October 16, 2014
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Finalists for World's Largest Business Idea Competition

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Finalists for World&...

Finalists Competing for a Grand Prize of $1 Million on October 30


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the top eleven finalists for 43North, the world’s largest business idea competition. The teams will compete in front of a panel of judges on October 30 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo to win 43North’s top cash prize of $1 million, one of six $500,000 prizes, or four $250,000 prizes. Winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for a year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as Start-Up NY.

"Thanks to this Buffalo Billion initiative, businesses across the globe are now paying attention and are excited to see what this region has to offer," Governor Cuomo said. "These new businesses and inventive concepts will only add to the economic momentum in Buffalo, a city that is truly on the move."

43North will also award an additional prize to one of the finalists, on top of their $250,000, $500,000 or $1 million award. Dubbed “The People’s Choice Award,” this $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Larkin Development Group will be awarded to the team that generates the most tweets by October 30th using a hashtag assigned to their company.

The Buffalo Billion initiative, spearheaded by the Governor, the New York Power Authority, and Launch NY are the primary and founding sponsors. In May 2013, the New York Power Authority trustees approved $5.4 million in funding for the 43North global business idea competition. The award came from a recommendation by the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board to apply the revenues from the sale of unutilized hydropower toward the concept of a competition. These funds were subsequently committed to the non-profit Launch NY for management of the competition and eventual distribution of funds.

43North Steering Committee Chairman Jordan Levy said, “43North attracted nearly 7,000 applications from 96 countries and all 50 states. After two rounds of judging, we are down to our 11 finalists. Each team is exceptional talented, and we are excited to see what they hold in store for us.”

New York Power Authority Chairman and Erie County resident John R. Koelmel said, “Each of 43North’s 11 finalists will win a significant cash prize – be it $250,000, $500,000 or $1 million – and on October 30, they’ll compete to determine which one they’ll receive. The New York Power Authority is proud to fund the 43North business idea competition through a $5.4 million grant and we look forward to the finalists joining our community.”

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair and Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group Howard Zemsky said, “Governor Cuomo’s leadership has helped the 43North business idea competition draw interest from innovators and founders from around the world, shaping perceptions about Buffalo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem along the way. I am eager to learn more about the finalists and their plans to grow their businesses in the Buffalo Niagara region.”

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair and President of the University at Buffalo Satish K. Tripathi said, “This competition has generated an overwhelming interest in Buffalo from entrepreneurs in the US and around the world. They are excited about the possibilities that Buffalo has to offer including a welcoming environment for entrepreneurs and their start-up companies. 43North, as part of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, is spurring real innovation and job creation in Western New York. We welcome the finalists to Buffalo and look forward to seeing their ideas become a reality.”

Launch NY CEO Marnie LaVigne said, “For those who have been working to build Buffalo’s startup community over the years, 43North is a dream come true. By creating the world’s largest business idea competition, we are making a profound statement about the importance of entrepreneurship in Western New York. All the best to 43North’s 11 finalists when they compete on October 30.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “I commend Governor Cuomo for developing the ‘43North’ creative business plan competition that is attracting some of the brightest business minds from around the world to Buffalo. This competition adds to the momentum in Buffalo and I thank Governor Cuomo and his Buffalo Billion initiative for helping us to continue the great economic transformation taking place in our city. Buffalo is a great place to live, work and invest - with low residential and commercial property taxes and a skilled and dedicated workforce. I look forward to seeing these extraordinary finalists turn ideas into successful businesses that result in jobs for city residents now and into the future.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “The ‘New’ Erie County continues to take shape as a place with cutting-edge ideas, technologies, and ways of doing business. The 43North competition has spotlighted our area’s resurgence and is demonstrating to new business that Erie County is open and ready to work collaboratively and creatively not only to bring new businesses and ideas here, but to make them work. I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his continued commitment to the program. I congratulate these eleven finalists and wish them tremendous success moving forward here in Erie County.”

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “43North is one of Governor Cuomo's Buffalo Billion signature initiatives and this competition has not only successfully attracted startups from around the world but it has also generated a lot of positive buzz about Western New York’s unique business environment. The finalists will be using their substantial winnings to create new economic opportunities in the Buffalo-Niagara region while taking advantage of the crucial mentoring and support services provided to help encourage their long term success.”

The eleven finalists are:

Adiabatic Solutions LLC
Hometown: Tonawanda, NY
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North1
Adiabatic Solutions’ rapid metal forming system is set to transform manufacturing by providing superior performing components that cost less. The company’s process aims to strengthen metals, which enable lighter and longer life components to improve the performance of engines, implantable medical devices and more. Adiabatic Solutions also plans to return jobs to the U.S. by beating offshore pricing.

Asana Medical, Inc.
Hometown: Miami Lakes, FL
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North2
Asana Medical seeks to improve the quality of one’s health and therefore quality of life by providing a novel treatment for debilitating digestive diseases with a patent-pending medical device that stimulates the body to heal itself. Asana Medical offers a drug-free, surgery-free twist on a proven therapy and targets the $9 billion ulcerative colitis market.

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North3
EcoBreeze is a revolutionary, fan-less cooling solution which generates continuous vortex flow using multiple vibrating-fans. The product’s high reliability, outdoor usability, flexible design and low cost make it a good option for ICT and LED lighting cooling.

Energy Intelligence
Hometown: Somerville, MA
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North4
Energy Intelligence is an emerging clean tech company developing ultra-compact, road-mounted technology that converts wasted kinetic energy from braking vehicles into renewable electricity. The patented technology is intended for use at slowdown points such as parking garage entrances, toll plazas and weigh stations, and can power equipment onsite to reduce electricity expenses.

Eulysis UK Limited
Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North5
Eulysis UK is a groundbreaking development company focused and committed to optimizing pharmaceutical access globally. In collaboration with the World Health Organization, Gates Foundation and other major institutions, Eulysis UK intends to commercialize the SVS technology on a global scale to provide expanded access to life-saving medicines.

Genetesis LLC
Hometown: Mason, OH
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North6
Genetesis is a biotechnology company oriented towards optimizing drug design for treatment of heart rhythm disorders by applying novel algorithms that analyze real-time functional heart electrophysiology. Using a patent-pending system, including a non-invasive sensor array and powerful software, Genetesis is able to quantify responsiveness to drugs before they are administered.

HemoGenyx, LLC.
Hometown: New York, NY
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North7
HemoGenyx is a biotechnology company developing a revolutionary new treatment for blood diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma. The company leverages a special class of cells, which can generate cancer-free blood stem cells. HemoGenyx’s therapy can dramatically increase the efficacy of bone marrow transplants and eliminate the need for donors.

Hometown: Raleigh, NC
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North8
KeepUp is a productivity app that lets you take back your life from social media, without missing out on important moments. KeepUp tracks 12 major life events from six social media sites and puts you in control of who you follow, what events you see and when you get updated.

Medical Conservation Devices, LLC
Hometown: Batavia, NY
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North9
Based on an exclusively licensed patent portfolio from the University of Buffalo, Medical Conservation Deviceshas developed a low-cost anesthesia machine to expand the use of anesthesia globally, including in later approvals to sedate critically ill patients and provide anesthesia to up to 8 patients at one time.

Raland Therapeutics, Inc.
Hometown: Fairport, NY
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North10
Raland Therapeutics is a development-stage bio-device company focused on implantable biosensors. The company’s CytoComm™ Biosensor is a real-time monitoring system, which uses living cells to “read” a patient’s physiologic response to chemotherapy. The system also allows the personalization of dosing strategies to reduce the toxicity that so often impacts one’s quality of life.

Hometown: Markham, Ontario, Canada
People's Choice Award voting hashtag: #43North11
triMirror has the world’s first real-time fitting solution that allows the try-on of real clothes on accurate avatars. The technology shows the consumer where the garment is tight or loose with tension maps, how the garment behaves while moving, and shows the garment side-by-side with others. The user can even manipulate the fabric with a finger.

43North also announced its two alternates, which are Attend LLC of Cazenovia and Programmable Equipment Company LLC of Amherst. Should any of 43North’s 11 finalist companies not be able to fulfill their duties, one or both of the alternate companies would be elevated to finalists.

On October 30, the 11 finalists will deliver in-person business presentations to a panel of judges at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. Registration to attend the finalist pitch sessions and awards ceremony is free and open to the public at 43north.org.

About 43North
A total of 6,932 business ideas were initially submitted for the 43North competition’s first round, which took place February 5 through May 31. From a pool of 2,603 qualified submissions, 113 semifinalists were selected to advance to the second round through a formal, month-long review period conducted by more than 269 judges from an array of professional sectors. Eleven finalists will advance to the third and final round of the competition and will vie for a series of cash prizes, including a top award of $1 million, six $500,000 awards, and four $250,000 awards. All winners will be required to locate their companies in Buffalo, New York, for one year under the terms of the competition. To learn more, please visit www.43north.org.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418