Judges

Joshua Aviv

Joshua Aviv
SparkCharge
Bio

Santokh Badesha

Santokh Badesha
Xerox Corporation
Bio

Emily Ekland

Emily Ekland
NYSTAR
Bio

Ryoko Kazawa

Ryoko Nozawa
Cayuga Venture Fund
Bio

 
Arber Ruci

Arber Ruci
NYC Regional Innovation Node
Bio

Arber Ruci

Eric Fasser
FuzeHub
Bio

 

Speakers

Julianne Clouthier

Julianne Clouthier
FuzeHub
Bio

Devon Sutton

Devon Sutton
LC Drives
Bio

Noa Simons

Noa Simons
Upstate Capital Association of New York
Bio

Richard Frederick

Richard Frederick
Easter NY Angels
Bio

Andy Madison

Andy Madison
Bonbouton
Bio

Bradford La Salle

Bradford LaSalle
Ferric Contrast
Bio

Fiona Laramay

Fiona Laramay
RemWell
Bio

Suresh Dhaniyala

Suresh Dhaniyala
Potsdam Sensors
Bio

Robert Manasier

Robert Manasier
In Focus Brands
Bio

Eleanor Rusling

Eleanor Rusling
MicroEra Power
Bio

Juan Guzman

Juan Guzman
Capro-X
Bio

 

Judge Bios

Joshua Aviv

Joshua is a certified Data Scientist and the Founder & CEO of SparkCharge, a company specializing in the portable charging of electric cars. His experience in entrepreneurship and startups spans over 6 years and he is a dynamic figure in the cleantech community. Joshua is also the most recent winner of the worlds largest pitch competition, 43North. Joshua holds a B.A. in Economics and a Masters Degree in Information Management and Data Science from Syracuse University.

Santokh Badesha

Dr. Santokh S. Badesha is a Xerox Fellow and manager of open innovation for the Xerox Corporation. Badesha is responsible for leading inter-organizational efforts with both internal and external value chain partners, building academic and industrial partnerships, and providing critical technical support for product programs. These strategic partnerships design and execute front end research to design, develop and deliver functional materials, components, and marking subsystems. In addition, Badesha is a technical liaison for talent development and acquisition and collaborative research to a number of academic intuitions including Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, PENN State, University Of Rochester, North Carolina State University, Purdue U, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Badesha is also responsible for exploring external funding opportunities from the State and Federal sources with and without external collaborations that include academia and private businesses. In addition, he serves on a number of internal committees which are responsible for Intellectual Property generation (IPC), Intellectual Property evaluation (TAP), and Intellectual Property management (MIP- COMIP).

Badesha joined Xerox in 1980 as a senior research scientist in the Xerox Research Center Webster. He conducted independent research programs to design novel materials for image generation devises. He was appointed principal scientist in 1990, and principal scientist and technical manager in 1994. As manager, he was responsible for providing direction and strategies for materials research and led cross-functional development efforts in high performance materials for component design for marking subsystems. Prior to joining Xerox Badesha was a Teaching Fellow at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.

Badesha holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees with honors in chemistry from Punjab University, India. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Punjab Agricultural University and then received a second Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from Clarkson University in 2007 for his contributions to science, technology, and intellectual property, building academic and industrial partnerships, and his help in shaping research programs.

Badesha holds 254 U.S. Patents which have also been filed in multiple foreign countries. This makes him one of the most prolific inventors ever in the history of Xerox Corporation. He has an additional 55 U.S. patent application on file with the U.S. Patent Office. In addition, he has over 55 peer reviewed key scientific publications and presentations in international scientific journals and professional society’s conferences.

He was named Fellow by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Society of Imaging Science & Technology, Chartered Scientist by the Science Council of U.K., and received a proclamation from the Mayor of Rochester, N.Y. He received the Distinguished Inventor of the Year Award from the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association, was named Chairman to the Board of the Center for Advanced Materials Processing, Clarkson University, serves on the E. Phillips Saunders College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board at RIT and is a member of the Industry Advisory Board of NSF Center for Metamaterials at the City University of New York and Center for Urban Science & Progress at NYU.

Badesha is also a recipient of 2009 Chester F. Carlson Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology for his technical contributions in novel materials as integrated functional surfaces in electrophotographic surfaces. He was inducted into the Xerox Innovation Group Hall of Fame; received the Chester Carlson Eagle Award, a Xerox Excellence in Management Award, the Xerox President’s Award, and numerous other Xerox Excellence in Science & Technology Awards. Dr. Badesha represented Xerox Corporation at the White House to receive the National Medal of Honor in Science and Technology from the President of United States. Recently, Clarkson University named a “Santokh Badesha leadership scholarship” in his honor to recognize his contributions for connecting industry / academic research for economic development. He also serves as one of the three Trustees on the FuzeHub Board of Trustees. In 2013, Dr. Badesha was recognized by Punjab Academy of Sciences as an Honorary Fellow for his contributions to the chemical sciences.

Badesha resides in Pittsford, N.Y. with his wife Amarjit and two sons, Jason and Shaan, and daughter Ishmeen.

Emily Ekland

Emily Ekland is the commercialization director at NYSTAR, Empire State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation. At NYSTAR, she runs a program called the Innovation Resource Center. The IRC helps entrepreneurs strategically leverage different NYSTAR-funded programs, investigates bottlenecks in the commercialization lifecycle and coordinates programs that alleviate bottlenecks to accelerate innovation and commercialization across New York. Emily’s background includes working in a biotech incubator, investigating economic development policy at a government think tank and helping startups navigate early-stage legal issues. When she’s not working Emily enjoys cooking, reading and anything outdoors, especially camping in the Adirondacks.

Ryoko Nozawa

Ryoko is principal at Cayuga Venture Fund. She explores & evaluates investment opportunities, supports portfolio companies, and assists fund management. She is typically the first person to conduct due diligence on the investment opportunities. Ryoko is a board member of itellio, an adtech startup. 

Ryoko joined Cayuga Venture Fund in 2016. She is a graduate of Cornell MBA & Keio University in Japan. She has been a judge for 76West (clean energy), GENIUS NY (unmanned aerial systems), Grow-NY (food & agriculture), and various startup competitions at Cornell and other programs in Upstate NY.

 

Arber Ruci

Entrepreneur-In-Residence – NYC Regional Innovation Node • Director, New York City Innovation Hot Spot

Arber Ruci has been leading and advising startups for 10 years. Currently he is the Industrial Advisor and co-PI of a National Science Foundation PFI – RF (Partnership for Innovation – Research Partnership) focused on creating and commercializing Indoor Navigation systems for Blind/Visually Impaired and Neurodiverse people. He has served as Industry Mentor for three National I-Corps teams. As Director of the NYC Innovation Hot Spot, Arber is responsible with engaging the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves as liason to thirty-two City, State and Federal funded business incubators. In this position he coordinates NYC incubators and is called upon to review and judge various grants and innovation competitions. Additionally, Arber serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Incubator Association of New York State. Arber also serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the NYC Regional Innovation Node where he helps new ventures with partnerships and fundraising. Prior to relocating back to NYC, Arber was CEO of an Internet-of-Things startup for 8 years. He spent 5 years at Stanford University in California as a student, consultant and vendor, where he was immersed in the Lean Startup Methodology – the entrepreneurship training program run by NYCRIN and the NYC Innovation Hot Spot.

 

Eric Fasser

Eric is the Design and Engineering Solutions Specialist for FuzeHub, focused on training start-ups and early stage innovators the basics of design for manufacturability, lean product development and manufacturing planning concepts while helping them define and prepare for potential failure modes and connecting them with various resource partners throughout New York state. These techniques ultimately position these young companies to identify potential manufacturability issues early on (avoiding costly redesign and lost time), and then make the transition from prototype to volume production in order to achieve their growth goals.

Prior to FuzeHub, Eric ran his own engineering firm where he helped entrepreneurs and small manufacturers develop their innovative concepts into commercially viable products in industries as diverse as consumer goods, tools, medical devices, biotech, healthcare, energy, municipal, and industrial. He provided design consulting to transform customer requirements into product features and take cost out of existing products, created CAD drawings suitable for manufacturing, and built working prototypes for customer feedback and investor presentations.

In addition, Eric has over 15 years of experience working in various engineering and product development roles with leading manufacturing companies including Bosch Power Tools and Ames True Temper. These roles have exposed him to manufacturing methods as varied as casting, forging, CNC/machining, heat treating, stamping, water-jetting, extruding, injection molding, and 3D printing.

Eric received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship from Indiana University.

Speaker Bios

Julianne Clouthier

Julianne oversees the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund which comprises manufacturing grants, a commercialization competition and an innovation challenge. The Fund provides $1M annually to not-for profits and early stage companies in NYS and has distributed over $3.7M in award funds since inception. Julianne has over ten years of economic/community development experience.
Prior to FuzeHub she spent six years working for the Housing Trust Fund Corporation within NYS Homes
and Community Renewal where she was instrumental in managing a portfolio of over $10M in Community Development Block Grant Funds awarded to assist municipalities and businesses throughout the state. Her background also includes working with agri-businesses creating and implementing economic development
and business growth initiatives. She has served as a mentor, judge, and panelist for numerous innovation and entrepreneurial programs. Julianne holds a Master of Business Administration from the University at Albany and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Mercyhurst College.

Devon Sutton

Located in Potsdam, NY, LC Drives is rapidly expanding to pursue the development of truly innovative electric motors and generators with industry leading power density. The Company’s patented heat removal and manufacturing processes enable the design and manufacturing of electric motors with half the weight and size of conventional motors. Initial markets include marine, industrial, transportation, and wind. LC Drives recently closed its Series A investment with Koch Engineered Solutions.
Devon Sutton, Director of Strategic Operations of LC Drives Corp., has been in managing projects and strategic planning for nearly a decade. In her role at LC Drives, she is managing the long range planning while also running the midrange expansion projects for the company. From 2011-2018 Devon was Project Manager at Clarkson University. In this role, Devon was teaching Operations Management at Clarkson University while managing capital construction projects. Prior to Clarkson, Devon held several roles in various activities including strategic planning for small businesses, working as the Director of World Affairs at a nonprofit NGO and working on the staff for a US House of Representatives member. Devon has an MBA from Clarkson University.

Noa Simons

Noa is the Executive Director of Upstate Capital Association of New York, a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to capital in Upstate New York. In her role, she manages a robust membership network and convenes events on technology, trends and best practices for dealmaking to a wide-ranging audience including investors, entrepreneurs, service providers and professional advisors. In 2018, she took over running the statewide intercollegiate business plan competition (NYBPC), which lays the foundation for entrepreneurship for students. She is also co-founder and manager of the Hudson Valley Startup Fund, a member-managed seed capital fund investing in companies with high growth potential. Prior, Noa was a partner at TD Growth Capital based in Shanghai, China. Her investment work included worldwide technology sourcing, market analysis and diligence on deals both inside and outside China. Before joining that firm, Noa was interim CEO at Norton Motorcycles in Portland, Oregon and built and launched the digital archive housed at the Mary Ferrell Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Economics and Latin American Studies from Brandeis University.

Richard Frederick

Richard Frederick has over 40 years of business experience as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and mentor. As the Co-Founder and Managing Director for Eastern NY Angels (ENYA), a managed angel fund located in Albany, NY, Dick helps ENYA invest $50 – $150,000 in early stage technology companies. Richard is also a Board of Director at Glauconix, Advisory Board Member and Mentor for the NEXUS-NY Clean Energy Seed Accelerator, and Member Board of Director of Vital Vio. In total, he has helped start over 150 companies in the past 20 years. In addition, Richard is a Member of the Board of Directors for Upstate Capital Association of New York. He has taught college and is often called upon to be a guest lecturer and speaker on topics that include funding start up companies, commercializing new technologies, successful marketing strategies and other topics related to launching and growing early stage companies.

Andy Madison

Andy Madison is the Head of Product runs Bonbouton’s strategic innovation practice. By conducting research, distilling complex dynamics and building iterative designs, he helps Bonbouton meet the demands of a dynamic and fast-changing marketplace. He holds an MSc in Strategic Design and Management from Parsons School of Design. He is an expert skier.

Bradford LaSalle

Ferric Contrast is developing non-toxic MRI contrasts which strengthen patient safety and improve accuracy of diagnosis. Our first product is an MRI contrast that replaces the gadolinium that is normally used with iron. This iron-based contrast produces images equal or superior to gadolinium contrasts, but with a significantly better safety profile. Our iron-based contrast has a short pathway to approval, a strong worldwide revenue opportunity, and it has the potential to replace all the drugs in the class.

Fiona Laramay

RemWell was founded in 2018 to develop in situ remediation solutions for per- and polufluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which have contaminated groundwater globally. RemWell is the only company to offer fully on-site, in-place, and permanent treatments of PFAS contaminated groundwater.

Suresh Dhaniyala

Suresh Dhaniyala is the President and CTO of Potsdam Sensors LLC. He is also the Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson University and the co-Director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Sciences (CARES). He has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining Clarkson’s faculty, he was a post-doctoral scholar at Caltech. Suresh is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of air quality sensing, bioaerosol characterization, and data analytics. His research at Clarkson is funded by several federal and state agencies, including NSF, DTRA, NASA, DoD, and NYSERDA.

Robert Manasier

Robert Manasier is a serial entrepreneur and brand builder, with experience in over 144 international startups, 400 products/services commercialized, and 1000s of acceleration/commercialization campaigns, as the CEO of In Focus Brands. In addition to the In Focus Brands’ portfolio of companies, Robert currently serves as Entrepreneur- in-Residence of the NYS Innovation HotSpot Program (Innovate 518), UAlbany Innovation Center, IgniteU NY and the Sage Colleges; Adjunct Professor at Sage College School of Management and Hudson Valley Community College; Board Member of the Parkhurst Field Foundation, EDA Labs, SparkSaratoga, Rutgers University Big Data Board and Tech Valley Center of Gravity. He also currently serves as Saratoga Springs Recreation Commission Member.

Eleanor Rusling

MicroEra Power was founded in Rochester, NY by Ellie Rusling and James Grieve, based on VISION and OPPORTUNITY. The vision is for clean, responsive, on-site power to provide commercial buildings with energy security, savings, and sustainability. With our strong IP portfolio, the opportunity is to bring automotive engine, fuel cell, and electronic technologies to deliver clean, cost-effective distributed onsite power, which enables wind and solar in a viable energy portfolio. FuzeHub is providing essential support for developing the thermal energy storage component of CHPplus.

Juan Guzman

Juan is the CEO and co-founder of Capro-X. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tufts U., and an MS and PhD in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell U. Juan spun out Capro-X through his efforts in developing the technology during his PhD, and from learnings from a Cornell Engineering Commercialization Fellowship and NSF I-Corps. Previously, Juan was the Senior Research Engineer for Cambrian Innovation, which deploys energy-positive water treatment systems to the winery and brewery industries.

Innovation Luminary

 
 

Innovation Leader

Innovator