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Here Come the Startups: Meet the 43North Finalists – Part One

On Wednesday, October 3rd, 18 startups hailing from across North America – and two hometown companies from Western New York – will descend upon Buffalo to pitch their business ideas for the chance to win $1 million or $500,000. Eight winners of this year’s 43North competition will move to Buffalo in January, to build their companies through mentorship, free office space in the 43North incubator, freedom from state taxes for ten years and the city’s many resources available to startups.

Which eight will we welcome in January as part of the 2018 43North cohort?

In the first in a three-part series, we take a look at six of the companies vying to become Buffalo’s newest startups.

AXIS Toronto, Ontario

Recognizing the need for a retrofit solution for motorizing window shades, AXIS developed Gear, a smart device that motorizes and automates any existing window shade in minutes.

Capti Stony Brook, New York

Capti is reinventing reading to enable authentically inclusive education. Their mission is to empower people to process information more effectively, and their product is Capti Voice – a reading assistant that personalizes learning for students of all abilities and helps students keep up with their reading.

DimienAmherst, New York

Dimien is a growing business dedicated to solving clear, defined market challenges in cleantech by leveraging chemical manufacturing routes to unique compounds that provide their strategic partners with a competitive advantage in the market. At their core, Dimien is a chemical manufacturer.

Forsake – Boston, Massachusetts

Forsake designs all-weather footwear for travel and adventure. Their goal is to bring a higher level of versatility to your feet, and their products blend outdoor technology, rugged construction, and versatile styling. Forsake’s footwear is inspired by the mountains, and fit for every journey.

HiOperator San Francisco, California

HiOperator provides customer service as a service. They help companies overcome the classic challenges of customer service through a combination of automation, technology and amazing people.

Immersed Games – Gainesville, Florida

Immersed Games helps teachers deliver hands-on, Next Generation Science learning with a video game. The game, Tyto Online, builds science and engineering skills with student experiences like solving an invasive species problem, building ecosystems, and breeding dragons. Teachers assign standards-aligned content and receive student assessments based on gameplay.


The $5 million 43North startup competition is designed to encourage entrepreneurs with high growth potential to compete for enterprise funding in Western New York. The finalists will participate in two rounds of live pitching at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo on October 3 for a shot at one of 43North’s eight cash awards, which include a $1 million grand prize and seven awards of $500,000.

The evening pitch session is, for the first time, SOLD OUT. However, daytime pitches are still free and open to the public, with no registration or tickets required.

43North Qualifying Round

Wednesday, October 3

8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Shea’s Performing Arts Center

646 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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