Finalists will meet in Buffalo, vying for one of 5 $1 million investments
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 15 finalists for the eighth edition of 43North's annual startup competition. The finalists will meet in Buffalo at the end of October to pitch their ideas in the hopes of securing $1 million and gain the opportunity to grow their business in Buffalo – one of the nation's fastest-growing tech hubs. Most of the finalists originate from across the U.S., with one coming from as far as the U.K. They cover a wide array of industries, including but not limited to health tech, financial services and clean tech.
"Since its launch in 2014, 43North has created a new epicenter of technology and innovation in Buffalo," Hochul said. "The success of 43North has sent a message to entrepreneurs around the world: New York state is home to the jobs of the future. I am proud to announce the 15 finalists of this year's 43North competition, and look forward to welcoming them to the energized startup community that is Buffalo."
A press release noted, “To narrow down the contenders to the top 15 companies, 43North implemented an extensive diligence process that began in July 2022. The process was led by Kevin Siskar, vice president of portfolio and selection at 43North, who, along with more than 80 judges, reviewed hundreds of applications, met with founders, and made recommendations on selection.”
The competition is part of New York state's $37.04 million Buffalo Billion initiative with funding supported by the New York Power Authority. This year, in addition to shifting to five $1 million awards, 43North also shared news of new production elements including live music from Buffalo's very own local band Farrow that will accompany the finals program.
The press release added, “Over the past seven years, 43North has invested in a diverse, industry-agnostic portfolio of 59 companies, 44% of which have founders of color, and 28% having female founders. Earlier this year, 43North reported that its portfolio companies had collectively created more than 1,000 jobs in Western New York. Over 60% of 43North's portfolio maintains a material presence in Buffalo.”
43North Finals is free to attend, but registration is required. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free tickets for 43North finals taking place 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at Shea's Performing Arts Center can be reserved at 43North.org.
43North President Colleen E. Heidinger said, "We're excited to reach this milestone in our selection process and eagerly await the opportunity to get to know these 15 companies as they make their way to Buffalo. These next phases in the judging process are pivotal and thrilling steps, which give our community an opportunity to get in on the action as we get down to selecting our year eight cohort."
The 2022 43North finalists (and their descriptions) are:
Agapé Wellness – Rochester – Agapé is a relationship wellness company that uses personalized questions to spark meaningful conversations. On the consumer side, its app helps couples have happier, more fulfilling relationships. In the workplace, Agapé curates meaningful employee connection that increases satisfaction and retains talent.
Aravenda – Vienna, Virginia – Aravenda leads technology innovation in the fastest-growing segment of retail: resale. Aravenda is B2B SaaS for any type of reseller, anywhere in the world.
CAHill TECH – Buffalo – CAHill TECH is a SaaS tech firm providing job-readiness for tradespeople and reportable metrics for employers through CAHill's flagship product, aQuiRe.
Delee – Laredo, Texas – Delee developed a state-of-the-art technology capable of isolating and analyzing circulating tumor cells from blood. What they have built will contribute to detecting cancer at early stages, while providing physicians with the necessary information to personalize each patient's therapy and monitor its effectiveness throughout the course of their disease.
MAGPIE – New York City – MAGPIE is a venture-backed, fintech platform that uses AI technology to improve asset/price discovery, inventory management and transaction timing and partners for sellers of collectible assets. The simple, user-friendly platform is purpose-built for highly volatile, one-of-a-kind assets to drive greater revenue and reduced operating costs.
Lilu – New York City – Lilu builds tech-enabled products to make early motherhood more comfortable and stress-free for new moms. Its first product, the Lilu Massager, is the first automated breast massage pumping bra that helps moms pump 30%-55% more milk in less time, with customers calling it a "breastfeeding savior."
M Aerospace – Austin, Texas – M Aerospace is an advanced additive manufacturing technology company offering rapid prototyping and production capabilities to a wide range of industries. It specializes in metal 3-D printing technologies and services, and provides a variety of metal materials, material combination and the ability to print large parts.
Mod Tech Labs – Austin, Texas – MOD helps enterprise companies create universal 3-D content at scale by digitizing the real-world using photos. The no-code processing platform cleans, refines and enhances 3-D imagery of objects, places and people with automated AI-powered tools. Companies capture once and optimize for any digital media use.
Otrafy – Chicago – Otrafy is an AI-powered SaaS supplier management platform with the ability to automate compliance and identify risks.
Phood – New York City – Phood integrates with universities' card services to create a connection between students' flex dollar accounts and the gig economy. Phood issues a virtual debit card to students, which can be used to purchase goods and services from third-party vendors, made possible through partnerships with Discover.
Seshie – Penn Valley, Pennsylvania – Seshie makes it easy for teams to book live, virtual modern-day workshops (seshies) based on employee data and insights. Managers sign up, invite team members, send out Seshie surveys and, based on data/insight, get recommended workshops (seshies) to book.
Tampon Tribe – Los Angeles – Tampon Tribe created organic, plastic-free period products, spawning a new category of organic period care. Tampon Tribe designs sustainable and functional products for active women. Driven by success and a passion for growth and the environment, Tampon Tribe continues to thrive with a recurring-revenue, impact-driven model, positioned for rapid growth.
AMPAworks – Santa Monica, California – AMPAworks is a team of doctors, nurses and engineers who have built an IoT camera using computer vision A.I. in order to have full inventory visibility in pharmacies, medical device companies, surgery centers, clinics and hospitals. The system enables shelf-to-shelf granularity of inventory to help with demand planning and restocking.
Twipes – London – Twipes are a biotech materials company that has developed a material that can break down in water in three hours and biodegrade in a landfill in just seven days. Its first product has been awarded as the world's first truly flushable, truly biodegradable wet wipes.
TYBR Health – Houston – TYBR Health makes a surgical spray that protects tissues while they heal to improve outcomes after surgery. TYBR Health was formed out of the Texas Medical Center Biodesign fellowship. Over the course of one year, the team identified a clinical problem, created a solution, and started a company.
43North is an accelerator program that hosts an annual startup competition, investing $5 million per year to attract and cultivate high-growth companies in Buffalo, NY. 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 the governor, Empire State Development, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.