Staten Island Tech Incubator Unveils Three Tech Startups

The College of Staten Island hopes to contribute to the area's redevelopment by encouraging technology innovation.

by Diane C. Lore, Staten Island Advance, N.Y. / March 28, 2017

(TNS) -- STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A 3-D application that enhances capital improvement designs. An app that uses data to enhance the sightseeing and travel experience for tourists and can boost sales at local shops. Artificial intelligence and facial recognition software for education that can automate administrative tasks in the schools.

These are three of the tech start-ups unveiled Monday by the College of Staten Island's new Technology Incubator in St. George.

CSI opened up the facility at 60 Bay St. last year. It's designed to offer new companies office space, workshops and classes, and take advantage of the CUNY High-Performance Computing Center and Global Information Systems (GIS) offered by the college.

The college hopes to contribute to the redevelopment of the North Shore by encouraging technology innovation. According to CSI President Dr. William Fritz, the Incubator is envisioned as a driver of economic development that will attract more businesses and additional employment opportunities to the borough.

"I want the college to be one of the drivers of change, by helping tech start-up companies grow to scale, stay in the borough, and provide jobs for our graduates," Frtiz said Monday.

The college was able to get plans for the Incubator off the ground after it received a $500,000 grant from the City Council.

Councilman James Vacca (D-the Bronx), who chairs the Council Technology Committee, said the Council has also funded Tech Incubators at the City University's Lehman College in the Bronx, and Queens College, but the CSI Incubator shows the most promise because of its ties to the North Shore redevelopment, with the coming of the New York Wheel and Empire Outlet Center, as well as the Lighthouse Point development, and the newly-established URBY residential village along the Stapleton waterfront.

"Ultimately, Incubators like this are about producing jobs, so that today's students will get the jobs they want," Vacca said.

New Dorp High School Principal Deirdre DeAngelis and Staten Island Technical High School Principal Mark Erlenwein, who attended Monday's session, said their students are already accessing the CSI Incubator for resources and job prospects.

"It gives them a head start on the kinds of technology required in the workforce," Erlenwein said.

DeAngelis said students in New Dorp's Corporate Center for Virtual Enterprise & Software Engineering small learning community find the Incubator helpful.

Linda M. Baran, president and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber welcomes the Incubator and its role in development.

"The Incubator's direct connection to the world-class programming provided by CSI is exactly the kind of innovative solution our borough needs to foster a dynamic tech community," Baran said. "With this connection, the Incubator will no doubt provide the resources, guidance, and mentorship these businesses will need to succeed in today's competitive tech marketplace."

The first three Incubator start-ups were selected by by CSI through a competitive application process. The principals from the start-ups presented their business vision Monday.

Here's what you need to know about each:

VECTUEL

Founded in France in 2007, Vectuel designs innovative interactive 3D applications for real estate and urban development, combining enhanced maps, 3D models and virtual reality media, to create three-dimensional 360-degree experiences of future developments and help project leaders tell their story in a visual way, Claire Flurin, director of urban planning, explained Monday.

WALK & EXPLORE

Walk & Explore utilizes data analytics to personalize and enhance interactions between users and the environment. Users of the new software product can chose among more businesses and municipal services compiled through the interface to increase choice for consumers. The technology can even improve the sightseeing and travel experience for tourists and further boost local sales, according to Georgina Castanon, who heads the start-up.

MTECH

mTech, formerly called Time-Gaurd uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition software for educational purposes, automating administrative tasks in a school setting through an online venue. Through technology, Mtech can provide educators with the ability to know where students are at all times and maintain a safe environment by, for example, alerting school officials of any unauthorized entry to facilities. The founder of mTech, Muhand Jumah, is a CSI student who will graduate in June.

For more information on the CSI Tech Incubator and the three start-ups, go to www.csitechincubator.com.

In addition to the Incubator, CSI is also in the process of renovating the first floor of 120 Stuyvesant Place, opposite Borough Hall, as a St. George satellite campus. Work is expected to be complete before the start of classes for the fall 2017 semester.

©2017 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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