From Data to Donuts: Making Connections at the Economic Development Incubator Showcase |

Entrepreneurs, investors, professors and other members of the SBU community came to the annual Economic Development Incubator Showcase, which showcased more than 50 companies from Stony Brook incubators. Photos by John Griffin.

After a three-year hiatus, the Showcase of the economic development incubator returned to the Stony Brook University campus on June 8, bringing together an eclectic group of over 50 companies in the university’s incubation system for a morning of networking with other businesses and the local community, as well as financiers and investors.

The showcase took place at Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technologies (CEWIT) in the research and development park, and featured products ranging from AI-powered data analytics and oral cancer treatments to craft coffee and donuts.

“We are very pleased with the return of the in-person showcase,” said Peter Donnelly, associate vice president for technology partnerships at Department of Economic Development at Stony Brook. “The event did exactly what we envisioned – providing a platform for the ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, faculty, students, government and many more to come together and connect. catch up with friends and colleagues, make new connections, and learn what’s new. This has not only showcased a thriving component of the community, but also facilitated the many conversations we want to create a thriving innovation ecosystem. .

Stony Brook University’s incubators include the Center for Advanced Energy Research and Technology (AERTC) and the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) in the Research and Development Park; the Long Island High Tech Incubator (LIHTI) on East Campus; the Center for Biotechnology on West Campus; and the food business incubator at Calverton Business Park in the East End. Each incubator offers workshops, business development assistance, mentorship from established companies, labs to do research and professional space to hold meetings, as well as the fellowship of other companies growing within the incubators. incubators.

See the photos of the showcase:

Showcase exhibitors represented a wide range of companies from the biotechnology, energy, information technology and food sectors.

Alpha-1 Biologics is working to develop patented biotechnology related to the generation of immune cells from stem cells in the body to treat immunodeficiency with a focus on the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS and diseases cardiovascular.

The company was founded in 2011 by Cynthia Bristow, who holds a PhD in basic and clinical immunology and microbiology and held research positions in academia before founding Alpha-1 Biologics. She moved her lab from Weill Cornell Medical Center to Stony Brook because she was impressed with the incubator program and its focus on biotechnology. She said she developed an oral drug that successfully increases immune cell counts and suppresses tumor growth in mice.

Coffee showcase incubator“We’ve learned a lot about the immune system and are developing thousands of drugs to treat inflammation, but none so far will treat immunodeficiency,” Bristow said. “It is the first drug capable of strengthening the immune system. Studies have shown that our drug is effective in mice. Right now we are looking at kidney cancer and colon cancer.

In the fall, Bristow hopes to do toxicology studies in rats and then approach the FDA to see what is needed to get it approved.

Akai Kaeru, led by Klaus Mullerteacher at Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook, strives to uncover hidden relationships in high-dimensional data and turn them into actionable insights. The company was founded in 2016 to develop practical software to help data scientists solve critical problems in real-world applications.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” Mueller said. “It’s an area that we developed in a research lab, and we made it more usable for ordinary people.”

Mueller said the company’s AK Analyst software can be applied in virtually any field and cited COVID research as an example.

“You can find patterns in certain population sets,” he said. “For example, at the start of the pandemic, the CDC was trying to understand vulnerabilities and risks as quickly as possible. The ability to analyze a massive dataset would be invaluable in a situation like there are 3000 counties and 500 different social indicators. Having this knowledge could have saved many people from dying.

Mueller said it can be a valuable predictive tool for medical treatment in general, and can also be used as an investment or trading tool.

Showcase robot incubator

Mike Bauer, owner and founder of Bauer’s Brew in Calverton, Long Island, was one of more than a dozen food entrepreneurs at the event. Bauer said he started his coffee business in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

“I had a personal training business and a football coaching business, and when COVID hit it got really tough,” Bauer said. “I had been involved in coffee as a hobby for a very long time and enjoyed making my own lattes and being a home barista, so I turned my hobby into a business.

While working on starting his new business, he began looking for a suitable location to manufacture his product and found the Stony Brook Incubator in Calverton. Two years later, Bauer is selling its cold brew online and wholesale to retailers. He uses a roasting area in Brooklyn and brings the roasted coffee to the incubator. Everything else is done under one roof.

“We’re doing really well in Montauk, which is a beach town,” Bauer said. “I’m in most delis and restaurants and I do in other places on Long Island.”

To accompany the coffee, of course, were the donuts, courtesy of North Fork Donut Company. The company was started four years ago by the husband and wife team of Jimmy Lyons and Kelly Brigucci, who saw a niche for donuts containing fresh local ingredients.

“We thought the incubator might be a good fit for us and it worked out well,” Lyons said. “We’ve been here for almost two years.

The company now sells its donuts from two locations on eastern Long Island and manufactures all of its products in the Calverton incubator.

“We also have a partner store in Connecticut and are opening a store in the Bronx this summer,” Lyons said. “So we’re busy people right now.”

—Robert Emproto

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