Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations this month launched four new companies. In total, the incubator has launched 42 businesses that have created 559 jobs since 2003.

Venture Creations was created to provide services to incubating companies, facilitating the development and operation of these companies for the purpose of advancing the educational and research missions of RIT through the enhancement of faculty, student and staff involvement in high technology. It was also designed to promote economic development and competitiveness in Monroe County and New York State by encouraging and facilitating the transfer of technology resources to the marketplace.

“We are very proud of the track record that Venture Creations has developed over the past few years,” said Richard Notargiacomo, director of Venture Creations. “And we are especially proud of these four companies and look forward to witnessing their contribution to the continued economic development of our region. Rochester is an innovation hub, and Venture Creations, with our steady stream of top-quality, high-technology companies, is proud to be an active catalyst in that ecosystem.”

The 2019 graduating companies are:

ThermApparel: Creators of low-cost cooling apparel for people living with heat sensitivity. Their product, UnderCool, weighs less than 2 pounds and is made with a four-way stretch fabric that holds a biodegradable and non-toxic phase change material that freezes at room temperature and keeps a person cool for one-and-a-half hours.

Alumni, faculty and staff talk in a group
George Zheng, right, explains his business, Leep Foods, to RIT President David Munson, left, and Ryne Raffaele, RIT vice president for research and associate provost.  (Photo credit: Elizabeth Lamark)

Leep Foods: Leep Foods uses environmentally friendly and sustainable production methods to make previously inaccessible specialty mushrooms, such as Coral Maitake and Blue Oyster mushrooms, manufacturable at high quantities and quality standards. The company’s goal is to bring specialty mushrooms to the forefront of the American palette.

Sky Op: The drone education company is focused on training individuals to safely use unmanned aerial vehicles in airspace for personal or business purposes. The company also offers certification test prep.

Positive Science: Positive Science is a head-mounted eye-tracking and behavioral analysis system that can be used by clients for a variety of projects. Hardware systems are customizable to allow researchers to explore applications in all areas of eye tracking; software provides an eye-tracking solution for the Mac OS platform that uses intuitive calibration and custom graphics.