Geopipe is a New York City-based technology firm that uses artificial intelligence to produce immersive digital twins of the real world for simulation, gaming, architecture, and beyond. Launched by co-founders Dr. Christopher Mitchell and Dr. Thomas Dickerson in 2016, Geopipe aims to make it possible for computers to understand every detail of the real world from raw sensor data, then turn that information into 3D models that enterprise customers can license via a SaaS API or download directly to use in their own software.
The firm has made tremendous progress since its launch, including securing a $224,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and being selected as the 2019 SBIR/STTR Recipient of the Year by the New York district office of the US Small Business Administration (SBA). To build on this, Geopipe sought the assistance of the NYS Small Business Development Center network (SBDC) to provide advisement on their Phase II SBIR submission to help “take our technology from a proven-feasible prototype meeting a real commercial need to a commercial product.”
Pace SBDC Director Andrew Flamm assessed the firm’s commercialization needs, and connected with UAlbany SBDC Director Bill Brigham. The NYSBDC’s Federal & State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) grant provides funding to engage technology consultants (Amala Consulting) and other technology advisors with considerable SBIR proposal experience to flesh out a customized advisement plan. Over the months that followed the NYSBDC team and technology consultants provided guidance and recommendations to strengthen the commercialization plan and proposed budget, as well as implement program accounting best practices.
In May 2019, Geopipe was awarded a $750,000 SBIR Phase II grant through the NSF to commercialize its innovative technology, enabling the firm to create two full-time and three part-time jobs and retain three others. According to co-founder Christopher Mitchell, "We're very excited about the award, and couldn't have done it without the NYSBDC’s invaluable support and guidance."