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43North announces 134 semifinalists

And then there were 134.

The organizers of the 43North business plan competition on Monday said they had narrowed their pool of 502 applicants down to 134 semifinalists that have cleared the first hurdle for a shot at winning a portion of the $5 million in prizes that will be handed out to eight winning companies in early October.

This year's pool of entrants was the smallest ever for the 43North competition, down from 542 last year, as organizers for the second straight year used a more stringent entry process and charged a modest entry fee in an effort to weed out less-qualified applicants and focus the early review process on higher-quality candidates.

"43North was even more targeted this year in our outreach to attract high-quality applicants," said John Gavigan, 43North's executive director. "I'm very pleased with the caliber of this year's applicant pool."

Between now and the end of August, each of the semifinalists will make video pitches to a panel of judges, who then will narrow the field to the contest's finalists. The finalists then will come to Buffalo to participate in a series of live pitches during 43North Week, held in the first week of October and culminating in the finals on Oct. 5 at Shea's Performing Arts Center.

• Startups from the Buffalo Niagara region make up a little less than 10 percent of the semifinalists, with 13 entrants from Erie and Niagara counties making the cut. Two years ago, a quarter of the semifinalists were from the Buffalo Niagara region, dropping to 17 percent in 2016.

• More than a quarter of the semifinalists are from New York. Beyond the local semifinalists, five from the Rochester area and one is from Batavia.

• A little more than two of every five applicants are from a state other than New York. More than 15 percent of the semifinalists – 23 in all – are from California, while 7 percent – a total of nine – are from Massachusetts.

• A little more than a quarter of the semifinalists – a total of 37 – are from outside the United States. Canada has an especially strong presence among the semifinalists, with 28 Canadian entrants making up 20 percent of the semifinalists. The percentage of Canadian firms making the semifinals has been steadily rising, from 10 percent in 2015 and 18 percent.

• Nine of the semifinalists are from outside the United States and Canada, including two apiece from Israel, Germany and Hong Kong. Other international semifinalists came from Argentina, South Africa and Nigeria.

43North organizers will offer eight prizes this year. Five companies will win $500,000, while one will win $550,000 and the runner-up will take home $650,000. The winner will receive $1 million. One of the eight prize winners also will be offered $300,000 in follow-on financing at the end of 2018.

The contest is one of the smallest pieces of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development initiative. The idea behind the contest is to help create a more entrepreneurial climate in a region where the pace of new business creation was lagging behind the nation, and also to create an image of Buffalo as a good place to start a business.

Here are the semifinalists, in alphabetical order.

Company City State/Province Country
2020Shift  New York  New York
3AM Innovations  Buffalo  New York
AceAge  Guelph  Ontario  Canada
Acorn  Kitchener  Ontario  Canada
ACTO App  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Adistry  Longmont  Colorado
Airo Health  Kitchener  Ontario  Canada
Allied Microbiota  New York  New York
Ambience Data Inc.  Mississauga  Ontario  Canada
AQ BioMed  Boulder  Colorado
AquaFresco  Somerville  Massachusetts
AXIS  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
BABYBE  Stuttgart  Germany
backstitch  Kansas City  Missouri
Balance Engineering  Henrietta  New York
BallotReady  Chicago  Illinois
BioSavita  Plymouth  Michigan
Bioserie  Hong Kong
BlackBox Biometrics Inc.  Rochester  New York
Burner Fitness  Buffalo  New York
calvIO Inc.  Webster  New York
Cellular Preservation Technologies  Buffalo  New York
Cinchapi  Atlanta  Georgia
Cogentis Therapeutics  Baltimore  Maryland
COSIGN INC  Brooklyn  New York
Credit Hero  New York  New York
Cross Platform Solutions GmbH  Berlin  Germany
DashMetrics  Ballston Spa  New York
Dimien  Amherst  New York
DMF Medical  Halifax  Nova Scotia  Canada
Doblet  San Francisco  California
Dot Health  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Dozop  Watertown  Massachusetts
EagleHawk One  Buffalo  New York
EmergenSee  Malvern  Pennsylvania
Engio AireXpert  Buffalo  New York
Exactus Energy  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Expanesthetics  Davis  California
Femi Secrets  Atlanta  Georgia
Fentrend  Brooklyn  New York
Feynman Nano  Orlando  Florida
Fig Loans  New York  New York
Flashfood  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
FleetRover  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Free Your Tea  New Orleans  Louisiana
Funderful  San Francisco  California
Galaxy.AI  New York  New York
Ginjan Bros  New York  New York
GoGig  Boynton Beach  Florida
HDP Health  San Francisco  California
Hello Baby  Menlo Park  California
HiNT  Hamilton  Ontario  Canada
HiOperator  San Francisco  California
HumansFirst Technology  Scottsdale  Arizona
Hyre  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
IFTech Inventing Future Technology  Oshawa  Ontario  Canada
ImmunoBiochem Corporation  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Innofect  Philadelphia  Pennsylvania
InnoSphere  Haifa  Israel
Innovein  San Carlos  California
iSono Health  San Francisco  California
Kangarootime  Long Beach  California
Ketos  San Jose  California
Kinems  Boston  Massachusetts
KometaBio  Cresskill  New Jersey
Komodo OpenLab  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Lawdingo  New York  New York
Livegauge  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Lux Beauty Club  New York  New York
MAX  Lagos  Nigeria
MDOps Corporation  Melville  New York
Mekonos  Palo Alto  California
Mellowcabs  Franschhoek  South Africa
MemoryFox  Buffalo  New York
MicroQuantum  Auburn Hills  Michigan
MobioSense  Boston  Massachusetts
Molecular Glasses  Rochester  New York
Moving Analytics  San Francisco  California
MUrgency  San Francisco  California
Mycroft AI  Kansas City  Missouri
Nanowear  Brooklyn  New York
Nonnatech  New York  New York
Nouvola  Portland  Oregon
NuCypher  San Francisco  California
OTTAA Project  Cordoba  Argentina
Ovamba Solutions  Chevy Chase  Maryland
Paddle  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Pairity  New York  New York
Parcel  New York  New York
Patient Pattern  Buffalo  New York
Patientory  Atlanta  Georgia
Pawprint  San Francisco  California
Peeva  Buffalo  New York
PFITR  Little Rock  Arizona
Pitstop  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
PixelEXX Systems  Hinsdale  Illinois
POP Biotechnologies  Buffalo  New York
Project-RAY  Yokneam  Israel
Proteorex Therapeutics  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Qidni Labs  San Francisco  California
QReserve  Hamilton  Ontario  Canada
QueueHop  College Point  New York
Rachel’s Remedies  Buffalo New York
ReviveMed  Somerville  Massachusetts
Routeique Inc.  Vancouver  British Columbia  Canada
Saent Holding Limited  Hong Kong
Samaritan  Seattle  Washington
Savormetrics  Hamilton  Ontario  Canada
Scout MD  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Selfycart  San Mateo  California
Sigma Ratings  Cambridge  Massachusetts
Siris Medical  Redwood City  California
Skuld  Tipp City  Ohio
Smart Alto  San Jose  California
SmartPath  Atlanta  Georgia
Soft Lesion Analytics  Ann Arbor  Michigan
Snow Monkey  Santa Monica  California
SomaDetect  Fredericton  New Brunswick  Canada
SPLT Rides  Ann Arbor  Michigan
Squire  New York  New York
Staffy Canada  Toronto  Ontario  Canada
Suncayr  Kitchener  Ontario  Canada
Sunu  Boston  Massachusetts
TARA.AI  San Jose  California
TenCar  Batavia  New York
Thimble.io  Buffalo  New York
Tranquilo  Boston  Massachusetts
Tricolops  Kitchener  Ontario  Canada
True Link Financial  San Francisco  California
Tyll Solar  Rochester  New York
Vivacelle Bio  Chicago  Illinois
Walkabout Collaborative  Angola  New York
Water Hero  Beverly  Massachusetts
Zelegent  Irvine  California
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