Come support the four startups in the Fall Commercialization Academy Cohort! Attend and celebrate their accomplishments at Demo Day on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at 5:00 pm, at Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive, in Rome, New York. This final event of a four-month program will feature a pitch competition with a $15,000 judges’ vote prize and a $5,000 crowd vote. The night will be filled with great opportunities to network with entrepreneurs and the community.

The Commercialization Academy is a Griffiss Institute entrepreneurial education program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) in Rome, New York. Since 2015, Griffiss Institute has partnered with venture-capital firm Wasabi Ventures to run the academy. The program is designed to be complementary to local startup programs, and it enables participants to leverage eligible non-program resources. These entrepreneurs spend the four months of the program building their startups around U.S. Department of Defense intellectual property from the AFRL/RI.


This year, three out of the four startups are IgniteU summer cohort alumni: GivDapps, Let’s Chat About It, and Inky’s Bookshelf.  Since completing our program, these startups moved on to the Commercialization Academy, where they were able to take advantage of more mentorship opportunities, grant funding, and access to top-tier AFRL/RI technology.

The startup teams selected for the Fall 2017 Commercialization Academy Cohort are:

GivDapps – GivDapps, operating out of New York City, provides crowdfunding opportunities to families in need and specific community projects that have been vetted by other charitable organizations. GivDapps is a non-profit organization leveraging technology and the power of community relationships to promote transparent charitable giving within local communities.

Let’s Chat About It – Let’s Chat About It is a wellness support platform and online community for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse. Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Let’s Chat About It is a comprehensive online platform that builds a community to share, support, and gain confidence to combat substance abuse and to better their overall mental health.  Let’s Chat About It provides onsite resources such as licensed therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists via video sessions. Added benefits include blogs, a 24/7 chat support with professionals, sober event meetups, progress incentives, and connecting others who are going through the similar struggles. Its platform will be a supplement to professional support mechanisms helping users re-assimilate to their life as well as providing a connecting space for users in all stages of recovery. Through this platform, users will be able to connect with one another and with licensed health care providers—helping to get out of the darkness together.

Inky’s Bookshelf – A lot can be learned about people just by taking a look at their bookshelves. At Inky, based in Loudonville, New York, curated selections of books are created based on your reading history and interests. The product is simple: send in a picture of your bookshelf, and once a month a book will be sent to your doorstep.

Good People Energy Technologies - Good People is a benefit corporation with offices in Cooperstown, New York, and Utica, New York. The Phoenix Fan Controller provides 10-30% energy savings with improved quiet and comfort and can be added to existing small fan HVAC systems (PTACs, fan coils, split systems, etc.) to extend their useful lives. It is well suited to institutions such as government buildings, schools, colleges, and hospitals, as well as commercial buildings, office parks, hotels, and multi-tenant residential buildings.