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12-03-2014

Clarkson University Students Win Funding at Commercialization Academy Showcase & Pitch Event

Five Clarkson University students recently won funding for their Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) technologies at the Commercialization Academy Showcase & Pitch Event.

Commercialization Academy ShowcaseStudents Elijah Cleveland '16, Charlotte Hayden '16, Lizzie Cassady '17, Colton Weaver '16 and MBA student Katy Martin worked for three months with Clarkson's Reh Center for Entrepreneurship as well as mentors, investors and teams of students from other universities to develop Department of Defense technologies for the civilian marketplace.

A total of 25 students from 11 universities across New York State participated in the 2014 Commercialization Academy, a program of the Startup Strategy Group, LLC. The Commercialization Academy Showcase was sponsored by the Griffiss Institute.

The New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation has awarded $50,000 to be divided among the teams of student entrepreneurs participating in Commercialization Academy.

Hayden said her team's pitch involved using sensor data and artificial intelligence to make predictions on industrial processes. On another team, Cassady and Cleveland worked to commercialize a new method of preventing malware from accessing machines and causing data breaches. A third team, featuring Weaver and Martin, worked to promote an inverted water bottle that allows users to drink without tilting their heads.

"My favorite part of the whole program was getting to work with such a diverse group of students and getting to meet people working in the industry where I want to work," Cassady said. "Learning about their experiences was very important."

Now that the student-led companies have funding, the students have the opportunity to continue developing commercialization strategies for the technologies.

"The experience has been the hardest and most rewarding process I've ever gone through in my life," Hayden said. "It makes you decide whether or not you want to be an entrepreneur, and I definitely want to be an entrepreneur. If you want to be an entrepreneur, do this program."

Find out more about the Clarkson University Reh Center for Entrepreneurship at http://www.clarkson.edu/entrepreneur .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University students are among the Commercialization Academy Showcase & Pitch Event participants who received funding for their Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) technologies.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/commercialization-academy-showcase.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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