Author: Robert Creenan
Following an announcement that three local start-up companies would be representing Buffalo at the 2016 Collision Conference in New Orleans, the participants have been identified. Buffalo startup companies ACV Auctions, Loupe, and Painless1099 will represent Buffalo at the Launch Pad PITCH Competition from April 26-28. The designated start-ups were chosen by a committee made up of members from 43North, Launch NY, Invest Buffalo Niagara, the University at Buffalo, Z80 Labs, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, WNY Incubator Network (WIN), among others.
ACV Auctions runs real-time digital auctions for cars. Painless1099 automatically files taxes for 1099 earners. And Loupe (formerly City Dining Cards) helps build connections between restaurants and their diners. ACV Auctions and Painless1099 were past winners in the 43North competition.
“It is an honor to battle for Buffalo at the 2016 Launch Pad PITCH,” said Joe Neiman, CEO of ACV Auctions. “Sure, this competition and the entire Collision Conference will offer valuable exposure for ACV Auctions and our technology, but just as important is the opportunity to show other cities that our local tech scene is to be taken seriously.”
“Launch Pad PITCH and Collision will put us in the room with business leaders from some of the world’s most successful startups,” said Patrick Finan, co-founder and CEO of Loupe. “I can’t think of a better way to make a statement than to step into the ring and show what we’ve got.”
“We look forward to joining ACV Auctions and Loupe to pitch Painless1099 at Launch Pad PITCH,” said Ace Callwood, CEO of Painless1099. “We’re bringing a knockout crew to New Orleans and I totally understand if other cities get intimidated and decide to stay home.”
Other competing startups hail from Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Raleigh-Durham, Charleston, South Carolina, and Birmingham, Alabama. The competition will be organized bracket style, with 4 groups of 6. Painless 1099 will take on Healthcare Blocks, Stealz, Quarrio, HarborGood, and EVAmore. ACV Auctions will go against SoloPro, Simply Prose, Questis, Event Escrow, and Identified Tech. Loupe will fight Solar Site Design, Doc24Seven, Thread, Mass Venture, and Mobile Qubes.
Launch Pad PITCH is a new element of Collision and will act as a preliminary round of the larger Collision PITCH competition. Criteria for the competition will be based on the product, ability to disrupt, quality of pitch, team strength and financials. Investment raised by any entrant cannot be over $3 million.
“The grand prize for Collision is the solid recognition and notoriety of the winning tech startup, gaining exposure from over 10,000 attendees, including angels/VC’s, fellow entrepreneurs and ecosystem players in the entrepreneurial environment,” said Julie Molenda, senior manager of marketing and communications at UB.
Molenda is one of the 35 Buffalo Collision Contingency members who will be in attendance. She says each of the companies has a group of people from their hometown city coming to support them.
“We intent to showcase to the world that Buffalo has a rich heritage of entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Molenda. “Our strategic location and infrastructure make Buffalo a canvas where deal flow is strong and ambitious startups can truly make their mark in the most affordable and enjoyable city in the country.”
Startup Grind recently hosted a public pitch and information session that was intended to help Buffalo’s three competing start-ups to prepare for the Launch Pad PITCH Competition.