GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $1 MILLION GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF 43NORTH

SomaDetect Wins $1 Million Grand Prize in $5 Million Startup Competition

Squire Receives $650,000 Runner-Up Prize

Top 8 Finalists Awarded Out of 502 Total Competing Startups

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced SomaDetect as the $1 million grand prize winner of the fourth annual 43North competition. The top eight finalists of the $5 million startup competition were announced at an awards ceremony in Buffalo this evening. For the fourth straight year, 43North awarded a total of $5 million in cash prizes, free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors and access to other business incentive programs to eight startups from around the world.

“43North continues to drive Buffalo’s resurgence by showcasing the breadth of opportunity and resources available in Western New York and attracting top-notch entrepreneurs and businesses from across the globe,” Governor Cuomo said. “We welcome these forward-thinking, creative men and women to New York and look forward to all of the 2017 43North winners supporting the continued growth of Buffalo’s economy.”

“43North is the one of the true symbols of the transformation that has taken place over the past six years because of Governor Cuomo and the Buffalo Billion,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “A region once defined by its place on the rust belt is now a hub of innovation, one that is rapidly becoming a national destination for start-ups and young, creative entrepreneurs with a vision for the future. I congratulate tonight’s winner and look forward to watching their success stories, and Buffalo’s, continue to unfold.”

The Winners of the 2017 43North Competition are:

$1 Million Winner: SomaDetect
Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
SomaDetect is an agricultural technology company that provides dairy farmers with key milk quality indicators. With SomaDetect, farmers are intimately connected with every cow they milk, enabling them to identify problems early, make informed decisions and produce the best possible milk. www.somadetect.com

$650,000 Winner: Squire
Hometown: New York, NY
Squire is OpenTable for barbershops.www.getsquire.com

$550,000 Winner: Qidni Labs
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Qidni Labs Inc. develops renal replacement therapies (artificial kidneys) that fit in the palm of your hand, which can be used by millions of patients with kidney failure. http://qidni.com

Five $500,000 Winners:

Femi Secrets
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Femi Secrets provides the ultimate protection to women of all ages during their monthly menstrual cycle. Femi Secrets specializes in eco-friendly, healthy and savvy options for women and their premiere product, Pretty Panty, guarantees no leaks. They are keeping women beautiful, comfortable and confident. www.femisecrets.com

Kangarootime
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Kangarootime is the first modern mobile and web operating system for childcare centers, schools and camps. They provide a full document management strategy to make schools paperless and create workflows to ensure that students, parents, staff members and management are always up-to-date. www.kangarootime.com

Burner Fitness
Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Burner is a platform for mind and body training. They make it affordable for anyone to train with the best fitness professionals and wellness coaches. www.burnerfitness.com

TARA AI
Hometown: San Jose, CA
TARA is an intelligent product builder, using AI to speed up the software development of products through automated project scoping, assignment of vetted contractors and performance management.https://tara.ai

Suncayr
Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Suncayr’s product, SPOT, is a smart indicator of UV light to help everyone be safer in the sun. SPOT shows sunscreen users when their sunscreen is no longer protecting them using a simple color change. http://suncayr.com

People’s Choice Award: SomaDetect
Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
SomaDetect is an agricultural technology company that provides dairy farmers with key milk quality indicators. With SomaDetect, farmers are intimately connected with every cow they milk, enabling them to identify problems early, make informed decisions and produce the best possible milk.www.somadetect.com

The final round of pitching this evening was a culmination of the fourth annual 43North Week, an eight-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship that ran from September 28 to October 5 in Buffalo. The week featured a number of events, networking opportunities and activities. Sixteen finalist teams were pared down to 10 companies, which advanced and pitched before seven expert judges that ultimately determined the 2017 43North winners.

43North expert judges included:

Bonin Bough – @boughb | Host | Cleveland Hustles
Melissa Bradley – @bradleyml and @Project500DC | Director | Project 500
Toby Corey – @tobycorey | Stanford University Lecturer, Entrepreneur & Former Tesla Executive
Virginia Giddings – Sr. Director, Advanced Technology & Innovation | Stryker Neurovascular
Eric Hippeau – @erichippeau | Managing Director | Lerer Hippeau Ventures
David Jakubowski – Director, Publisher Solutions | Facebook
Jill Thompson – @theJoLTGroup | President | The JoLT Group

43North Board Chair Bill Maggio said: “Tonight demonstrated the continued validation of our competition’s commitment to quality of our applicants. I’d like to congratulate our eight tremendous winners, especially SomaDetect our grand prize winner. We welcome them to Buffalo.”

John R. Koelmel, New York Power Authority Chairman and Buffalo business leader said, “I want to congratulate all of tonight’s winners, who distinguished themselves from among more than 500 submissions, and welcome them as the newest member of the Buffalo business community. NYPA is very proud to sponsor this extraordinary competition again this year and we look forward to seeing their bold new entrepreneurial spirit that will further energize Buffalo and Western New York.”

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, this is another historic day for Western New York. The 43North competition continues to attract world-class talent to the region’s growing startup community, today adding eight of the world’s best and brightest startups to join Buffalo’s fast-growing entrepreneurial community.”

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and SolEpoxy Inc. President Jeff Belt said, “For the fourth straight year, this competition demonstrates – beyond a doubt – that Buffalo is open for business. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision, 43North has made this city a destination for startups and entrepreneurs to grow their business. We welcome this year’s winners to Buffalo, and look forward to working with them to help realize their businesses’ promise.”

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of the State University of New York at Fredonia Dr. Virginia Horvath said, “43North continues to invigorate Western New York’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We look forward to the contributions from this year’s winners in advancing its continued success.”

About 43North
43North is the $5 million startup competition, awarding cash prizes to some of the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. 43North winners 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’s Buffalo Billion initiative and grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority. Additional support comes from several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.