15 finalists were evaluated by more than 30 national investors and venture capitalists
Finalists will compete on Thursday for chance at $1 million grand prize
43North - the $5 million startup competition - has announced the 10 finalists advancing from the competition's finals qualifying round to the finals awards round. Wednesday began with 15 finalists pitching at the Atrium at Rich's, who were evaluated by more than 30 national venture capitalists and angel investors. Ten finalists will now advance to 43North's finals award round Thursday at Shea's Performing Arts Center for a chance at one of eight cash prizes, including a grand prize of $1 million.
"The finals qualifying round added a new layer of competitiveness and excitement to the 43North competition," said Bill Maggio, 43North board chairman. "Today's esteemed panel of investors and venture capitalists offered valuable insight to the finalists while experiencing Buffalo's startup ecosystem firsthand."
43North will award a total of $5 million in cash prizes - a $1 million grand prize, a $600,000 runner-up prize, and six $500,000 prizes. Winners will also be eligible to apply for up to $400,000 in follow-on funding. 43North's winners also receive free incubator space in 43North incubator on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY.
Finalists will present their pitches to a panel of seven expert judges, including: Soraya Darabi, co-founder, Zady and Foodspotting; Thomas Lynch, managing director, Goldman Sachs; John M. MacMahon, founder and CEO, V2K Medical; Erik Moore, founder and managing director, Base Ventures; Ambarish Mitra, co-founder, Blippar; Matthew Ryan, executive vice president and global chief strategy officer, Starbucks; and Tracy Valorie, senior vice president and general manager, Bausch + Lomb Rx, and Valeant Women's Health.
Ten Advancing Finalists
Hometown: New York City
Arthena give you access to the alternative asset class with the highest barrier to entry and strongest historical returns. We acquire invest in the most liquid segment of the art market yielding tremendous uncorrelated growth. Our strategy relies on automated and data driven results.
Hometown: Katonah, New York
Asarasi has developed a completely new source of water to help replace the consumption of fresh ground water. Our water is harvested from trees and does not affect ground water resources. It is sustainable and renewable. Asarasi is pioneering the recovery and bottling of this biologically pure water.
Bounce Imaging's 360-degree throwable cameras give first-responders critical intelligence as they enter dangerous spaces to keep us safe. Whether a police officer responding to a shooting or rescue worker digging through the earthquake rubble, users get instant 360/VR video right to their smartphone, letting them see the dangers ahead.
Hometown: Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Formarum has developed a turbine technology that allows for creation of self-powered and self-contained devices, which can be effortlessly installed in pipes and eliminate all external components, including control panels, electrical cables and communication modules. This capability greatly reduces upfront costs, and significantly simplifies the purchasing and installation process.
HigherMe helps retail and hourly employers hire better employees faster. We offer a suite of software that makes hiring more efficient, all layered on top of an industry-specific network of candidates. Companies such as Dunkin' Donuts and Panera Bread trust us with the most important part of their operation: their people.
Oncolinx, in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, is developing targeted cancer immunotherapies: antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Oncolinx ADCs carry a patented, immune-activating drug payload called the Azonafide directly to the tumor. The Oncolinx platform is partnered with 14 leading pharmaceutical companies and is planned to enter clinical trials in mid-2017.
PathoVax is commercializing RGVax, a low-cost vaccine preventing all HPV-associated cancers. Current vaccines focus on sexual transmitted types, resulting in low uptake due to incomplete coverage and social stigma. RGVax's protection covers all oncogenic HPVs and the added skin HPV protection positions RGVax as a childhood vaccine with superior uptakes.
The Wealth Factory
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
For vulnerable populations in need of financial literacy, The Wealth Factory designs financial literacy education technology games that walk users from birth to retirement in 12 interactive modules to exceed the personal finance common core standards. Our mobile game, "Credit Stacker," teaches people how to manage and interpret their credit report.
UltraCell Insulation makes high-performance building insulation from recycled corrugated cardboard. Our competitors in cellulose insulation are facing declining supplies of newsprint, as readers turn online. In contrast, our unique patented and proven process allows us to manufacture a superior product from corrugated at a lower cost than conventional cellulose.
WeDidIt helps nonprofits raise more money and reach new donors online. The software service takes the hassle out of online fundraising and makes donor research simple and powerful. WeDidIt's platform aggregates donor data so that nonprofits can automate their prospect research and launch highly targeted fundraise campaigns.
For a full list of sponsors and more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.