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Graphene Devices wins business plan contest

Rochester Business Journal
April 18, 2013

Graphene Devices Ltd. won first place in the 2013 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest.

The winner was announced Thursday at the Fifth annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon Hyatt Regency Rochester. Some 300 people attended.

Graphene Devices receives a cash prize of $25,000, a year of free incubation services and office space from High Tech Rochester Inc. and $2,500 of marketing services from Dixon Schwabl Inc.  

Empire Robotics Inc. won second place, and Localized Therapeutics LLC won third place. Each won a combination of cash and services.

The runners-up were 5DInnovations and IMSWorkX Inc.

“Rochester has a wealth of intellectual capital and innovation potential, as evidenced by all of our finalists,” said James Senall, president of High Tech Rochester. “Each of these companies has great potential to do themselves and Rochester proud.”

The panel of judges based its decision on criteria that includes the probability of success of the business plan coupled with the size of its potential economic impact (the larger the impact, the better). This year, 46 companies submitted applications to the contest, one of the largest cohorts of applicants in recent years.

Graphene Devices was founded in 2009 by Buffalo native and entrepreneur Robert Anstey. The company optimizes the production of graphene, a pure-carbon substance that can be used to strengthen items such as plastics, inks and electric circuits and can enhance medical, chemical and industrial processes.

Empire Robotics is a Cornell University technology spinout. The company has an exclusive license to intellectual property developed at Cornell and is commercializing a platform robotics technology through its first product, a universal robot gripper.

Localized Therapeutics founder Max Myakishev-Rempel believes he has a product that could help cure ailments such as arthritis, obesity and post-traumatic stress disorder. The company is developing laser switch technology for gene therapy.

The business plan contest is a collaborative effort of HTR, Digital Rochester Inc., the Entrepreneurs Network, Excell Partners, Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc., Nazareth College of Rochester School of Management, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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