National Start Up Day at AERTC

startup day

As part of the first-ever National Start Up Day, U.S. Congressman Tim Bishop met with representatives of ThermoLift and Solar Cool Technologies, Inc. at the Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center (AERTC) at Stony Brook University.

Startup Day Across America was organized by the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, of which Congressman Bishop is a member.

Reinvigorating America’s manufacturing sector is the best way to create high-skill, high-quality jobs that sustain and grow our middle-class now and over the long term,” said Congressman Bishop. “I strongly support innovative public-private partnerships like the Clean Energy Business Incubator Program at Stony Brook to help entrepreneurs leverage great ideas into startup businesses that create jobs here on Long Island.”

“We are very pleased to be able to showcase for Congressman Bishop two compelling, innovative companies at the Stony Brook University advanced energy Incubator in our Research & Development Park,” said Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “Stony Brook supports Long Island’s early stage companies with an extensive infrastructure of research and engineering-based economic development programs that have aided more than 500 companies through more than 3,000 projects, helping them to create or retain more than 19,000 jobs in New York, almost all of them on Long Island. We are grateful to Congressman Bishop for taking such interest in our programs and for raising awareness about how important these industrious new start-up companies are for a thriving economy.”

solarcoolBoth companies obtained initial investments from the Long Island Angel Network (LIAN), aggregating to $2.5 million.

ThermoLift, which recently received a $750,000 award from the US Department of Energy to develop a product prototype, is a participant in Stony Brook’s NYSERDA-sponsored Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (CEBIP).

ThermoLift is working with Stony Brook engineering faculty and students to develop a natural gas-driven heat pump/air conditioner with the potential to replace residential and commercial heating, cooling, and hot water systems. This single-unit device provides significantly improved efficiency, with lower carbon footprint, at a competitively priced acquisition cost compared to currently available systems, and is expected to improve home heating and cooling efficiency by 30–50%. Furthermore, since the device operates on natural gas for cooling, electrical load on the grid is reduced during peak hours of operation. The device is expected to reach commercial production within three years and will be manufactured in the U.S with specific operations in New York State.

Solar Cool Technologies is currently in the final stages of development on the Solar-Cooler, and is scheduled to start production before the end of 2013.  The Solar-Cooler is the world’s first portable solar-assisted refrigerating cooler.  In early 2012 Solar Cool Technologies received support from members of the Long Island Angel Network and other private investors, moving into the AERTC incubator to transform the Solar-Cooler proof-of-concept prototype into a production unit.  In addition to the initial consumer applications, Solar Cool is working with the World Health Organization to develop a Solar-Cooler to safely transport temperature sensitive medications and vaccines around the world. CEO Ryan McGann is a past winner of the University’s student entrepreneurship competition.

startup day

Stony Brook’s “Cradle to Fortune 500” suite of economic development programs, which can assist companies of any size at any stage of development, includes CEBIP, the New York State Center of Excellence in Advanced Energy Research and Technology and in Wireless and Information Technology, the New York State Centers for Advanced Technology in Sensor Systems and Biotechnology, and our SUNY Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR) program, which provides advanced technology assistance across the spectrum of engineering technologies.

The University’s 8-year-old student entrepreneurship competition is being augmented this year by a new academic course called the Lean LaunchPad, which was originated at Stanford by a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur to provide a rigorous, hypothesis-driven methodology to test the development of a business model for a new technology venture; it is the basis for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program.  Eighty companies have exited the Long Island High Technology Incubator in the last decade and 44 are still in business, three-quarters of them on Long Island and in New York State. This success rate of 55% represents a five and a half-fold multiple of the 10% success rate that typifies technology startups.

The Clean Energy Business Incubator Program at Stony Brook University, or CEBIP, is funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), working through the Long Island High Tech Incubator at Stony Brook University. Through the expertise, business acumen and technological resources of CEBIP’s management team, advisory board, researchers at Stony Brook University and other extensive partnerships, CEBIP helps bridge the gap between innovation and market with a full commitment to helping entrepreneurs develop and commercialize clean-energy technology.


Photo captions:

TOP: SBU Mechanical Engineering Professor Jon Longtin (left), who advises ThermoLift on thermodynamics, and ThermoLift CEO Paul Schwartz (right) discuss the company's growth with Congressman Bishop (center).

MIDDLE: Congressman Bishop with Solar Cool CEO Ryan McGann (right) and the product under development.

BOTTOM: Venture capitalist David Calone of Jove Partners and Congressman Tim Bishop toured the Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center (AERTC) at Stony Brook University with Assistant Vice President of Economic Development Jim Smith as part of National Start Up Day, an effort to link members of Congress with entrepreneurial companies in their communities.