Two new companies, Iontraxx and Web4Sign, will be coming to Stony Brook’s Research and Development Park and joining the 17 other companies that already operate on campus as part of Stony Brook’s involvement in the START-UP NY program.
The program, launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in October 2013, provides a range of benefits to new and expanding companies located in New York. The biggest of those benefits is a 10-year, tax-free operation in space provided by an eligible university or college campus.
Although these companies have recently been approved to operate on campus, campus contact for START-UP NY Susan Nastro said in an email that only Iontraxx, a company from Florida that specializes in construction and asset management of large-scale solar energy projects, has relocated to Stony Brook.
Nastro said Web4Sign will move to campus in the next month. Web4Sign explores and develops ways to digitize a signature without compromising security.
“If it’s paper, it’s easy,” explained Raffaello Galli, the president of Web4Sign. “When the document is electronic, how do you reach the same legal level?”
Web4Sign seeks to solve that problem by tracking more than just the image of a signature, what typical electronic signatures do. “We are taking the pressure, velocity, acceleration, and direction of the pen,” Galli said. All of that information goes into the signatures, not just the signature image.
Galli said his experience with applying for the program wasn’t easy. “It takes time,” he said, reflecting on the process. “And it’s not easy to pass.” He applied two years ago for the program but said the system was not ready to accept and process applications, and his initial application was not approved.
Galli explained that if a company does not have a piece of technology desired by a specific university, then the company won’t get approved.
For companies to be approved for START-UP NY and by the specific university, their missions must significantly resemble the academic missions of the university. For example, Stony Brook is seeking companies in electronics, wireless and information technology and smart grid information technologies to name a few.
Now, Galli is excited and relieved to begin work for Web4Sign at Stony Brook.
Galli is also excited to be a part of the Stony Brook community for the students and connections. He plans to have some students, graduate and undergraduate, work for him during their time at the university. If the students do a good job, Galli said he will probably hire them, or at least offer them jobs at Web4Sign.
Iontraxx is working to solve management issues of large scale solar projects. Lian Niu, a worker for Iontraxx, said they’re “finding tools or creating ways to make the construction manager’s job easier.”
Iontraxx seeks to simplify the process of tracking equipment through software and hardware implementation, Niu explained. That way, if a certain tool is lost on the construction site, it can be located, or if a specific material is running low, a construction manager can order more so the project stays on track. All of this data collection helps keep track of efficiency and lowers the cost of projects.
He shared Galli’s excitement of being a part of the Stony Brook community and said Iontraxx “absolutely will use students.” In fact, it already has. “We’ve met some people on the campus already who have given us some ideas,” Niu said. “You need that fresh mentality.”
As a part of START-UP NY, both companies have pledged to create 21 new jobs for the state of New York, adding to the 3,800 already pledged by the other 143 companies who have been approved by START-UP NY.
Nastro, who is also the economic development program coordinator at Stony Brook, said all of the companies involved with START-UP NY have unique and novel ideas that align well with the university’s research. Nastro added that Stony Brook will continue considering companies who fit with the university’s technology sector and missions.