Weather Sensor Start-Up Founded by CASA Students

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

A group of students from the Off-the-Grid (OTG) weather radar project, part of the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) being run at CASA partner institution the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (UPRM), have established Sfyri LLC, a start-up company dedicated to the development of low-cost weather radars. CASA is based at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Impact/benefits: 

Sfyri is essentially an undertaking to commercialize and further develop the technology derived from the OTG project. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in low-income and remote communities by providing faster and more accurate weather forecasts at a lower cost. The OTG radars are portable, wireless, solar-powered, and have garnered the interest of many companies, universities, and government entities around the world.

Explanation/Background: 

The CASA students founded Sfyri in Puerto Rico in May 2011. It has since been named one of the winners of the EnterPRize Business Idea Competition and finished fifth out of 130 companies in their Business Plan Competition. The company has also participated in the Create the Future Design Contest and won Smarty Logo’s Credibility Custom Logo Design Competition.

Sfyri is in the process of seeking investor funding by improving their product line and business plan. Taking advantage of the OTG radars’ inherent ability to detect activity in the lower atmosphere and its ability to account for the Earth’s rough surface, Sfyri is targeting topographically complex regions for business. To realize its goals, the company is working with Puerto Rico’s Small Business Development and Technology Center (SBDTC) and the Puerto Rico Technology Business Accelerator (PRTECH).