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New Incubator Firms Contribute to the Growth of Western New York's Knowledge Economy

Bridges, crowdsourcing and safe drinking the focus of businesses that joined the incubator in 2010

Release Date: December 20, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Technology Incubator welcomed three new companies in 2010, furthering its mission of providing emerging businesses with the technical, business and financial assistance they need to become a force in Western New York's developing knowledge economy.

BridgeComposites LLC, a producer of glass-composite bridges and bridge decks, has been accepted into the incubator program, and is waiting for space to open at the technology park in Amherst, N.Y. CloudBack LLC, a web start-up that will specialize in crowdsourcing, and Ladybug Teknologies Inc., a distributor of law enforcement-grade personal breathalyzers, joined the incubator as tenants.

All three businesses are eligible for services including investment coaching; monthly seminars on entrepreneurship; and workshops on competing for funding from federal programs that support small business research and technology transfer.

Each company receives customized mentoring from UB staff certified in incubator management by the National Business Incubation Association. Principals and key employees of firms can also access a network of professionals in law, venture capital and marketing for consultation and regular meetings.

Each of the incubator's new businesses offers a unique set of innovation-based services or products:

BridgeComposites LLC supplies composite bridges and bridge decks domestically and internationally. The company's CEO and president, Jerome O'Connor, has long-standing relationships with fabrication shops that possess the expertise to meet stringent standards for structural components. This July, the Federal Highway Administration designated BridgeComposites as the lead on a team that will refine materials and processes used to produce composite bridge decking for drawbridges, O'Connor said. He added that transportation agencies are interested in composite bridges because the bridges are strong but do not rust, and because the bridges can be prefabricated and installed quickly, minimizing traffic disruptions. O'Connor said he expects to take advantage of the incubator's industry network, mentoring and workshops as his company grows.

CloudBack LLC is a web start-up. Founded by two UB School of Management MBA graduates, the firm will provide an online avenue for small businesses to leverage the power of the crowd to solve problems. Specifically, businesses seeking advice will be able to present problems to a wide range of users registered with CloudBack. Users who respond with a winning solution will qualify for a reward. The CloudBack portal is under development, with a launch date planned for early 2011. Raj Rege, co-founder and chief operating officer, says the incubator's network and services will help his company connect with venture and angel investors. Additionally he is looking to tap UB's extensive student and faculty network for assistance with business and technical development.

Ladybug Teknologies Inc. is a "social technology" firm that develops and sells products that enable social drinkers to comply with drinking and driving laws. The company distributes the BAQ Tracker, a personal, hand-held breathalyzer that employs the same platinum fuel cell technology that law enforcement-grade breathalyzers use to obtain accurate readings. Ladybug's suite of products also includes BAQ Tracker Mobile, a Blackberry app that enables social drinkers to keep track of their level of intoxication by logging, in real-time, each drink they consume. The program calculates users' blood alcohol concentration with a forensic-quality formula that takes into account each individual's gender, age, weight and height. Ladybug is based in Ontario, Canada, and the incubator office is the firm's American headquarters. Christine Montag, Ladybug's chief operating officer, says she expects the incubator's network of professionals to provide Ladybug with the expertise the company needs to break into the U.S. market.

For more information on BridgeComposites, CloudBack, Ladybug Teknologies or other incubator firms, contact the UB Technology Incubator at 716-645-8128.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
Director of News Content, Architecture and Regional Planning, Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4655
chsu22@buffalo.edu
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