Each year, 43North invests $5 million to bring high-growth startups to Buffalo. For the first time ever, they awarded $1 million each to five companies, that will also have access to mentorship, investors, and a network of opportunities to grow their business. As this year’s cohort of founders and companies settled into their new offices, we were invited to learn more about what got them there and what they hope to accomplish in the Queen City.
Composed of a team of doctors, nurses and engineers, AMPAworks helps pharmacies, medical device companies, surgery centers, clinics and hospital systems build an efficient supply chain
infrastructure by automating inventory tasks. Using artificially intelligent mobile camera systems, AMPAworks helps reduce cost and time it takes for frontline workers to access the tools and supplies they need to provide high quality care for patients and customers.
Co-founder, CEO, Bianca Gonzalez, PhD, and her business partner got the idea for AMPAworks from their careers as medical professionals where they commonly faced difficulties in tracking the supplies that were needed for patient care. AMPAworks has already moved their operations from Santa Monica, CA to Buffalo where they hope to continue to grow their business and recruit for talent. As Gonzalez continues to acquaint herself with Buffalo, she is excited about what will come next during her first year in the queen city.
“I really miss that small town vibe where everybody knows everyone or at least is two degrees of connection from meeting somebody,” Gonzalez said.
Click here to learn more about Bianca and AMPAworks.
From Austin, Texas, Mod Tech Labs is helping companies create universal 3D content at scale by digitizing the real-world using photos. The no-code processing platform cleans, refines and
enhances 3D imagery of objects, places and people with automated artificially intelligent powered tools. Founder, Alex Porter and Chief Technology Officer, Timothy Porter hope to add to the ongoing efforts of making Buffalo a destination for film and TV production.
“So Buffalo is really fantastic for us, Buffalo Film Works is here and they are a huge production studio that is becoming one of the largest in North America and the opportunity there is to bring the movie and film studios that are filming in L.A., Georgia, Texas and elsewhere to Buffalo,” said Mrs. Porter.
As a wife and husband duo, the Porter’s have been able to combine their previous experience in interior design, construction technology and gaming to ventures such as Mod Tech Labs. As a long-term goal, Alex and Timothy hope that they can contribute to bringing a functional tool to the hands of artists and content visionaries where they can create a more accessible 3D world.
Click here to learn more about Alexandria Porter, Timothy Porter and Mod Tech Labs.
Otrafy’s artificially intelligent software system ensures supplier compliance by closely monitoring and assessing supplier qualifications and third-party data to build a resilient supply chain. Huh? Let’s break it down. A large factory that makes cereal has to go through specific certifications with auditors to get the “organic” or “gluten free” label on the box. Otrafy helps streamline that process so the factories can easily gain those certifications and be in compliance with the auditors.
“We are really focusing on establishing our business here, we are looking to hire a few more people to join our team here in Buffalo and we are also hoping to expand to different industries,” Nguyen said.
As Otrafy and Nguyen moved from Chicago, IL and are settling into their 43North offices. They are excited to further contribute to the start-up ecosystem that Buffalo has been able to develop. Nguyen added that to survive in the start-up environment, individuals need to exhibit passion and perseverance to succeed.
“The team is super excited to move to a new city and see what the community is like. We do hope to contribute to the startup community here and if we can grow well we can see a strong future together,” Nguyen said.
Click here to learn more about Nhat Nguyen and Otrafy.
Growing up in Athens, AL, Alex Parmley learned the meaning of hard work by observing his mother hustle as a waitress at a local Chinese restaurant during his childhood. He reminisced about the time in which his mother received a hundred-dollar tip from a group of CEOs dining at the restaurant and the bliss that she felt from that gesture. This moment impacted Parmley as it defined an aspiration that led him through a journey of becoming an entrepreneur.
Fast forward to today, Parmley is making his billion-dollar dreams come true by connecting campuses to the gig economy as the founder of Phood. As a winner of 43North’s start-up competition, Phood integrates universities’ card services to students’ flex dollar accounts which can then be used to purchase goods and services from third party vendors.
As Phood settles into the Buffalo start-up scene, Parmley and his team are looking to pitch their services to local colleges and universities while recruiting for open positions. On a personal level, Parmley hopes to inspire individuals to go after their dreams the same way his mother encouraged him.
“I look back at everything that we went through or had to deal with and all the oppression that we dealt with made us who we are. And now I’m extremely grateful and we’re gonna win,” Parmley said.
Click here to learn more about Alex Parmley and Phood.
Everyone can benefit from good hygiene and Twipes is a bio-tech materials company responsible for developing wet wipes that can break down in water in three hours or biodegrade in a landfill in just seven days. As one of the winners of 43North’s start-up competition, Twipes has also been awarded a million-dollar investment and are in the process of moving their operations from London, UK to Buffalo.
As the world’s first truly flushable, truly biodegradable wet wipes, the U.K. based start-up is ready to tackle the American market and provide consumers with a plastic-free and cruelty-free product. Given Buffalo’s location on the Great Lakes, it is important to continue to connect and grow eco-friendly and sustainable businesses in our region. Twipes contain zero alcohol, parabens or other harsh chemicals, making it a great product for individuals with sensitive skin.
Click here to learn more about Twipes.