October 12, 2022

FuzeHub Announces Finalists for 2022 Commercialization Competition at the New York State Innovation Summit

Start-ups will compete in pitch sessions to win up to $150,000 to advance the development of their technologies

FuzeHub, a not-for-profit organization responsible for assisting small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in New York State, has selected the finalists for its 2022 Commercialization Competition, to be held October 25-26 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The competition, part of FuzeHub’s Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, is in its sixth year. Twelve entrepreneurs from across New York State will pitch their ideas before a live audience for the chance to win $50,000, and one company will take home the grand award of $150,000.

Empire State Development (ESD) Senior Vice President Matt Watson, who directs ESD’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), said, “The annual Commercialization Competition fulfills a crucial need for capital during the early stages of manufacturing startups’ development. Many previous awardees have been able to leverage their positions based on the value added by FuzeHub’s funding, leading to increased levels of investments and success. These companies represent the creativity and innovation consistently being generated in New York State.”

This two-day event in Buffalo, NY will feature keynote speakers, an executive roundtable, exhibits, breakout sessions on economic development trends and disruptive technologies, and the opportunity to see why New York State is at the forefront of emerging industries. Track 4 in the breakout sessions is the Commercialization Competition, where companies will demonstrate the commercialization potential of their product or technology and compete against each other for the opportunity to win an award. Award funds must be used to improve an existing prototype that will enable the company to pursue additional investment and customers, leading to the commercialization of their product concept.

“These 12 finalists represent a wide variety of industries, supporting the idea that this is the best time for innovation in every aspect of manufacturing. From improved health care to energy generation and storage, and a general regard for environmental sustainability, you will find an interesting project in this round no matter what your background is,” said Elena Garuc, Executive Director of FuzeHub.

This event will allow individuals to network with others in the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystems and see how FuzeHub is continuing to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. Registration and full agenda details are available at

FuzeHub is pleased to announce the finalists:

Aha! Solutions, Inc. (Mechanicville)

Aha! Solutions developed a revolutionary step stool that provides a safer, better step up for customers. The Next-Step Stool contains 2 hooks that attach to a cabinet door of any height, minimizing the distance between the stool and the desired area of reach. These hooks provide a built-in anti-tipping mechanism, creating a higher level of safety during use. Furthermore, the steps can be customized on demand – if the upper step is not needed, it can be easily folded away without any obstruction to using the lower step alone.

re:Charge-e (Albany)

re:Charge-e developed a universal wireless micromobility charging station designed as a shared resource for the electric micromobility industry. Using advanced wireless power transfer technology and intelligent power management software, their innovative design adapts to a range of vehicles and battery types ensuring a variety of shared electric micromobility operators can reap operational and financial benefits.

Carapace Analytics (Syracuse)

Carapace Analytics is ready to scale their existing automated mobility assessment which measures users’ fall risk. This project includes investment technology infrastructure and sensors.

Envision Biopolymers LLC (Syracuse)

Envision will provide a waste-to-bioplastic platform technology for chemical suppliers to the pulp and paper-based food packaging industry. This not only answers their customers’ demands for more sustainable packaging solutions, but also an impending critical need to replace soon-to-be outlawed

workhouse chemistries (PFAS) that they have been using

Farm to Flame Energy Inc. (Syracuse)

Farm to Flame Energy repurposed a Steam Turbine to generate electricity through a smokeless-odorless and portable biomass electricity generation process. They use pulverized feed stocks as biomass to achieve a thermal efficiency of 98%, against the traditional biomass thermal efficiency of 78%.

K-Neesio LLC (Rochester)

NuNee is a clinically proven and recommended bracing system for treatment of anterior knee pain. In 2023, K-Neesio will grow their existing manufacturing capacity in the NY Finger Lakes Region, expand their clinical marketing and sales efforts nationally, and harden the NuNee product for use in the military and contact sports.

Photonect Interconnect Solutions Inc. (Rochester)

Photonect Interconnect Solutions is creating a state-of-the-art laser attach machine which connects optical fibers to photonic chips using fusion splicing with a patented adapter integrated into the photonic chip. This improves device performance by 4x and decreases the speed of manufacturing by 10X leading to a cost savings of 50% per connection.

Levelle Inc. (Poughkeepsie)

Levelle Nutrition seeks to design, procure and install a manufacturing line that forms, fills and pasteurizes energy purée and seed butter single-serve pouches. Levelle aims to revolutionize the sports nutrition industry by focusing on female athletes and tailoring products to the female metabolism. They use low-glycemic, plant ingredients to deliver a sustained release of energy, without a side serving of agony

Mohawk Machine Works LLC (Amsterdam)

Mohawk will manufacture innovative technology to quickly & efficiently clean & dry surfaces for commercial & government customers in infrastructure & transportation. Market research has identified a worldwide need for Mohawk technology in multiple applications/market segments, with many years of future growth potential.

Cohesive Robotics (Bronx)

Cohesive Robotics is leveraging sensors and AI (artificial intelligence) to improve the robustness and performance of their system to perform surface finishing tasks (sanding, polishing, grinding) on different metals and more complex shapes to improve manufacturing fabrication and finishing processes.

SOTRO Innovations Inc. (Brooklyn)

SOTRO Innovations builds tech-enabled products to make it easier & faster to style and grow healthier, thicker, and longer hair. They are going to launch an environmentally-sustainable, collapsible hair steamer that facilitates aromatherapy integration, self-sanitizes & allows for set-up on any flat surface.

Ashlawn Energy (Binghamton)

Ashlawn Energy’s patented VanCharg™ vanadium redox flow battery energy storage system enables multi-family and commercial office building owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid paying fines from new environmental laws (Local Law 97 in New York City) and pay lower off-peak rates to save on utility charges.


The Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, consisting of over $1 million annually, supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. FuzeHub is administering this fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development designated statewide MEP center. For more information about the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, contact Patty Rechberger, Innovation Fund Manager, at or visit Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund.