Finalists will compete October 5 evening for chance at $1 million grand prize

BUFFALO, NY – 43North – the $5 million startup competition – has announced ten finalists advancing to this evening’s Final Awards Ceremony. Today began with 16 finalists that pitched during the Qualifying Round at Shea’s Performing Arts Center before 25 angel investors and venture capitalists from across the United States. 10 finalists will now advance to the Final Awards Ceremony for a chance at one of eight cash prizes, including a grand prize of $1 million.

The Final Awards Ceremony will be held at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, with registration encouraged.

“As with last year’s competition, the Qualifying Round held this morning added a exciting layer of competitiveness to this year’s 43North competition,” said 43North Board Chair Bill Maggio. “Today’s esteemed judging panel made the very tough decision of selecting 10 companies to proceed to the grand finale of 43North Finals Week and a yearlong effort of attracting startups to our city. Good luck to all of the entrepreneurs tonight!”

43North will award a total of $5 million in cash prizes – one $1 million grand prize, one $650,000 runner-up prize, one third-place $550,000 prize, and five $500,000 awards. 43North’s winners also receive free incubator space in the 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.

Tonight, 10 finalists will present their pitches this evening to a panel of seven expert judges:

  • 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

Ten Advancing Finalists

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.


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.  



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.


Moving Analytics

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Moving Analytics helps hospitals implement virtual cardiac rehab and secondary prevention programs for cardiovascular disease. They are based on MULTIFIT, a home-based disease management program that has shown 40% all-cause readmission reduction, 60% enrollment, 90% completion and equivalent clinical outcomes.


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.



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.



Hometown: New York, NY

Squire is OpenTable for barbershops.



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.



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.


Vivacelle Bio, Inc.

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Vivacelle Bio is developing VBI-1, a novel nanoparticle fluid to reverse adverse effects of blood loss. Preclinical studies demonstrate that VBI-1 is safer and more effective than current fluids used for resuscitation in shock. VBI-1 protects organs, while blood may cause organ damage. The worldwide market is estimated at $13 billion.


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.