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New York State Announces Finalists Selected for 6th Annual 43North Competition

Media Release

16 Startups From Across the World To Pitch for Cut of $5 million prize, Including $1 million grand prize

Inaugural “Startup Madness Bracket Challenge” Lets 43North Fans Pick Their Favorite Teams Leading Up to Finals On October 30

New York State today announced the 16 finalists of this year’s 43North competition that will be coming to Buffalo later this month to pitch for one of eight investments totaling $5 million, including a top prize of $1 million. These startups hail from across the United States, as well as Canada and Poland, and cover a wide range of industries, from software platforms to medical devices, consumer products, and artificial intelligence.

“43North is once again supporting economic development in Western New York by bringing some of the world’s top startups to the region,” a representative for New York State said. “Buffalo’s reputation for success and job growth has brought new excitement to the region and we are looking forward to what these bright innovators bring to the competition field.”

The finalists were announced live by veteran Buffalo Bills broadcaster, John Murphy at (716) Food & Sport among a crowd of 43North alumni, mentors, judges, and community partners. This year, 43North is holding its first-ever Startup Madness Bracket Challenge. All are invited to participate in this free challenge, where participants will select 10 startups they think will pitch on stage, which eight will receive investment, and which company will receive the top investment of $1 million.

“We are continuing the momentum of innovation with the internationally recognized 43North Competition, and I congratulate all of the finalists,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The competition is attracting the best and the brightest aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world to Buffalo, creating new job opportunities and fueling the economy of Western New York.”

Attendees at this year’s event can expect a revamped program with a brand-new set, new judges, and some unexpected twists along the way. As in previous years in addition to $1 million grand prize, and seven $500,000 prizes, winners receive free space in 43North’s new incubator in Seneca One tower, guidance from experienced mentors in their field, and access to other business incentive programs.

43North President Alex Gress said, “For the sixth 43North competition, we wanted to take things up a notch and get the community excited about the finalists coming to pitch in Buffalo for a share of $5 million. Buffalo is a city full of devoted sports fans, so we put a spin on our finalist’s announcement with the Startup Madness Bracket Challenge to play into that fandom.”

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “This sixth round of the 43North competition will further the economic resurgence it has fueled in Western New York by attracting cutting-edge businesses and then giving them the support they need to grow and innovate here.”

43North Finals is free to attend, but registration is required and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free tickets for 43North Finals on October 30 at 6pm at Shea’s Performing Arts Center can be reserved at To take part in the Startup Madness Bracket Challenge visit and fill out a bracket by October 28 to be entered to win a full suite at a Buffalo Sabres game and other VIP perks courtesy of Pegula Sports & Entertainment.

The 2019 43North Finalists are:

BridgeCare – Seattle, WA

Founder: Jamee Herbert


BridgeCare is the AI-powered co-parent: a workplace benefit lightening the load for working parents. By leveraging underutilized tax benefits, BridgeCare makes it easy and affordable for every employer to solve the overwhelming caregiving challenges that have already driven 50% of millennials to leave their jobs.

Charmtech Labs (Capti) – Stony Brook, NY (and moved to Buffalo since applying to 43North)

Founder: Yevgen Borodin


Capti’s mission is to empower people to process information more effectively, overcome learning disabilities and language barriers, and make reading more interactive and accessible. Our product, Capti Voice, is a literacy support tool enabling teachers to personalize learning for students of all abilities and help students become more independent.

Circuit Clinical (TrialScout) – Buffalo, NY

Founder: Irfan Khan


Circuit Clinical is one of the largest integrated research organizations in the U.S., and through its Clinical Services Team and patient platform TrialScout, empowers patients to choose clinical research as a care option.

Curiato – Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Co-Founders: Moazam Khan and Zied Etleb


Curiato is a clinical stage data science company that has developed the first skin data platform to prevent against expensive and dangerous hospital acquired conditions such as bedsores, bedfalls, urinary incontinence, etc.

Exit 7C – Milwaukee, WI

Founder: Blessing Egbon


Exit 7C leverages technology to efficiently provide fuel, maintenance, and compliance services to transportation fleets. Using proprietary software to streamline logistics, planning, inventory management, and billing, it provides onsite services such as oil changes, tire replacement, car washing and more services to fleets, right at their place of business, in more than 34 cities.

Glaze Prosthetics – Kraków, Poland

Founder: Piotr Sajdak


Glaze Prosthetics’ mission is to create customized prosthetics that reflect the style, vision and personality of the wearer. Glaze is currently the only company worldwide that allows amputees to choose the model, color, and type of finish of their prosthetic arm, releasing them from the constraints of conventionally manufactured prosthetic limbs.

GroupRaise – Houston, TX

Founder: Devin Baptiste


GroupRaise is a marketplace that helps groups of 20-200 people make reservations at restaurants willing to donate a percentage of the sales back to a charitable cause.

HotelsByDay – New York, NY

Founder: Yannis Moati


HotelsByDay is a marketplace offering technology and protocols that unlock hotel day room inventory and booking flexibility. With over 99,000 realized bookings in 4 years, HotelsByDay is a proven solution to increase revenues, monetize room downtime, reduce hotel customer acquisition costs, and improve guest experiences.

Peanut Butter – Chicago, IL

Founder: David Aronson


Peanut Butter helps companies offer student loan assistance as a benefit. Employers offering student loan assistance are able to hire faster, retain talent longer, and improve diversity, while making a positive impact on their employees’ financial future and contributing to the solution for America’s $1.5T student debt crisis.

PocketSuite – San Francisco, CA

Founder: Chinwe Onyeagoro


PocketSuite helps any solopreneur make a living by making it easy for clients to regularly book and pay them. You can access all of your client information and schedule, book appointments, get paid, and manage your business all from a smartphone.

Public Goods – New York, NY

Founder: Morgan Hirsh


Public Goods is one version of every essential in one place, from personal care to household products to vitamins and food. Our goods are healthy, high quality, sustainable and ultra affordable.

Rally – New York, NY

Founder: Numaan Akram


Rally is a technology platform that has moved hundreds of thousands of riders by enabling individuals to self-aggregate and create bus trips on-demand. Rally creates pop-up mass transit solutions, creating new demand for the private bus industry. In Rally’s multi-faceted marketplace, the primary beneficiaries are riders, bus operators, and events.

RankScience – San Francisco, CA

Founder: Ryan Bednar


RankScience is an SEO automation and split-testing platform. The software continuously optimizes large websites to increase organic search traffic from Google. Businesses that are serious about SEO can either build their own SEO A/B testing software in-house (as did Airbnb, Pinterest, Quora, etc.), or they can buy our software without dedicating any engineering resources.

Robodub – Seattle, WA

Founder: Parminder Devsi


Robodub is solving the last mile logistics problem with a new patent pending drone technology. Our drones can carry multiple payloads, dynamic/shifting payloads, and can fly in harsher weather conditions. The U.S. Navy, Army, Special Ops Forces, and Air Force are among our customers.

Strayos – St. Louis, MO

Founder: Ravi Sahu


Strayos is a visual AI platform to reduce cost and improve efficiency in mining operations for optimized drill/blast and pre-excavation sub-surface object detection for infrastructure projects.

Whose Your Landlord – New York, NY

Founder: Ofo Ezeugwu


Whose Your Landlord is a SaaS platform empowering and informing the rental community through landlord reviews and housing literacy content. Our goal is to increase transparency in the residential market, and to bridge the communication gap between renters and home providers through verified reviews and through online sentiment analysis software.

Tags: finalists, Press Release

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