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MAY 12, 2016


MAY 5, 2016
By Jeffrey Bagg

SUNY BEST went solar this past Thursday, just in time for the start of summer. The extended meeting discussed all things solar, and continued the year’s “clean energy theme” with the kickoff of both the Road to Renewables 2016 tour and the Southern Tier Solar Works Community Shared Solar campaign launch!

The “Road to Renewables” tour is hosted by the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign, a statewide effort to shift New York to clean energy, and do so through educating and engaging communities and show them a variety of ways they can benefit from transitioning to clean energy.

That’s exactly campaign organizers Renee Vogelsang and Elizabeth “Betta” Broad did. They arrived in a Ford Fusion Energi, a hybrid electric car loaned to them by Ford for their tour, and discussed the benefits of switching to hybrid and electric vehicles. Renee and Betta further presented on the benefits of solar and offshore wind energy, and the importance of creating jobs in these industries for all communities.

Binghamton is already ahead in the solar industry. Southern Tier Solar Works and the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition presented on the launch of the Southern Tier Community Shared Solar (CSS) project. This project is basically that of a community garden - except with solar panels.

How it works is that people in a particular community can buy solar panels that will be added to larger solar panel array, and the energy will go towards powering the community. These solar panel arrays will be built in fields or on roofs of large community owned buildings. Participants will benefit by saving an overall 10-20% in electric bills over the next 20 years.

The meeting ended with a number of other solar energy associated groups/speakers coming up and briefly discussing their part in helping the Southern Tier go solar.
To find out more about the CSS project, go to

MARCH 18, 2016
PressConnects by Jeff Plastsky

Economic conditions in the Southern Tier will improve, New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul promises, with employment rolls in the eight-county region growing by 8,500 to 10,000 in five years, as Start-Up NY and the $500 million investment from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative produce tangible results. Full article here!

MARCH 18, 2016


MARCH 14, 2016
startup Expo Kicks off week of entrepreneurship

Students and community members were given the opportunity to network with local startups at the kickoff event to Entrepreneurship Week at the Startup Expo on March 14. The event, which was held in the Rotunda of the Innovative Technologies Complex and featured over a dozen startups such as, Infrasonic, which measures cardiac output to find the most effective way to workout, Get Social NY and Coventry Body Care.

Approximately 80 people attended the event, which capped off the end of the first day of Exploring Entrepreneurship Week, a week dedicated to students interested in entrepreneurship Other events during the week included panels on several topics, such as real estate, social entrepreneurship and a live podcast by Dan Mori’s, Launch to Greatness



MARCH 14, 2016
Exploring Entrepreneurship - Andy Horowitz, '89:  How an Experimental Response to a College Assignment Took me to 40 Countries
MARCH 10, 2016
By Travis Clines and Jeffrey Bagg

With their ideas fleshed out the teams met back up to present their ideas. The presentations were given from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Center of Excellence inside the Innovative Technologies Complex. The teams were judged based on these criteria: [What were the criteria?]

H2GO, Sean Mcgrady

Making hydrogen easier and safer to transport is the goal of this idea. With the gas stored inside a solid pellet, it is only released when the box is heated up.

PinPoint Technologies, Will Doak

The ability to make micro-nozzles ranging in size from 20 to 100 microns in orifice width is the cornerstone of this idea. Doak said they can make a lot, for a low cost.

Radio Relief, Sree Koneru

The belt, worn on the lower back of the individual, uses radio waves to penetrate through the fat and muscle on the body to reach the muscle and give relief to those 1 in 5 adults who suffer from back pain.

Vehware, William Howe

Using facial recognition software developed at Binghamton University allows people confined to a wheelchair to use eye motion to control functions of the wheelchair, smart house, etc.

RCL Microwave, Ryan Letcher

Transmitting microwaves into unknown materials allows companies to verify products from other companies. RCL said they’re looking to offer this service faster, cheaper and more customizable than current companies.

The Learning Control Center, Lei Yu

This idea uses software to learn the most efficient way to do something, such as manage energy use for a utility company. Yu said it is more efficient than humans trying out different things.

MARCH 3, 2016
By: Travis Clines

For startup’s that have an answer, but don’t know what the question is the Pre-Seed Workshop was just the solution Kenneth McLeod said.The first half of the event, which was held in the Innovative Technologies Complex at Binghamton University, on March 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., featured six teams working to refine their ideas. McLeod, the entrepreneur-in-residence at the office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships gave the opening talk at the Pre-Seed Workshop.He went on to define the three different types of Entrepreneurs: those who are market driven, who work to create a successful idea in a preexisting market; those who are design driven, those who try to change the way things are done; and finally, technology driven, those who have the technology and are looking to commercialize it. It was that last group, McLeod said, who were in attendance at the event.After the opening talks the teams broke out into sessions which would focus on areas such as finding out who your buyers are, product viability and how the company would operate. The teams will meet again on Thursday, March 10, where they will continue refining their ideas, as well as give a presentation to three panelists.

MARCH 3, 2016
By: Jeffrey Bagg

The Southern Tier is getting greener.

That was the focus of this month’s SUNY Best meeting this past Thursday, March 3 at the University Downtown Center. Attendees at the event, which ran from 10 a.m. to noon, heard from Brian Bauer, Program Director, who first discussed the aims of the 76West competition, and later from Bryan Berry, Assistant Director, who presented on the Clean Energy Fund (CEF).

76West is a competition aimed to bring entrepreneurs to the Southern Tier Region in order to create clean energy businesses and jobs. A total of 10 million dollars will be awarded, with a top prize of $1 million, to companies involved in clean energy in some manner.

 “It’s about reducing the [carbon] footprint of the current system,” Bauer said.

Bauer described the details of the competition and then answered questions regarding the competition afterwards. The competition will run for four one-year cycles from 2016 to 2019. Each cycle consists of an application and a review period and then both semi-final and final competitions. This year’s applications close on March 15th at 5:00 PM.

More information can be found at:

Following Bauer’s presentation of 76West, Berry presented the Clean Energy Fund (CEF). Which is a 10 year $5 billion funding commitment aimed at catalyzing New York State clean energy efforts. The CEF is part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s new direction, according to Berry. The program’s aim is to reduce the overall cost of converting to clean energy, and hopefully help New York State reach its goal of converting 50% of the state’s electricity to energy sourced from renewable sources by 2030.

FEBRUARY 23, 2016
Written by Travis Clines

This past Tuesday around 40 people attended the monthly Start-Up Mixer held by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships.The mixer, held in room 2008 in the Innovative Technologies Complex from 4 to 6 p.m., included talks given by Doug Gorman, Esq. from Crisafulli Gorman, PC, and Dan Demarco and Marco Pezzuto from discussed different methods for raising capital available to companies. His talk focused on equity crowdfunding, in which money is given to a company in exchange for a stake in that company. Gorman went into detail describing the rules, regulations, disclosures and qualifications involved in equity crowdfunding. The members of Fundabilities, which is an online crowdfunding site based in Schenectady N.Y. that works with non-profits, talked about their experiences both helping raise money for other organizations as well as their experiences raising money for Fundabilities. The website offers different plans such as a Fund-A-Thon, where the company’s staff will help organizations.The next Start-Up Mixer will be on March 21 in the Innovative Technologies Complex. 


FEBRUARY 16, 2016
Written by Elsa Cheung

The first Idea Pitch of the spring semester was held on Tuesday, February 16 in UU-215 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The first presentation, for Corona: UV detection and protection, was given by Yohan Sequeira. This product features a wearable wristband that allows users to see how much ultraviolet (UV) light they have been exposed to. The wristband would be fitted with plastic sections that are sensitive to UV light, the longer the exposure the more the pigment of these sections would change. Sequeira said that since the product would have no electronic parts it could be produced quickly and cheaply.

Describing themselves as “Uber” for technology repair, Quick Fix looks to provide rapid repair services for students. During the presentation, given by Imran Mahmood and Riley, they focused on the mechanics of their service, such as their vetting process for their freelance specialists as well as a rewards program for active specialists.

Tremayne Stewart said his idea could fix a common issue within and without organizations -- communication. CConnect would enable faster and easier communication both internally, through the organization, and externally, to the group’s followers. The service would be provided through both an online website and an app.

Lenny Mamut said his idea will fix the problem of easily acquiring fresh groceries for students who avidly enjoy fresh food. The issue at hand was that there was no way to easily access supermarkets since they are located so far from campus. Students would ultimately have to sacrifice an hour of their time to ride the buses to get their fresh food or not go at all. Lenny’s idea caters to such students. His service will pick up and deliver fresh groceries to you. Students will be able to order the groceries conveniently online, pay a flat rate (relative to how much they buy) and be guaranteed fresh groceries the very next day.

Turning text messages into video messages is the business of VixT. The founder, Marcell Modok said that each word would be replaced by a video of no longer than three seconds. Modok compared his idea to a mix between Snapchat and Vine, but emphasized that it is neither,


The winner of this month’s Idea Pitch was VixT, who also took home the student choice award. Second and third place was CConnect and Corona respectively.

The next Idea Pitch will be held on March 23, 2016. Those interested in applying should head to:


FEBRUARY 11, 2016
Written by Elsa Cheung

The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships, part of the Southern Tier Start Up Alliance,  is partnering with other sponsors  to host a Hardware Hackathon for April 16, 2016  

On Thursday, February 11th, organizers and students  met to discuss the details of the hackathon. 

One of the ideas discussed is the possibility of a 200 dollar budget for teams, which would be made up of no more than four people, to acquire tools and equipment. The money could be used in two ways: the first would be to provide each team with unspecified tools and equipment at the start of the hackathon, the second would be for teams to spend the money beforehand and be reimbursed later.

During the meeting, attendees also discussed the length of the event, finally settling on a length of 24 hours. The event  at the Emerging Technologies Studio in the Computer Center at Binghamton University.

 Additional details and registration information will be released soon.


FEBRUARY 11, 2016

REV new pic 1      REV Pic 3

 Written by Jeffrey Bagg

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, 52 students, staff and faculty of Binghamton University, and community members came together to brainstorm ideas for the REV initiative.  

REV is a competition sponsored by NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority to promote clean energy by awarding one million dollars to three colleges and/or universities within New York State. The curriculum for a winning design would contain innovation in energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction and renewable resources. The project must also exhibit innovation in design, business model, partnerships, and/or curriculum integration. Only one proposal is accepted from each college/university.

The meeting was moderated by Tom Kowalik and attendees were divided into five groups, who then came up with as many ideas as possible within 15 minutes. The groups were then broken into categories, with the top five most pressing categories being chosen as areas of focus.

 The top 5 categories chosen were:

  1. Education - educating the community about energy usage and sustainable environments
  2. Student Behavior - influencing students to change part of their daily lives to be more energy efficient
  3. Heating - reducing energy usage through creating more efficient air circulation in buildings on campus
  4. Solar Energy - reducing energy usage through solar technology
  5. Traffic - related to reducing automobile exhaust emissions

 Around 100 ideas were proposed, the top categories were chosen, then groups were formed for each category to further discuss potential projects. The meeting ended with each group presenting those ideas and appointing team leaders.

The appointed leaders will draft their respective project proposals in a summary detailing what the project hopes to accomplish.  A second event, where the ideas generated will be further developed, will be held on Thursday, February 25 at 8 p.m. in the C4 Multipurpose Room.

To get involved, contact Wayne Jones at


JANUARY 4, 2016
Photo by Nate Sprague - A Thousand Words Photography
Mayor David
Written by Jeffrey Bagg

The Southern Tier is due for a makeover, which was the message at the SUNY BEST meeting this past Thursday. 

The meeting, held in the University Downtown Center featured Mayors Rich David of Binghamton and Greg Deemie of Johnson City discussing how the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) will affect their respective cities.

The URI will invest 100 million dollars per year for five years ($500 million total) into revitalizing the economy and improving the overall quality of life for residents of the Southern Tier region. The funds are a combination of leveraging resources both of state and private investments.

The money will go to projects outlined in the application by Southern Tier residents. Issues of interest include, renovating vacant and underwhelmed urban areas, transforming the food and agriculture industry to harness community resources, advancing the manufacturing industry and building upon the region’s unique culture to attract tourists, entrepreneurs and foreign investment to the area as well as addressing parking needs.

So far, $30 million has been awarded to various organizations, public-private partnerships and projects focused to improve downtown the region as well as the urban areas surrounding it. Anyone in the Southern Tier area can submit proposals for the remaining $70 million, which will be reviewed by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) who will select the projects and manage the funds.

Last Updated: 10/16/17