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Four Ithaca firms among the finalists in FuzeHub’s commercialization competition, set for mid-November

By Eric Reinhardt (


ALBANY, N.Y. — Four Ithaca companies are among the 14 finalists in the upcoming FuzeHub commercialization competition.

FuzeHub is an Albany–based nonprofit organization responsible for assisting small to medium-sized manufacturing companies in New York.

The Ithaca companies include Del Tocororo, LLC; Antithesis Foods, Inc.; Ecolectro, Inc.; and Heat Inverse, per FuzeHub’s news release.

As part of the Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund, FuzeHub will hold its fourth commercialization competition virtually on Nov. 18-19. The organization has selected a total of 14 entrepreneurs from across New York as finalists. They will pitch their ideas during the online event.

FuzeHub will award a total of $300,000 to the top presentations.  The fund provides $1 million annually and is administered by FuzeHub, the statewide Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center.

“This is considered one of FuzeHub’s signature events. It brings awareness to the diversity of innovation and entrepreneurship that exists in all of our regions across New York. Each year, we continue to see new cutting-edge products and technologies,” Elena Garuc, executive director of FuzeHub, said. “These awards can be an essential element to help companies achieve sales and growth.”

Jeff Lawrence, who died in 2015, was a top executive at the Albany–based Center for Economic Growth, the MEP Center for the Capital Region, and a supporter of New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities, according to FuzeHub.

About the Ithaca companies

Del Tocororo, LLC produces Norwhey, a Nordic twist on beer, brewed from yogurt whey and blended with fruit. 

Another finalist, Antithesis Foods, Inc., says it “makes better food through science,” adding that its first product is Grabanzos, a chocolate coated crunchy snack. This snack is “built from our crunchy chickpea dough platform.”

Antithesis is working to prototype a way to rapidly mix, form, and place its dough. The company says winning the competition and developing its automated prototype would help it increase its throughput by “at least” 10 times.

The finalists also include Ecolectro Inc., which is commercializing alkaline exchange materials (AEMs) initially developed at Cornell University. These AEMs can be made as membranes or ionomer solutions. The AEMs are a drop in replacement for hydrogen generators (i.e. electrolyzers) and allow electrolyzer manufacturers to eliminate the need for expensive metals such as iridium, platinum and titanium for inexpensive ones such as nickel and stainless steel. In addition, the AEM chemistry allows for longer device lifetimes.

Another company, Heat Inverse, has a thin film that passively cools applications that lose efficiency when heated. A simple application to the tops of refrigerated trailers provides 25 to 80 percent of total cooling power needed for refrigeration in transit.  These films are designed for high throughput manufacturing processes and are available in visibly transparent and reflective versions.

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