By: Erica M. Hines

Congratulations go out to Helios Innovative Technologies Inc. of Syracuse, NY, Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 New York Business Plan Competition held on April 28, 2011 at the College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering in Albany. The competition was hosted by The College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE) at the University at Albany, UAlbany’s School of Business, the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and Union Graduate College School of Management. In addition to winning the overall competition, Helios also placed first in the Healthcare Track, taking home a combined total of $60,000 in cash and in-kind services, including IP services from HRFM to develop and protect the company’€™s IP portfolio.

HRFM participated as a sponsor and judge in this year’s business plan competition, which featured more than 20 teams from across the state, competing in the fields of Healthcare, Cleantech/Sustainability, Services/Non-Profit, and Nanotech/HiTech. Helios is a product-based medical device startup company that uses UV-C light technology to provide highly effective and environmentally friendly sterilization systems.

The Helios team includes President and CEO Luis F. Romo, Vice President and COO Nick Garritano, and Director of Research and CTO Tags Niepa. The company is based in Syracuse, New York, and operates from the Syracuse Student Sandbox incubator. Helios will soon be entering into a fundraising period. Additional information can be found at the company’s website,

HRFM’s Startup Group includes IP professionals experienced in working with emerging companies, including cross-disciplinary collaboration, developing business plans, protecting startup companies’€™ IP portfolios through the procurement, licensing, and enforcement of IP rights, and preparation for investor IP due diligence.

The group provides the advice and services necessary to protect the IP of startups at all stages of development in a manner that is conducive to optimizing the IP portfolio and attracting desired capital investments. Understand the budgetary challenges facing many startups, the firm can provide low cost alternatives and/or flexible fee arrangements when necessary. The Startup Group also offers on-site educational programs specifically tailored to the needs of startup and incubator clients to assist in developing, implementing, and maintaining an appropriate early-stage IP strategy.

For more information, please contact Erica M. Hines or Matthew Hulihan, co-chairs of the firm’€™s Startup Group.