Current Koffman Southern Tier Incubator member companies Agri-Trak, LLC., Aletair, LiBAMA Power and Standard Battery, LLC. were all recently named as recipients of a New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) Ignition Grant. NYSEG offers grants to qualifying companies through their Economic Development Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. After a full year of submitting applications, a total of 10 Koffman member companies have received this $25,000 award through the NYSEG Ignition Grants.
“Having been able to facilitate 10 grants has been nothing short of amazing,” Nick Zwierlein, client relationship manager of the Koffman, said. “Especially when considering all of the awards have gone to early-stage companies where $25,000 truly makes a difference for them, and in some cases has been the boost they needed to bridge the start-up “valley of death” and move forward with their high growth potential ventures. We are incredibly fortunate to have a partner organization like NYSEG that is committed to supporting the start-up ecosystem here in the Southern Tier of New York. I can’t say enough good things about the NYSEG Economic Development Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, and look forward to fostering these opportunities for Koffman member companies for years to come!”
Agri-Trak’s technology helps farmers streamline administrative tasks — like payroll, employee and H2-A contracts, production records, and more — allowing them to focus more of their energy on their crops. As more farms utilize their platform, Agri-Trak projects the state-wide agricultural output will increase as a direct result of the additional time being spent in the field over administration. The additional funding provided by the NYSEG grant will be used to help expand the company’s capacity for development, thus enabling more farmers to be able to utilize Agri-Trak’s platform.
“We’re thankful to NYSEG for providing this grant and to the Koffman [Southern Tier] Incubator for facilitating our application,” Jason Hill, co-founder and CRO of Agri-trak, said. “This funding makes a huge impact on [an] early business like Agri-Trak. The NYSEG grant gave us that little extra capital to be able to further develop our product and hire our first sales rep, which enables us to achieve our revenue targets even sooner.”
Aletair uses their geophysical survey services to detect orphaned gas wells for environmental consulting firms and government organizations. Finding these wells allows them to be plugged and methane emissions to be reduced. They will use their awarded funds to purchase a microfabricated atomic magnetometer (MFAM) from Geometrics — a geophysical equipment solutions company. The new addition of this technology will help them conduct a wide-area field test with the MFAM, optimize data acquisition with their newly purchased drone, and conduct quantitative analysis of that data to remove signal noise from the drone.
“It’s great that NYSEG is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York state,” Timothy de Smet, chief technology officer of Aletair, said. “Nick Zwierlein, Scott Hancock, Per Stromhaug and Olga Petrova have been helpful in getting our business off the ground, especially since starting during COVID. The funding will help us get the multiple sensors we need — drone based geophysics is the future and this will help us get there.”
LiBAMA Power produces Advanced Metal Anodes for Lithium-Ion batteries. Their technology helps reduce the size, weight, charging time, and cost of today’s Lithium-Ion batteries while also improving overall battery safety — applications of the product range from wearable technology to electric vehicles and more. LiBAMA will use the additional funding to further advance their IP, on materials and facilities expenses, and to support the company’s fundraising and business development activities.
“We are extremely grateful to NYSEG and everyone at the Koffman for this award which comes at a crucial time for LiBAMA Power,” Wentao Li, LiBAMA CEO and founder, said. “The grant will allow LiBAMA power to accelerate our technical and business development activities as we strive to introduce our Advanced Metal Anodes to the ever-growing energy storage market.”
Standard Battery aims to provide energy storage solutions which are adaptable to the existing market’s stored energy needs. They will do this through the creation of a standardized unit of energy called the “Universal Battery Module” which can be configured into systems of different sizes. Standard Battery plans to use their awarded funds to help with the encompassing steps of their “Universal Battery Module” product launch.
“Standard Battery expects to launch its first product by the end of 2023,” Laura Ochoa, COO and co-founder of Standard Battery, said. “This product promises to be more effective and cost-efficient than many others currently available. Standard Battery is working hard to bring to life an excellent product that everyone will love for its multiple applications; we are beyond excited to show it to the world. Thanks to NYSEG, we’re going to be able to expand our project and make it a reality even sooner.”
Through these 10 NYSEG Ignition Grants, the Koffman has helped its companies be awarded a total of $250,000 within the last year. Those involved in helping companies receive this funding aren’t stopping there.
“All ten of our awards to date, including our four most recent to Agri-Trak, Aletair, LiBAMA, and Standard Battery, have gone to extremely deserving companies that are working on impactful ventures,” Zwierlein said. “By accepting their awards, each company is making a commitment to New York state and the Southern Tier for the foreseeable future, and we couldn’t be happier to have them as part of the Koffman family.”
Other Koffman member companies who have received Ignition Grants over the past year include: Empower Equity, Inc., Enhance VR, TruEnergy Inc., SunThru LLC, Ashlawn Energy and EDGE Spray. Want to join the Koffman and explore funding options for your company? Learn more about Binghamton University’s Koffman Southern Tier Incubator by joining our mailing list and explore becoming a member!