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Media Release

16 Startups to Pitch for Cut of $5 Million Prize, including $1 Million Grand Prize

New York State today announced the 16 finalists of this year’s 43North competition. The $5 million startup competition is designed to encourage entrepreneurs with high growth potential to compete for enterprise funding in Western New York. The finalists, which hail from regions across North America, will participate in two rounds of live pitching at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo on October 5 for a shot at one of 43North’s eight cash awards, which include a $1 million grand prize, a runner-up prize of $650,000, a third-place prize of $550,000 and five awards of $500,000.

“43North continues be a driving force of Buffalo’s resurgence, helping to shape the Western New York region as a destination for some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs from across the globe,” Governor Cuomo said. “Now in its fourth year, 43North will provide funding and mentorship to winning startups that bring new ideas to Buffalo, as we continue to attract 21st century businesses and foster job growth across the entire region.”

In addition to cash, 43North winners receive free incubator space in 43North’s incubator on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for one year, guidance from experienced mentors in their field, and access to other business incentive programs.

Both rounds of judging on October 5 are open to the public and tickets are free, but registration is required. Registration is now open at, and the schedule is as follows:

43North Qualifying Round
Thursday, October 5
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

16 finalists will pitch live in front of more than two dozen judges for the opportunity to be one of the 10 companies that advance to 43North Finals that evening.

43North Finals
Thursday, October 5
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.)
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

10 startups will pitch live in front of seven Finals Judges for a shot at one of 43North’s eight cash prizes, which include a $1 million grand prize, a $650,000 runner-up award, a $550,000 third place award, and five awards of $500,000. The audience will also have the chance to cast their vote for the $10,000 People’s Choice Award.

43North Board Chair Bill Maggio said, “43North focuses on attracting high-quality startups with excellent teams, strong products and evidence of traction – that is reflected in this year’s pool of 43North Finalists. I look forward to see which of these ambitious companies rise to the top on Oct. 5 to become our next winners.”

43North Executive Director John Gavigan said, “43North’s Finalists have worked hard to get to this point, but the competition only gets more challenging from here. Circle your calendars for Oct. 5 – it will be an exciting evening at Shea’s Performing Arts Center as these Finalists battle it out for a cut of $5 million in cash awards.”

New York Power Authority Chairman John R. Koelmel said, “The New York Power Authority is extremely proud to continue supporting 43North year after year as a part of NYS’s Buffalo Billion initiative. By providing funding to this incredible competition, we are continuing to bring cutting-edge businesses and startups to Western New York, furthering the economic resurgence that is happening right in our beloved city.”

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Businesses from across the nation and around the world have chosen Western New York as the best location to grow and succeed, giving our startup ecosystem a continued confidence that attracts and cultivates commerce and investment from around the globe.”

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and SolEpoxy Inc. President Jeff Belt said, “43North has once again leveraged and supported our region’s economic growth by bringing some the world’s most innovative startups to Western New York. Congratulations to all the finalists who have made it this far, and I wish them all luck in their pitching and look forward to the advancements they will bring to Buffalo.”

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of the State University of New York at Fredonia Dr. Virginia Horvath said, “Western New York continues to be a supportive destination for businesses and entrepreneurs to develop, advance and further their businesses, thanks to New York State and 43North. With Buffalo continuing to be a city on the rise, we are proud to become the home of such promising startups and are eager to see what the 2017 finalists bring to Western New York.”

The 16 Finalists for 2017 are:

Burner Fitness
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Burner is a platform for mind and body training. They make it affordable for anyone to train with the best fitness professionals and wellness coaches.

Cellular Preservation Technologies, LLC
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Cellular Preservation Technologies is a medical device company focused on applying their unique technology for the preservation of human cells across multiple cell and tissue types. Their initial focus is on the preservation of blood platelets, where there is a high degree of product waste due to their short shelf-life (4-5 days).

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Doblet is building networks of smart (app-driven) branded portable chargers, so consumers can charge their phones for free everywhere. They work with top brands to provide charging at thousands of locations per city. For brands, they re-engage customers, generate new app downloads, create physical brand presence and inspire consumer goodwill.

Dozop, LLC
Hometown: Watertown, MA
Dozop, LLC designs unique, ready-to-assemble utility carts to help you transport personal belongings. The product line includes dollies, lift trucks and accessories that are modular, lightweight and compact – ideal for storage in a car trunk, office closet or apartment. They can be used to move heavy items around the block, and work both indoors and outdoors.

Femi Secrets
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Femi Secrets provides the ultimate protection to women of all ages during their monthly menstrual cycle. Femi Secrets specializes in eco-friendly, healthy and savvy options for women and their premiere product, Pretty Panty, guarantees no leaks. They are keeping women beautiful, comfortable and confident.

Fig Loans
Hometown: New York, NY
Fig bridges borrowers from bad to good credit by providing socially responsible financial products that build credit. Fig offers an emergency loan designed alongside financial coaches at the United Way that is 70 percent cheaper than payday loans, and naturally transitions consumers into financial stability products.

Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Kangarootime is the first modern mobile and web operating system for childcare centers, schools and camps. They provide a full document management strategy to make schools paperless and create workflows to ensure that students, parents, staff members and management are always up-to-date.

Hometown: Boston, MA
MobioSense is changing the future of heart care. They created HERO: a portable and affordable device detecting cardiac biomarkers like Troponin at high-sensitivity. With just one drop of blood and 10 minutes, HERO provides quantitative results with 100 times the sensitivity of current tests, with 70 percent less cost.

Qidni Labs
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Qidni Labs Inc. develops renal replacement therapies (artificial kidneys) that fit in the palm of your hand, which can be used by millions of patients with kidney failure.

Hometown: San Mateo, CA
Selfycart allows grocery shoppers to scan product barcodes, pay on their phone and walk out without ever having to stand in checkout lines. Using the Selfycart app, shoppers walk in a store and start scanning and adding items to their cart. When they’re ready to check out, they can pay using a credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay.

Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
SomaDetect is an agricultural technology company that provides dairy farmers with key milk quality indicators. With SomaDetect, farmers are intimately connected with every cow they milk, enabling them to identify problems early, make informed decisions and produce the best possible milk.

Hometown: New York, NY
Squire is OpenTable for barber shops.

Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Suncayr’s product, SPOT, is a smart indicator of UV light to help everyone be safer in the sun. SPOT shows sunscreen users when their sunscreen is no longer protecting them using a simple color change.

Hometown: San Jose, CA
TARA is an intelligent product builder, using AI to speed up the software development of products through automated project scoping, assignment of vetted contractors and performance management.

Vivacelle Bio, Inc.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Vivacelle Bio is developing VBI-1, a novel nanoparticle fluid to reverse adverse effects of blood loss. Preclinical studies demonstrate that VBI-1 is safer and more effective than current fluids used for resuscitation in shock. VBI-1 protects organs, while blood may cause organ damage. The worldwide market is estimated at $13 billion.

Water Hero
Hometown: Beverly, MA
Water Hero is an IoT device that allows you to control your water with your smartphone. You get real-time water usage information. You can turn your water on/off remotely, and if a pipe breaks in your house, it automatically shuts your water off and sends you a text.


About 43North
43North is the $5 million startup competition, awarding cash prizes to some of the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. 43North winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through the support of NYS’s Buffalo Billion initiative and grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority. Additional support comes from several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit

Tags: finalists, Press Release

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