Troy, N.Y. —The National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2), an association of university Startup Officers, will hold its first University Startups Demo Day on September 20, in Washington, D.C. According to the organization, universities create over 800 startups each year around the country, and 200 companies were submitted and screened to find the “Best University Startups 2016.” A company founded by a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Ph.D. graduate that includes several undergraduate students is one of 35 participating companies that are being recognized as the most exciting early-stage companies presented by the country’s great universities.
Building Energy Efficiency Solutions (BEES) is focused on building a smart, energy-efficient solution for residential homes and commercial buildings. Team members include: co-founder and CEO Santosh K. Gupta, received his Ph.D. in May 2016, and now serves as a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering (ECSE). Gupta’s research led to the founding of One Comfort Labs. Gupta, a Silicon Valley veteran having worked at Cisco and Apple, has been working on this solution since 2013. Additional team members include Sam Atkinson, a junior majoring in electrical, computer, and systems engineering; and computer science majors Ian O’Boyle, who is a senior, and Jake Bartles, a sophomore, who is the youngest member of the team. Koushik Kar, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering, serves as the team’s advisor.
“We are honored that Building Energy Efficiency Solutions was one of the 35 early-stage university startups selected among a large national pool to be a Best University Startups 2016,” said Esther Vargas, director of the Emerging Venture Ecosytem (EVE) at Rensselaer. The program is a university-driven, community-centered distributed venture development program primarily organized to facilitate the transfer of scientific and technological breakthroughs from the laboratory and classroom to the marketplace. “The BEES’ innovation will revolutionize energy efficiency and intelligence, and represents one of the many emerging university technology startups benefitting from the robust entrepreneurial ecosystem at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.”
Research and entrepreneurship at Rensselaer fulfills the vision of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for higher education which recognizes that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. Rensselaer serves as a crossroads for collaboration—working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions—to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer addresses some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges—from energy security and sustainable development to biotechnology and human health. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.
“To lead the world in the 21st century, our nation must have a sustained #commitment to education, scientific research, and startups,” says Tony Stanco, NCET2 executive director. “American universities are uniquely positioned to deliver on all three to ensure the U.S. continues to lead socially and economically in this century, as it did in the last.”
According to NCET2, while everyone is familiar with the dominant position of American universities in two of the three pillars, education and research, little attention has been drawn to the revolutionary transformation occurring at universities to build campus-wide innovation ecosystems. Universities have quietly hired startup officers to help students, researchers, and alumni create and fund innovative social and for-profit startups. And, at the same time, they have been establishing new innovation districts on their campuses to nurture and incubate these American dreamers.
The organization noted that “individuals who walk onto a university campus today will find unheralded doers and makers solving the world’s most pressing problems, from remotely powered medical devices to regenerative medicine, and from Internet of Things (IoT) building solutions to alternative sustainable coatings and materials.”
This year, the participating university startups presenting at the Demo Day event have individual stories to tell about the good work they are doing to create jobs, serve humanity and leave the world a better place for the next generation. For more information about the University Startups Demo Day, visit: http://ncet2.org/
About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science “to the common purposes of life.” For more information, please visit http://www.rpi.edu.