Published June 4, 2015
Six companies, including one founded by a UB researcher that is developing a potential treatment for breast and other types of cancer, have been approved for START-UP NY through their affiliation with the university.
The companies, which will start up or expand on or near UB’s campuses, expect to create 49 jobs and invest $325,000 in Western New York within five years.
Each company has ties to the university’s academic and research strengths, will collaborate with UB faculty researchers and offer internships, scholarships or jobs to students.
“The University at Buffalo is looking forward to partnering with these START-UP NY companies, which are doing groundbreaking work in everything from cancer research to unique software design,” says Venu Govindaraju, interim vice president for research and economic development. “We are especially pleased to see a faculty member and an alumnus utilizing this innovative economic development program to improve educational opportunities for UB students and the Western New York community.”
START-UP NY stands for SUNY Tax-free Areas to Revitalize and Transform Upstate New York. The program aims to spur economic development by enabling universities to identify areas where new and expanding businesses can operate for 10 years without paying New York State business, corporate, income, sales or property taxes, or franchise fees.
Since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the program, 48 companies — including the six announced today — have pledged to move or expand in the Buffalo Niagara region and work with UB to further their respective businesses. The 48 companies plan to create 1,540 jobs and invest $47,566,322 in the region.
The six new companies are:
ForaHealthyMe is a Canadian company expanding into New York State by opening an office in UB’s Gateway Building in downtown Buffalo. The company has developed ForaHealthyMe.com, a clinically validated Web and mobile platform enabling individuals and caregivers to be better informed, empowered and engaged in the treatment and management of high-impact chronic conditions. The company delivers educational content, as well as chronic disease treatment and management, decision support tools and medication-compliance support to patients and caregivers in a virtual environment.
ForaHealthyMe expects to invest $5,000 and create five jobs. It will collaborate with researchers from UB’s Center for Computational Research (CCR) and the Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT).
For-Robin is a UB spinoff company founded in 2012 by Kate Rittenhouse-Olson, a professor of biotechnical and clinical laboratory sciences, and microbiology and immunology. The company, which will move into Sherman Hall on UB’s South Campus, recently received a $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study and develop a promising potential treatment for breast and other types of cancer. Its core technology is an antibody called JAA-F11 that binds to cancer cells and prevents the spread, or metastasis, of the cancer to other parts of the body.
For-Robin expects to invest $5,000 and create two jobs. It will collaborate with researchers from UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the UB CAT and UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS).
GlucoGuide U.S. Corp. is a Canadian company expanding into New York State by opening an office in the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The company is developing a dynamic user interface (GlucoGuide), downloadable to smartphones, that facilitates interactive communication with the company’s data analysts. The company uses big data analytics to analyze people’s eating habits and other aspects of one’s day-to-day life and provides personalized advice on how to achieve good personal health.
GlucoGuide U.S. Corp. expects to invest $15,000 and create five jobs. It will collaborate with researchers from UB CAT, CCR and other laboratories.
Ignition Life Solutions is a startup company that will open an office in the UB Gateway Building. Founded by Sririam Vilayanoor, who received a master’s degree in industrial engineering from UB, the company is developing voice-recognition software for doctors and insurers that will use novel algorithms to identify potential medical codes that increase the accuracy of the medical billing codes selected, thereby reducing billing errors and minimizing loss of revenue.
Ignition Life Solutions expects to invest $180,000 and create 11 jobs. It will collaborate with researchers from The Center of Industrial Effectiveness (UB TCIE) and UB CAT.
KeepTruckin is a California-based company that will expand its research-and-development operations by opening an office in Baird Research Park in Amherst. The company is developing a mobile application enabling paperless driver logs and fleet -management services for the trucking industry. KeepTruckin plans to expand its product capabilities to include a direct electronic connection to the motor vehicle to obtain vehicle operational data that can be transferred to the mobile device and then to its cloud-based data store.
KeepTruckin expects to invest $60,000 and create 14 jobs. It will collaborate with researchers from UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach, School of Management and CCR.
Rapt-It LLC is a startup company that will open an office in the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center. It will provide customers with a unique way to customize, personalize and decorate their doors in seconds. The technology is a proprietary and patent-pending design that is easily applied and taken off a door with no damage. It is reusable and is ideal for the licensed product and custom-decorating market.
Rapt-It expects to invest $60,000 and create 12 new jobs. Referred to UB through SUNY Buffalo State, the company will offer internships and recruit students from both institutions.