Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer
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2013 Year in Review
Foundry Cohort 4
Message from the Director

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Severino Center,


We'd like to share our year's activities and some pending changes with you, now that the summer's here and we can breathe a little. Below please find all that has happened, enjoy the pics. Many people were involved with the Center's activities this year. I'd like to thank all of you who were and invite those who wish to continue or to jump in next year to watch for another message from us to follow shortly. 


A special thanks to Remy Arteaga '06, who helped out immensely this year as our Program Manager and Entrepreneur in Residence while we transitioned the Center's leadership. We'll miss him as he leaves us to pursue other interests. Ah..the life of an entrepreneur!


As of July 1, Jason Kuruzovich will be assuming the responsibilities of Director of the Severino Center, as I move into the role of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Lally School. Jason is a crucial member of the Lally faculty, an Associate Professor of, well, just about everything... Information Systems, Data Analytics, Marketing, and now E-ship! He is the brains and energy behind the Foundry program within the Center, has an outstanding level of energy and enthusiasm for the Center's mission and will carry it forward well.  Be prepared for some changes as he makes his mark.  


All the best to you. I'm not going far and still have the same email address. Keep in touch, as you know I will whenever the opportunity arises. Thank you for a wonderful three years.


Very best,


Eight Student Companies Funded for Summer Program


Foundry-RPI funds eight student companies to work full time on their ventures this summer.

This peer-based coaching environment utilizes a document-driven management system and weekly meet-ups, with the aim of helping entrepreneurs to take the first steps towards identifying a scalable business model.

Five additional teams are participating in a non-funded manner.  

Follow the group on Facebook.


Contact the Center if you'd like to learn more or if your early stage company could benefit from an environment such as this.
Shark Tank 2013

Shark Tank Swimming with Alumni


In the middle of business plan competition season, an opportunity arose to feature two of the more advanced student companies during Accepted Students Day on campus.

Simulating the ABC hit tv series Shark Tank, allowed us to show prospective students how fun entrepreneurship is and give them real examples of how far sRensselaer tudents are taking their businesses. 


Featured student companies: PayWithMe and Vulcan Technologies.

Featured Sharks: (L-R) Bob Godgart '82, Mark Berstein '94 MBA, Ken Bubeck '78, '83 MBA


View photos


Honors Worth Mentioning


Vital VIO, a startup well known to the Severino Center, won Best Presentation at the Smart Start Venture Forum in May. CEO, Colleen Costello '12 returned to campus this summer to coach companies in the Foundry-RPI program.


Rutvik Mehta '11, CEO, Thermoaura, was included in this year's 40 Under 40 list developed by The Business Review. This list highlights distinguished leaders in the Capital Region making a name for themselves before the age of 40.


Casey Hoffman '12 and Jaron Kuppers '12, co-founders of Vistex Composites, brought home the 2013 People's Choice Award for Best Composites Product at the American Composites Manufacturing Association Conference. The team was able to present at the conference with the help of a Buhrmaster '69 grant to test their market during product development. 


Adam Brooks '13, CEO, Vulcan Technologies had a successful year introducing his company to the local market. In the final semester of his Master's degree, Adam received funding through the RPI Business Plan Competition in February, took home prize money in the healthcare track at the NYS Business Plan Competition in April, and presented for the first time at Smart Start Venture Forum in May. Vulcan's partial hand prosthesis aims to create a more comfortable fit and reduce noise experienced with models currently on the market.

Entrepreneur of the Year, Harry Ruda '68, '69G
CEO, Wing Power Energy

Entrepreneur of the Year  (EOY) Harry Ruda, CEO, Wing Power Energy, spoke to an audience of alumni, students, faculty, staff and administration about the path that led him to become a serial entrepreneur.
crowd shot Daymond John
Photo by Joseph Shen / The Polytechnic

New Incentive Added to the
RPI Business Plan Competition

Star power visits campus during competition season.

Winners of this year's business plan competition had the chance to pitch in front of Daymond John, Shark Tank Entrepreneur/ Marketing Expert/ Founder, FUBU during his visit to campus. 

The timing was right, the room was packed, and both first place teams were bringing their "A" game.  


2nd Annual High School Business Plan Competition
Attracts 68 Students to Campus

HSBPC'13 team lally


"Participation from high school students in this event has more than tripled just since last year, indicating a strong level of interest among them in creating value for society through ingenious new business ideas," said Gina O'Connor, associate dean and professor at Lally and director of the Severino Center. "Young people who are so entrepreneurially minded will have a great impact on our region and beyond. It's very exciting to work with these business-savvy students."


Read more from Inside Rensselaer

Read more from the Troy Record

Competition site
Changes in Store for the Entrepreneurs' Breakfast
Formerly Known as the Severino Interest Group

This year started with a short survey to many active members in an effort to better focus our program to the  interests of the Rensselaer and local business community. One result of this survey was a name change for the six year old meeting series to Entrepreneurs' Breakfast. This, along with a new tag line, better represented the group as a whole. Watch for emails announcing the fall lineup, which could include a new time of day for these meetings.


2012-13 Speakers
By the Numbers
Interactions with
32 (18 teams)125 (53 teams)125 (54 teams)
Buhrmaster '69
grants awarded
Foundry-RPI teamsn/a6 teams25 teams


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