Be Cool: Launch NY’s Entrepreneur of the Week

May 6, 2015



Coolture Coolture was first to introduce a “lifestyle” cooling solution for improving endurance in warm environments. Cooling vests have traditionally been industrial or medical in appearance, adding unsupported weight to the user. In contrast to the inexpensive fabrics, ice or gel packs, and overseas manufacturing commonly associated with cooling vests, the Coolture cooling vest is custom sewn in Buffalo, New York with premium performance fabrics that enhance the effectiveness of CoolPaks that perform like “dry ice”. While the vest was aimed at people with heat intolerance due to chronic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, COPD, heart conditions, and other illnesses, athletic and motorsports markets are also on board. Pre-cooling before athletics improves endurance. Active cooling for chronic conditions or recreational activities maintains endurance. Coolture is introducing a new cooling vest that will also appeal to occupational markets: contractors, landscapers, arborists, utility companies, chemical companies, etc. Two new accessories will also be added later this month, with plans for a 3rd cooling vest underway for Spring 2016.


Who is Coolture?

Luanne DiBernardo CEO

Luanne DiBernardoWhat finds Luanne at the helm of a start-up company that designs and manufactures cooling vests are the same traits that found her writing and producing a feature film 15 years ago – belief, passion, and zero comprehension that she could fail.

Luanne was in the advertising industry in the late 1980’s through 1990’s In Florida, first at Chris-Craft, then eventually at Donzi Marine, she worked in their in-house advertising departments, which is where she nurtured a talent for copywriting. After opening her own advertising agency in Sarasota, she discovered the thrill of invention. Re-inventing dusty brands and creating stories for new brands was a challenge she devoured – finding new ways to tell a story. Five years later, Luanne’s first screenplay was awarded a $250,000 production grant. She closed her agency, went on location and made a feature film called “Blowfish”. The film received awards at several film festivals. She returned to Buffalo in 2000 to further an in-kind education: writing film and fiction.

Also in 2000, her brother Van left DKNY to return to Buffalo due to the complications of Multiple Sclerosis. Van suffered from side effects that became debilitating every summer. After several summers of watching Van suffer from the heat, she encouraged him to design and make a cooling vest that didn’t look like a medical device. Luanne did some research on potential markets, including athletics, and a fire was lit: Coolture would become the #1 quality cooling vest. That passion, combined with research and no comprehension of possible failure, is why Coolture exists today. This will be their third summer, and they are already off to a great season.

Launch NY Assisted:

Launch NY has assisted Coolture with refocusing the core business towards sustainability, solvency and managed growth expectations. Founder was willing to accept constructive criticism and coaching to respond to Voice of Company. In working with a Business Model Canvas, Coolture was able to align the company’s focus with a real market opportunity supported by customer response.


Launch NY is proud to be working with some of the most promising start-up businesses in Upstate New York. Each week we will bring you an interesting story about people with whom Launch NY is working, and who are shaping the entrepreneurial landscape in Upstate New York.

Launch NY is a non-profit venture development organization with a mission to create jobs by providing guidance, mentoring and investments to help emerging companies succeed within the 27 counties of Upstate New