By Hollis Templeton
Entrepreneurs from 13 start-ups across the world came together on Thursday, January 19 for the kickoff of Soft Landing New York’s Spring 2023 cohort. During the virtual session, attendees representing 11 countries and four continents were introduced to the program’s support team and key strategic partners, which include the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, the Center for International Business Advancement at Binghamton University, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
This week’s onboarding takes place on the heels of a graduation event celebrating the successes of the inaugural Fall 2022 cohort, during which international start-ups conducted hundreds of customer discovery interviews, advanced their technologies, identified cost-saving opportunities, and set up pilot programs across Upstate New York.
“Companies are very happy with what the team put together last fall,” said Per Stromhaug, Associate Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at Binghamton University. “Some are actually thinking about moving some of their operations to New York State and taking an office in the incubator, so we are very, very excited about that.”
The successes of Soft Landing participants are bolstered by student assistance from Binghamton University and Cornell, where students share their energy, enthusiasm, and talents in data analytics, market research, strategic partnerships, and more.
“The Soft Landing program is an example of Cornell University’s commitment to supporting solutions to rising societal challenges like renewable energy, to contributing to regional and global economic growth, and to collaborations with regional and global partners,” said Jinhua Zhao, the David J. Nolan Dean of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “We take great pride in offering students an opportunity for unparalleled real-world-engagement, learning experiences, and a chance to make a meaningful difference.”
With the fresh start of a new year, Soft Landing New York’s Spring 2023 class is ready to make its own mark on the region–and the world. The cohort includes companies from a variety of sectors including clean energy, food and agriculture, healthcare, export logistics, fashion, and education. During this week’s Zoom session, each was invited to give a brief presentation on their company’s product or service, audience, and goals for expansion into the U.S. market.
- Ireland’s Hub Controls has developed an energy-saving smart thermostat that helps users sell carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market.
- Brazil’s GH Solar allows everyday consumers to independently generate their own renewable energy.
- Italy’s Buzzup is developing sensors and data analytics that track pollination for beekeepers, farmers, researchers, and food producers.
- Egypt’s Carraina has developed a frozen breakfast that satisfies all of the nutritional needs established by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Nigeria’s DayDone has developed e-commerce software to help farmers organize, modernize, and optimize their businesses.
- India’s EF Polymer uses food waste to develop a super absorbent biodegradable polymer that helps farmers save water, reduce fertilizer use, and increase yields.
- Canada’s Hybridyne Health uses AI to create a more accurate and consistent way to diagnose prostate cancer.
- Bulgaria’s Responsa Prevent offers consulting services to make schools and other workplaces safer.
- Guatemala’s Tu Consejeria connects people to app-based mental health services in English and Spanish.
- Canada’s Pash Group is working on a cross-border e-commerce platform that allows people around the world to buy used cars from developed countries.
- Togo’s Togo Cargo has developed an app that helps businesses track shipments, manage inventory, schedule deliveries, and access real-time updates on shipments.
- Uganda’s naRoho trains women to make sustainable handbags, footwear, and other leather items in exchange for fair wages.
- Nigeria’s Univacity is an easy-to-use admissions platform that helps students and recruiters apply to institutes worldwide, making education more accessible across the globe.