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Ten Startups Advance to 43North Finals Awards Round

Buffalo is abuzz with the announcement of the ten 43North finalists that will be making their way to vie for top prizes in the $5 million startup competition. Yesterday, 15 start-ups made their pitches at the Atrium at Rich’s in front of 30 national venture capitalists and angel investors. The remaining ten finalists will now head to Shea’s Performing Arts Center today to compete for the $1 million grand prize. Altogether $5 million will be awarded. 

$1 million grand prize, a $600,000 runner-up prize, and six $500,000 prizes.

“The Finals Qualifying Round added a new layer of competitiveness and excitement to the 43North competition,” said 43North Board Chair Bill Maggio. “Today’s esteemed panel of investors and venture capitalists offered valuable insight to the finalists while experiencing Buffalo’s startup ecosystem firsthand.”

Along with funding, winners will also receive free incubator space at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, along with support from mentors, and access to a number of business support opportunities. 

Ten Advancing Finalists


Hometown: New York, NY, USA

Arthena give you access to the alternative asset class with the highest barrier to entry and strongest historical returns. We acquire invest in the most liquid segment of the art market yielding tremendous uncorrelated growth. Our strategy relies on automated and data driven results.


Hometown: Katonah, NY, USA

Asarasi has developed a completely new source of water to help replace the consumption of fresh ground water. Our water is harvested from trees and does not affect ground water resources. It is sustainable and renewable. Asarasi is pioneering the recovery and bottling of this biologically pure water!

 Bounce Imaging

Hometown: Boston, MA, USA

Bounce Imaging’s 360-degree throwable cameras give first-responders critical intelligence as they enter dangerous spaces to keep us safe. Whether a police officer responding to a shooting or rescue worker digging through the earthquake rubble, users get instant 360/VR video right to their smartphone, letting them see the dangers ahead.


Hometown: Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

Formarum has developed a turbine technology that allows for creation of self-powered and self-contained devices which can be effortlessly installed in pipes and eliminate all external components including control panels, electrical cables, and communication modules. This capability greatly reduces upfront costs, and significantly simplifies the purchasing and installation process.


Hometown: Boston, MA, USA

HigherMe helps retail and hourly employers hire better employees faster. We offer a suite of software that makes hiring more efficient, all layered on top of an industry-specific network of candidates. Companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Panera Bread trust us with the most important part of their operation: their people.


Hometown: Boston, MA, USA

Oncolinx in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute is developing targeted cancer immunotherapies: antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Oncolinx ADCs carry a patented, immune-activating drug payload called the Azonafide directly to the tumor. The Oncolinx platform is partnered with 14 leading pharmaceutical companies and is planned to enter clinical trials in mid-2017.


Hometown: Baltimore, MD, USA

PathoVax is commercializing RGVax, a low-cost vaccine preventing all HPV-associated cancers. Current vaccines focus on sexual transmitted types, resulting in low uptake due to incomplete coverage and social stigma. RGVax’s protection covers all oncogenic HPVs and the added skin HPV protection positions RGVax as a childhood vaccine with superior uptakes.

 The Wealth Factory

Hometown: Washington, D.C., USA

For vulnerable populations in need of financial literacy, The Wealth Factory designs financial literacy education technology games that walk users from birth to retirement in 12 interactive modules to exceed the Personal Finance Common Core Standards. Our mobile game, Credit Stacker, teaches people how to manage and interpret their credit report.

 UltraCell Insulation

Hometown: Lewiston, NY, USA

UltraCell Insulation makes high performance building insulation from recycled corrugated cardboard. Our competitors in cellulose insulation are facing declining supplies of newsprint as readers turn online. In contrast, our unique patented and proven process allows us to manufacture a superior product from corrugated at a lower cost than conventional cellulose.


Hometown: Brooklyn, NY, USA

WeDidIt helps nonprofits raise more money and reach new donors online. The software service takes the hassle out of online fundraising and makes donor research simple and powerful. WeDidIt’s platform aggregates donor data so that nonprofits can automate their prospect research and launch highly targeted fundraise campaigns.

Finalists will present their pitches today (October 27) to a panel of seven expert judges, including: Soraya Darabi, Co-Founder, Zady and Foodspotting; Thomas Lynch, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs; John M. MacMahon, Founder and CEO, V2K Medical; Erik Moore, Founder and Managing Director, Base Ventures; Ambarish Mitra, Co-Founder, Blippar; Matthew Ryan, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Strategy Officer, Starbucks; and Tracy Valorie, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Bausch + Lomb Rx, and Valeant Women’s Health.

43North operates through the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and grants of $6 million from the New York Power Authority and $1 million from Empire State Development. Additional sponsors can be found at

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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