NYU-Poly Faculty Startup Companies Showcase State’s Technology Sector

At the Anzenna display, left to right: intern Harit Shah, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Vice President Samir Ajmera, Information Technology Industry Council President and CEO Dean Garfield, and PhD researcher Alok Prabhu. Photo courtesy of Sen. Gillibrand’s office.

Three companies founded by NYU-Poly faculty members represented New York’s powerful technology sector in Washington DC last week at U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s annual High-Tech Showcase sponsored by the Information Industry Technology Council.

“The High-Tech Showcase introduces our innovations to some of the most influential technical institutions and companies in the state,” said Kurt H. Becker, associate provost for research and technology initiatives. “It allows our entrepreneurs to network with icons of technology like Lockheed Martin, GE, IBM, and HP and to meet policymakers like Senator Gillibrand.  While private investment comes to mind whenever the subject of entrepreneurship arises, young technology companies like those at the NYU-Poly business incubators frequently owe their success to the American public because government often funds the basic science that precedes a business plan by supporting the early phase of business development through Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants and other sources.”

Speaking of the High-Tech Showcase, Professor Becker continued: “This event attracts both the public and private sectors and embodies the intellectual environment that we call i-squared-e: invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It fosters the commercial realization of innovations that will benefit society.”

The three startup companies showcased August 4 in the Russell Senate Office Building were: Anzenna, which develops biosensors for rapid disease diagnosis based on the research of Professor Kalle Levon and his graduate students of the Chemical and Biological Sciences Department; Digital Assembly, which develops digital forensics tools based on the research of Computer Science and Engineering Department Professor Nasir Memon and his graduate students; and Vivic Networks, another venture of Professor Memon and his students, this one protecting enterprise networks from intrusion.

The NYU-Poly BEST (Brooklyn Enterprise on Science and Technology) incubator and the Organic Electronics Lab at NYU-Poly is home to Professor Levon’s graduate and doctoral students, while Anzenna’s five employees have moved to the Advanced Biotechnology Incubator on the SUNY Downstate Medical Center campus in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.  The NYU-Poly Varick Street Incubator in lower Manhattan is home to both Digital Assembly and Vivic. Another exhibitor at the High-Tech Showcase was the Long Island Forum for Technology, a not-for profit development organization that focuses on Long Island’s defense and security sectors; NYU-Poly provides academic support.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects eight out of the nine fastest-growing occupations require science and technology skills,” Sen. Gillibrand told the group, “but less than one-third of American students are proficient in math and science.” She outlined a series of bills and initiatives to foster STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and economic support for entrepreneurs.