Luke Russert to emcee finals million-dollar round and awards celebration
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the panel of finals award judges who will evaluate the 43North competition's top 10 finalists on Oct. 27 at Shea's Performing Arts Center. The judges will determine which startups will receive 43North's $1 million grand prize, $600,000 runner-up award or one of six $500,000 prizes.
Emmy Award-winning journalist and former NBC News congressional correspondent Luke Russert will emcee 43North's finals million-dollar round and awards celebration. Luke is the son of the late Tim Russert and Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth. He resides in Washington, D.C.
"43North showcases some the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and their ideas, while also putting Western New York on the map as a global destination for businesses and companies on the cutting edge of technology," Cuomo said. "I thank the members of this panel - as well as Luke Russert, one of the Queen City's favorite sons - for lending their time and their expertise to this competition and helping ensure that Buffalo remains a city on the move."
43North's Finals Award Judges will score both of the following rounds. Tickets are free and open to the public at 43north.org.
Finals award round: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct.
27, at Shea's Performing Arts Center, Buffalo. Ten finalists will pitch for a shot at one of 43North's eight cash
Finals million-dollar round and awards celebration: 6-9 p.m. 43North's top three finalists will pitch live onstage for either the $1 million grand prize, $600,000 runner-up prize or one of 43North's six $500,000 prizes.
New York Power Authority Board Chairman John Koelmel will serve as the evening's host.
"Given the tremendous quality of 43North's finalists, it is only fitting that we have a panel of world-class judges to offer critical insight and expertise," said Bill Maggio, 43North board chairman. "I'm also very pleased to welcome this year's emcee, Luke Russert, who will help lead an exciting, entertaining night on Oct. 27."
43North Finals Award Judges:
Soraya Darabi @sorayadarabi | co-founder | Zady: Soraya Darabi is an early-stage investor and adviser in online-born brands and next-generation media companies. She is the co-founder of Zady, a mission-driven and venture-backed fashion brand. Soraya began her career as manager of digital partnerships and social media at The New York Times, where she positioned herself as the global news leader on social networks and established award-winning campaigns. Following her tenure at The Times, she served as product lead for drop.io, an online collaboration service (acquired by Facebook). She went on to co-found the app Foodspotting, named by Apple and Wired Magazine as an "App of the Year." Darabi is a World Economic Forum member, "Young Global Leader" and a mentor to Techstars New York.
Thomas Lynch | managing director | Goldman Sachs: Thomas Lynch co-heads Goldman Sachs' New York Prime Services sales team, which he joined after nine years as co-head of the Capital Introduction team within Global Prime Services. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1995 as a financial analyst in the equities division and was named managing director in 2003. Prior to joining the firm, Lynch worked as a teacher in the New York City public school system through the Teach for America program.
John M. MacMahon | founder and CEO | V2K Medical: An engineer turned entrepreneur, John M. MacMahon has a record of successful management and innovation, serving as CEO and COO of companies with greater than $400 million in exits. He presently holds management positions in two companies: V2K Medical, which makes a catheter-based AMI and thrombectomy device, and Moyarta 2 LLC, an orthopedic-inspired physical therapy company.
Ambarish Mitra @rishmitra | founder and CEO | Blippar: Ambarish Mitra is a pioneer of augmented reality and computer vision. Mitra started his tech career in 1997 as a high school dropout and entrepreneur on the noble topic of women empowerment in India. He is the CEO and co-founder of Blippar, the leading visual discovery browser, and fastest-growing augmented reality app today. Under his leadership, Blippar has grown from an idea to an industry leader with 300-plus employees, 13 offices and 60 million-plus users. Blippar is ranked 9th in CNBC's list of most disruptive companies and was named a top Business Innovator by Bloomberg in 2016.
Erik Moore @basevc | founder and managing director | Base Ventures: Erik Moore is the founder and managing director of Base Ventures. For 15 years, Moore worked as a Merrill Lynch bond trader by day and an angel investor by night. Moore ultimately realized he wanted to spur innovation by investing in young entrepreneurs full-time. Moore brings to Base Ventures business experience, an impressive investment track record, passion for ensuring that great ideas see the light of day, and the connections to open doors and make dreams come true. He was recently recognized as No. 10 on a list of the 25 most influential African-Americans in tech by Business Insider.
Matthew Ryan | global chief strategy officer | Starbucks: Matthew Ryan is a global chief strategy officer for Starbucks, where his responsibilities include long-term strategic planning, identifying new avenues for growth, advancing the company's data analytics, and strengthening the company's fast-growing CRM. Ryan serves on the company's operations leadership team, overseeing how company strategies successfully translate to operating plans. Previously, Ryan was senior VP of global brand, franchise and customer relations for The Walt Disney Company. Currently, he serves on the advisory board of Single Stop, a national nonprofit dedicated to lifting families out of poverty.
Tracy Valorie | senior vice president, general manager | Bausch + Lomb Rx, and Valeant Women's Health: Tracy Valorie has been the senior vice president, general manager of the U.S. pharmaceutical business at Bausch +Lomb since August 2013, and has recently taken over responsibility for Valeant's Women's Health Business in December 2015. Prior to joining B+L, Valorie was Pfizer's commercial lead of ophthalmology, where she had global responsibility for the ophthalmology brands, as well as for commercial development of the mid-stage portfolio, and long-range strategic planning. Her 25-years-plus career in the pharmaceutical industry has included roles in discovery science, clinical development, early commercial assessment, marketing and strategic planning.
43North Finals are part of 43North Week, a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Buffalo that runs from Oct. 20-27. Registration for all 43North Week events is open at 43North.org.