ThermApparel partners with MS Foundation to provide cooling vests to people in need

RIT Venture Creations company is now part of the foundation’s portfolio of providers

April 10, 2018

by Vienna McGrain

For the nearly 400,000 people nationwide who suffer from heat sensitivity as a side effect of multiple sclerosis, a Rochester, N.Y.-based company is committed to providing cooling relief at a reasonable cost.

ThermApparel, a company in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations business incubator, designs lightweight cooling vests and has announced a partnership with MS Focus: The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation to provide the garments free of charge to people living with multiple sclerosis who meet certain income requirements... Read more here.

G's power hour

G's Power Hour featured Crystal R. Mendoza Paulin LIVE on July 11, 2017. Listen here.


RIT startups use technology for products that increase accessibility

by Jim Goodman

By squinting, Rochester Institute of Technology student Daniel Berg caused the wheelchair he was testing to move forward.

When he squinted again, the wheelchair came to a stop.

Berg, 23, who is a mechanical engineering student, is part of a team of RIT students working on a product — called Co-Pilot — designed to help people with neurological disorders use a wheelchair when they can’t operate it with their hands... Read more here.

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Winners of the 2017 Rochester Venture Challenge announced

by Emily Hessney

We are excited to announce that Empire Medicinals, a Rochester startup company in the field of healthcare, is the winner of the 2017 Rochester Venture Challenge.

The announcement was made today at the 9th annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Rochester, attended by approximately 300 of the area’s business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors... Read more here.

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Rochester Venture Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

Eight early-stage companies have been selected as semi-finalists in the 2017 Rochester Venture Challenge from among the 35 companies that entered the competition in January. The eight semi-finalists are competing for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

From this group, five finalists will be selected by a selection panel and announced on March 31st; finalist companies will present their business pitches to a panel of judges on the morning of April 27th in an event open to the public at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in more here.

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Catching up with ThermApparel, Crystal Mendoza Paulin

November 26, 2016

by Jinelle Shengulette

In spring 2015, RIT students Crystal Mendoza, Bradley Dunn and Kurtis Kracke began work on what would become ThermApparel.

Since then, the trio has managed to raise $10,000 for use toward beta testing on their product, a cooling garment for multiple sclerosis patients and people with other conditions that could benefit from body temperature regulation.

Part of those funds were acquired through a loan from a local credit union. The rest of the fundraising was done from micro-lending site Kiva... Read more here.

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RIT incubator welcomes new companies

October 4, 2016

Rochester Institute of Technology's Venture Creations business incubator recently announced the inclusion of ThermApparel and Positive Science.

ThermApparel was founded by RIT students Bradley Dunn, Kurtis Kracke and Crystal Mendoza Paulin, as a low-cost, discreet, flexible garment that assists patients with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy or other conditions, by regulating body temperature in hot weather... Read more here.

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Venture Creations incubator adds two companies

October 3, 2016

by Lori Gable

Rochester Institute of Technology recently announced the addition of two companies to its business incubator, Venture Creations.

There are now 25 clients of the RIT incubator, which was established in 2003 as a way to support the development of fledgling companies while advancing the educational and research missions of the university.

The newest members, announced Friday, are ThermApparel and Positive Science LLC... Read more here.

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Student Center Stage

October 2016 Newsletter

ThermApparel is a startup company that has participated in several Simone Center programs, including Tiger Tank, Applied Entrepreneurship, Business Model Competition and Saunders Summer Startup Program at RIT. The idea was started in IdeaLab and Bradley Dunn, Kurtis Kracke and Crystal Mendoza took over to make it what it is today.

They are working on integrating modern phase change cooling technology into discrete and flexible garments for Multiple Sclerosis patients. With a wide range of both cooling strengths and garment options, ThermApparel enables MS patients to remain active even on the hottest days... Read more here.

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RIT’s Venture Creations incubator welcomes two new companies to its roster


September 30, 2016

by Vienna McGrain

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations business incubator has announced the recent inclusion of two new companies to its roster.

ThermApparel, founded by RIT students Bradley Dunn (MFA, industrial design, Baltimore); Kurtis Kracke (MFA, industrial design, Rochester, N.Y.); and Crystal Mendoza Paulin (biomedical engineering, Dallas), is a lower cost, discreet, flexible garment that assists patients with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy or other conditions, by regulating body temperature in hot weather... Read more here.

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Digital Rochester logo.

This video is courtesy of the Digital Rochester 2016 GREAT Awards. The four nominees in the Student Achievement category were all groups from RIT:

Bradley Dunn & Team, RIT – MS ThermApparel
Jesse Jurman & Team, RIT – Bikelomatic Complexity
Erika Madison & Team, RIT – Smart Toy
Emmanuel Nii Dudoo & Ethan Kersat, RIT – AWARE

Congratulations to all the students, especially the Smart Toy team for winning the 2016 Student Achievement award!

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RIT entrepreneurship will be on display at Digital Rochester awards Sept. 22


September 9, 2016

by Vienna McGrain

Rochester Institute of Technology will be well represented at the 2016 Greater Rochester Excellence and Achievements in Technology Awards, presented by Digital Rochester Inc. The awards are Sept. 22 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

The annual awards recognize and celebrate the Greater Rochester community’s entrepreneurial spirit in technological achievement for advancing commerce and resource conservation... Read more here.

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The hubbub of Imagine RIT is over for another year - but many students who took part in "Dr. Destler's Challenge" at the festival think their inventions have promising futures. Innovation Trail ( is a reporting project that aims to help the public gain a better understanding about some of the big issues that upstate New York communities are facing.
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April 26, 2016

We highlight the annual celebrations held by the University of Rochester and RIT known as, respectively, UR Design Day and Imagine RIT: Innovation and... Read more here.

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There's a wide range of technologies on the market or in development to help people -- whether they have physical or cognitive challenges. And as WXXI's Sasha-Ann Simons tells us Rochester, New York students are making some new gadgets to help provide accessibility for everyone.
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RIT's 3rd Annual Conference showcases new technologies designed to aid individuals with disabilities.
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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-legislation committed to giving equal opportunity, full participation, and independent living for people with disabilities. RIT's 3rd Annual Effective Access Technology Conference will bring together all these stakeholders to showcase groundbreaking technology and share ideas and solutions.