FuzeHub Awards $450,000 to 7 Startups During Commercialization Competition in Saratoga Springs

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Susan Bardack
Phone: (518) 867-7940

Patty Rechberger/FuzeHub

The yearly event supports technology development in New York State and is made possible by Empire State Development (ESD)


(Saratoga Springs, NY – October 18, 2023) – Over 500 people gathered at the Saratoga Springs City Center on October 16 & 17 to learn and share their views for the future of technology development at the NYS Innovation Summit. This event takes place in a different city in the state each year in order to reach its target audience, including economic developers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and a plethora of supporting individuals and organizations that keep New York State at the forefront of technology advancement in the country.

As part of the event, which included nine panels and almost 60+ speakers, 12 New York State-based startups pitched their ideas during a business competition while seeking funding that would allow them to bring their products to market. A panel of 4 expert judges selected the best 7 projects to award a total of $450,000. Ashlawn Energy is taking home the grand award of $150,000. The other 6 companies are each receiving a $50,000 investment to further develop their prototypes in an effort to pursue additional investment and customers, as well as strengthen their “go-to-market” strategies.

“Without support of this kind, most early-stage companies are unable to bridge the gap from idea to market, and at the Empire State Development, we understand that these companies add resiliency and competitiveness to the state economy. We are grateful for Governor Hochul’s continued support, as we remain committed to delivering programs that directly lead to growth.”

– Ben Verschueren, executive director, Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR)

“We are proud to work alongside these entrepreneurs and continually support them as they progress on their journeys. It is so gratifying to see them grow – we are fostering relationships, and strengthening the community of people actively pursuing new ways to solve modern problems.”

– Elena Garuc, executive director, FuzeHub

FuzeHub is proud to announce the 2023 Commercialization Competition awardees:

Ashlawn Energy (Binghamton)

VanCharg™ Vanadium Flow Battery Energy Storage System

VanCharg is a unique rechargeable battery system that stores power off-peak and uses power at peak times, reducing energy consumption during peak periods. This system is safer, has a longer life, and a lower cost of ownership than current alternatives. This project will implement Ashlawn Energy’s in-house battery stack assembly in Binghamton, NY, to profoundly benefit Ashlawn Energy’s economics, profitability, create a key competitive price advantage over other battery technologies, reduce assembly cycle time from one week to one day, and create manufacturing jobs.

Epic Airway Systems, Inc. (Schenectady)

Epic Airway

Health care professionals provide airway treatments to 50+ million patients annually, maintaining breathing during emergencies or sedation during surgery. Patient complications may include cardiac events, dental injury, and death, resulting in billions of dollars of losses, while placing providers at risk of infectious disease exposure.

The EPIC Airway combines two existing technologies (endotracheal tube and laryngeal mask) into a single solution; making it easier to use than traditional devices, increasing patient/provider safety, reducing drug dependent outcomes, and delivering more cost-effective procedures.

RHM Innovations Inc. (Rochester)

Aide-ing Arm Assistive Shower System

RHM Innovations Inc. will be designing their Commercialization Competition project to build the manufacturing infrastructure for their assistive shower system. They will fund tooling and build a supply of parts, fund assembly of devices, and evaluate the quality control to ensure their products meet industry-leading Durable Medical Equipment standards.

Soulo (Brooklyn)

Soulo Nail Trimmer    

Soulo’s long-handled electric toenail trimmer is designed for aging & disabled adults. It allows users to trim their toenails independently and in an upright seated position. Their project has two major goals: 1) to validate the anticipated go-to-market design with buyers by using SLA (3D) printed units, before 2) scaling production of the Soulo Nail Trimmer to expand manufacturing capabilities, save time and cost in production, and secure strategic business partnerships and investment.

ReVert Technologies, Inc (New York)

Plug Load Management        

ReVert Technologies’ product is a smart surge protector that automatically turns appliances off and on. It deploys AI-powered surge protectors to stop unused or underutilized appliances like vending machines, treadmills, fridges, and conference hubs from leeching power in universities, hotels, gyms, and offices.

Opal Wearables, Inc. (Brooklyn)

Opal – Personal Safety Smart Ring     

Opal Wearables developed a smart ring that can silently request help from 911 or emergency contacts. This project includes the manufacturing, certification, and delivery of 1,000 units of Opal’s personal safety smart rings to early adopters.

DUB Biologics INC (East Syracuse)

Anti-Fibrotic Self-Delivering siRNAS  

The fundamental underpinning to 1 in 3 fatalities in the world is fibrosis. Dub Biologics is developing a therapeutic that helps reduce fibrosis – also known as scarring. Tissue function is impaired by scarring. For example, scars in the eye contribute to vision loss. Their therapeutic aims to return function to functional tissues.


The Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, consisting of over $1 million annually, supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. FuzeHub is administering this fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development designated statewide MEP center. For more information about the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, contact Patty Rechberger, Innovation Fund Manager, at [email protected] or visit Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund.

About Jeff Lawrence

During his more than 20 years at the Center for Economic Growth, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) affiliate in the Capital Region where he served as executive vice-president and MEP center director, Jeff Lawrence directed programs of direct assistance to manufacturers and technology companies to increase their competitiveness. He is remembered for being an invaluable and generous mentor to many in the area’s business community and a tireless advocate for manufacturing innovation throughout New York.

About FuzeHub

FuzeHub is a not-for-profit organization that connects New York’s small and mid-sized manufacturing companies to the resources, programs, and expertise they need for technology commercialization, innovation, and business growth. Through our custom assessment, matching, and referral platform, we help companies navigate New York’s robust network of industry experts at Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, universities, economic development organizations, and other providers. FuzeHub is the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP) center, supported by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR).

For more information on FuzeHub, visit FuzeHub.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


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