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From 43North to the dairy farm: Gavigan joins SomaDetect as COO

John Gavigan, the former executive director of the 43North business plan competition, is joining last year's grand prize winner as its chief operating officer.

Gavigan, who announced last year that he planned to step down as the leader of the Buffalo Billion-backed 43North contest, is joining SomaDetect, the Canadian start-up that won the $1 million grand prize in the contest last October.

SomaDetect makes equipment that allows dairy farmers to do a real-time analysis of the quality of the milk produced by their cows.

"SomaDetect is poised to drive massive impact on the dairy industry," Gavigan said. "The mission of the company is clear, the technology is groundbreaking."

Gavigan's hiring comes as the company, which is focusing on working with New York dairy farmers to develop and market its product, is bolstering its Buffalo staff. The company also hired Daniel Fuglewicz as its director of embedded engineering. Fuglewicz has has 30 years of experience in engineering and product management, most recently as director of embedded systems at KeepTruckin.

The hirings will add experience in leadership and product management to SomaDetect's staff, said Bethany Deshpande, SomaDetect's CEO.

43North last month hired Buffalo banker Alexander Gress as the $5 million contest's new executive director.

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