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A look at who’s vying for $1 million in 43North competition

The winner of the $1 million grand prize in the 43North business plan competition won’t be picked until Thursday, but each of the contest’s 11 finalists already are winners. ¶ Each finalist will get a share of the $5 million in prize money that will be handed out during the contest’s finals Thursday night in Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Six finalists will get $500,000 prizes, while four other runners-up will get $250,000. ¶ The winners will be picked by a panel of venture capitalists and local business officials after a daylong session Thursday that will feature pitches by each of the finalists, aimed at convincing the panel that they deserve the $1 million prize.

Here’s a look at each of the finalists:


Hometown: 171 Cooper Ave., Town of Tonawanda

Team size: 5

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Adiabatic Solutions developed a rapid metal-forming system that its developers believe can make metal components that perform better but also cost less to produce. The process can strengthen metals, which allows products such as engines and implantable medical devices to be lighter and last longer. ASi, founded by a former Greatbatch Inc. executive, has raised more than $700,000 in private equity.

Asana Medical

Hometown: Miami Lakes, Fla.

Team size: 3

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Asana Medical is developing a new way of treating ulcerative colitis, a debilitating digestive disease, without drugs or surgery by using mature tissue-engineering technology that has been used in other clinical applications for more than a decade.

The company’s founders believe the engineered tissue can be used to stimulate the growth of healthy new tissue in the lining of a patient’s colon.


Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Team size: 4

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: EcoBreeze is developing a cooling system that doesn’t use rotary fans. The firm, formed by four National Taiwan University mechanical engineering graduates, says its fans use a fraction of the power consumed by rotary fans, last three times longer and are quieter.

EcoBreeze says its fans, which use piezoelectric material, can be used in LED lighting, communication devices, tablets and other electronic products.

Energy Intelligence

Hometown: Somerville, Mass.

Team size: 2

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Energy Intelligence is developing ultra-compact, road-mounted technology that converts wasted kinetic energy from braking vehicles into renewable electricity.

The patented technology is intended for use at slowdown points such as parking garage entrances, toll plazas and weigh stations, and can be used to power other equipment at the site to reduce electricity expenses.

Eulysis UK

Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland

Team size: 1

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Eulysis UK is developing technology to deliver drugs in a single, easy-to-use container. The company has worked with the World Health Organization and the Gates Foundation to finalize its studies and launch its single-vial system for vaccines and other freeze-dried medicine that must be reconstituted before use. With its system, only one product must be stored and transported, versus two separate vials.


Hometown: Mason, Ohio

Team size: 12

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Genetesis is a biotechnology company, founded by an Ohio State University sophomore, that is developing a way to find personalized diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm conditions.

Genetesis’ system uses a device to measure electrochemical activity through the skin and then analyze it using software to determine the best drugs to use as a treatment.


Hometown: New York City

Team size: 3

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: HemoGenyx is a biotechnology company developing new treatments for blood diseases, such as leukemia and lymphoma. The company uses cells that are isolated from a treated patient and can generate cancer-free blood stem cells. HemoGenyx’s therapy can dramatically increase the effectiveness of bone marrow transplants and eliminate the need for donors.


Hometown: New York City

Team size: 2

Stage: Idea

What they do: With the proliferation of social media sites, KeepUp is working on a productivity app that would help users track 12 major life events from six social media sites.

The app would allow users to determine who they follow, what events they see and when their feeds are updated.

The company currently is working on the first version of their app, which has not yet been released.

Medical Conservation Devices

Hometown: Batavia

Team size: 5

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Medical Conservation Devices, using licensed technology from the University at Buffalo, has developed a low-cost, inhaled anesthesia machine that could be used to expand the use of anesthesia globally. The device could be used to sedate infectious patients and those with severe lung injury. It also can provide anesthesia to up to eight patients at a time.

Raland Therapeutics

Hometown: Fairport

Team size: 2

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Raland Therapeutics is developing an implantable biosensor, called CytoComm, that uses living cells to monitor how a patient’s body responds to chemotherapy.

The system, based on patented technology from the University of Rochester, also allows doses to be tailored more closely to how each patient responds to the drugs, potentially reducing the side effects that come with chemotherapy.


Hometown: Markham, Ont.

Team size: 3

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: triMirror has developed virtual fitting-room technology that lets users try on clothes using customized avatars.

The technology allows consumers to see where clothing might be too loose or too tight, or how it responds when the user moves. The company raised $2,200 through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign this summer.