in hospital emergency and operating rooms, and rural clinics.

Vivacelle Bio intends to work with UB researchers on clinical trials and the development of its technology. The company also intends to offer internships and hire UB students.

WeDidIt, Inc.

Expected investment: $25,000
Location: 43North Incubator, 640 Ellicott St., Buffalo
Expected jobs: 10

WeDidIt, a 43North winner, is developing a software as a service platform for not-for-profit companies to raise money through fundraising or donor research. The software platform aggregates donor data so that not-for-profit companies can automate their prospect research and launch highly targeted fundraising campaigns.

The company expects to hire interns and UB graduates.

About START-UP NY: It stands for SUNY Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York. The program aims to spur economic development by enabling universities to identify areas where new and expanding businesses can operate for 10 years without paying New York State business, corporate, income, sales or property taxes, or franchise fees.

Including the 18 companies announced here, a total of 87 companies are participating or approved to participate in START-UP NY through their affiliation with UB, furthering their respective businesses and creating jobs in Western New York.

Note: Since UB’s last START-UP NY announcement in October, three companies have left the program. The companies are Appistry Inc., NE Innovations LLC and Plum.