For more than 25 years, the Incubator Program at Rensselaer has been a pioneer in nurturing the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are the most vulnerable. The program recently announced that an additional 24 companies have joined in the past fiscal year, and that two incubator companies have been acquired by leading national and international corporations.
“Entrepreneurship is ingrained in the Rensselaer culture,” said Michael Tentnowski, director of the Incubator Program. “As a place devoted exclusively to giving life to new ideas, the Incubator acts as a ‘living laboratory’ where ideas generated in classrooms, research centers, and beyond can be tested and applied in real-world environments.”
The companies that have joined the program focus on a number of technological areas, including developing automated applications for interactive marketing and commerce via the Internet; creating affordable and intuitive technology for parents and educators of children with communication difficulties; using IP telephony technology to link branch offices, home offices, and mobile workers via computers; unmanned aerial vehicle research; and producing environmentally friendly technologies focused on sustainability, conservation, and alternative energy generation, among others.
The Incubator Program offers an extensive suite of business services, including infrastructure-based support, mentoring, business development, fund-raising events, and networking opportunities. To date, 40 companies are part of the program. There are 18 companies housed at the Incubator on campus, several of them having expanded their office space, and 22 affiliated companies located throughout the Capital Region, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Brazil, India, France, and the Ukraine.
“In joining the Incubator, each company has an opportunity to nurture their technology venture as a means of commercializing discovery and innovation within an academic environment,” Tentnowski said.
Simplicita Software Inc. a company that joined the Rensselaer Incubator Program just last summer was recently acquired by Sandvine Corporation, a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for DSL, cable, and wireless carriers. Simplicita provides security software for Internet service providers (ISPs), and has created a “zombie zapper,” which is the first of its kind. In addition, last year, AdInteraxa provider of rich media advertising solutions to online publishers was acquired by Yahoo.
Tentnowski also noted that the Incubator is focused on attracting, nurturing, and retaining high-technology companies in the region. For example, the program’s first international company, from the Ukraine, sought to enter U.S. markets in order to commercialize more than 300 former defense technologies.
Tentnowski noted that future plans for the Incubator include being designated as an International Soft Landing Zone through the National Business Incubation Association, collaborating with other Rensselaer schools and departments to foster entrepreneurship within academic settings, collaborating with downstate facilities for international incubation with access to New York City and other strategic markets, and building relationships to support initiatives aimed at international incubation and emerging opportunities in the global economy.
For more information about Rensselaer’s Incubator Program, go to: www.incubator.com
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