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43North Announces Its 2019 Finals Judges

Media Release

Judges will make the call on who will win a share of $5 million on Oct. 30 at Shea’s

A limited number of free 43North Finals tickets remain at

BUFFALO, NY – Oct. 24, 2019 – During 43North Finals, ten startups will pitch live onstage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center for the chance to win a share of $5 million in investment, including a top investment of $1 million. Today, 43North announced the five Finals Judges who will review the pitches, pose questions to the finalists, and determine this year’s winners.

“Our Finals Judges will be scoring our finalists based on their traction, the potential market for their products, the strength of their teams, and their fit for Buffalo,” said 43North President Alex Gress. “As seasoned investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, these judges have the right experience and perspective to make the call on this year’s winners and I can’t wait to see them in action.”

43North Finals will be Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 6 pm. Tickets are free and available at, but they are going fast. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so attendees are encouraged to arrive when doors open at 5 pm.

This year’s 43North Finals Judges are:

David Brown is a serial entrepreneur who has founded three startups and been involved with two others. He is one of the original founders of Pinpoint Technologies, where he served as president and grew the company to more than 250 employees and over $50 million in annual revenue. He later co-founded Techstars along with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and Jared Polis. He has been an investor and advisor to Techstars since inception and currently serves as co-CEO.

Marissa Campise is the founder of Rucker Park, a venture firm focused on early stage and opportunistic growth stage investments. Prior to starting Rucker Park, she served as a founding member of Softbank Group’s global investing team in Silicon Valley and as a partner with Softbank Capital in New York, where she co-led early-stage investing.

Heidi Diamond leads content, partnerships, distribution, syndication, licensing, and growth for HealthiNation, a leading digital media publisher and production company focused on health video content. She previously served in leadership roles with Frederique’s Choice, the Game Show Network, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, AMC Networks, Scripps’ Food Network, Channel One, and Nickelodeon.

Oren Frank is co-founder and CEO of Talkspace, the leading online and mobile psychotherapy company that has made therapy accessible and affordable to people across the globe. Prior to Talkspace, he was a successful senior marketing and advertising executive, mostly with McCann Erickson WorldWide, where he was recognized as a progressive creative strategist, and one of the leading voices in the new media-marketing world.

Denmark West is a founding partner and chief investment officer of Connectivity Ventures, an early stage and mission oriented fund that invests to support a future that is more female, colorful, conscious and connected. Prior to Connectivity, he held leadership roles at BET, Viacom Media Networks, and Microsoft, where he helped to incubate Xbox and Windows Media and drove infrastructure investments in Akamai and InterVU. He was an early investor in The Climate Corp, LendingClub, and Tocagen.

Today, 43North also announced that Public Goods has withdrawn as a 43North finalist. As a result, 15 finalist companies will pitch in 43North’s Qualifying Round on Oct. 29 at 10:30 am at Seneca One. These companies will be vying to make the top 10 that will participate in 43North Finals on Oct. 30. Tickets for the Qualifying Round are free and open to the public and they can be reserved here.

About 43North 

43North is the startup competition that invests $5 million annually to attract and cultivate high-growth startups in Buffalo. 43North portfolio companies 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 Governor Andrew Cuomo, Empire State Development and several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit

Tags: 43North Finals, Press Release

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