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Who holds the key to the prize?

The startup that wins the $1 million grand prize in the 43North business plan competition won’t be picked until Thursday, but none of the contest’s 11 finalists will walk away as losers. ¶ 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. In addition to the $1 million grand prize, six finalists will get $500,000, while four others will walk away with $250,000. ¶ The winners will be picked by a panel of venture capitalists after a daylong session Thursday that will feature pitches by each of the finalists. ¶ Some of this year’s finalists already have experience raising money. Two of the three local finalists – ACV Auctions and CoachMePlus – each have raised more than $1 million from investors. ¶ Others have had success in other entrepreneurial contests. Tax and income tracer Painless1099 was a finalist in Richmond, Va.’s Rise of the Rest contest organized by AOL co-founder Steve Case, while Israeli-based e-commerce firm GetGems was named the “most visionary social media solution” at a European startup competition in May. ¶ Here’s a look at each of the finalists:

ACV Auctions

Hometown: Z-80 Labs, Buffalo

Team size: 7

Stage: Revenue

What they do: ACV is developing a mobile app to host wholesale car auctions for dealers. The app helps dealers sell less marketable trade-ins and older vehicles through 20-minute online auctions.

The company, founded last year and already part of the Start-Up NY tax-free program, says its app could help auto dealers buy and sell vehicles faster and more efficiently. The app launched in June, and ACV raised $1 million from an investor group during the summer.

CleanSlate

Hometown: Toronto

Team size: 6

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: CleanSlate is developing a device that uses ultraviolet light to clean and sanitize the surfaces of objects, from smartphones to thermometers, in medical settings to reduce the risk of infection.

The company said its device can sanitize the surface of an object in 30 seconds, compared to 1- to 3-minutes with SaniWipes, without damaging electronic screens. They also say it can kill the most dangerous types of bacteria, including MRSA and C. difficile.

CoachMePlus

Hometown: Z-80 Labs, Buffalo

Team size: 9

Stage: Revenue

What they do: The company, a 43North semifinalist last year, has developed a software system that helps coaches, trainers and other athletic officials track and manage data on how athletes are training.

The company, founded in 2012, has raised $1.6 million from investors, including a $600,000 round of financing earlier this year. Company executives said the 43North funding will help CoachMePlus push into new segments of the athletic market about a year to 18 months faster than initially planned.

Cytocybernetics

Hometown: North Tonawanda

Team size: 4

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Cytocybernetics is developing biotechnology it believes can cut the time and money needed to bring new drugs to the market. The company, launched in 2013 by University at Buffalo professors Glenna Bett and Randall Rasmusson, can test how a new drug affects electrical activity in a patient’s heart, reducing the time and money needed for pre-clinical trials by as much as two-thirds. The company, part of Start-Up NY, has raised more than $290,000 in funding from the National Institutes of Health and a SUNY tech fund.

Disease Diagnostic Group

Hometown: Boston, Mass.

Team size: 3

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: The company is developing a battery-powered device that uses magnets and lasers to detect malaria in a patient’s blood. DDG says its 2-pound portable device can test blood in as little as 10 seconds, at a cost of about 25 cents, and can detect malaria even in patients who aren’t showing symptoms.

The company has won several $100,000 business plan contests, including competitions at the University of Maryland and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

GetGems

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel

Team size: 4

Stage: Revenue

What they do: GetGems offers a social messaging app that also pays users of its free instant messaging services for watching ads and inviting new users to the service. The app also allows users to send money, as bitcoin, to other users for free. GetGems works within existing social media platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Twitter.

GetGems executives said their goal is to make money transfer as fast and simple as text messaging.

Painless1099

Hometown: Richmond, Va.

Team size: 4

Stage: Revenue

What they do: Painless 1099 helps independent contractors, such as freelance designers or real estate agents, save for tax season. The company helps users avoid unexpected tax bills at the end of the year by automatically withholding income and Social Security taxes that is put into a separate account at Iowa-based Lincoln Savings Bank and then depositing the rest into the consumer’s checking account. The company makes money off the interest earned on the withholding deposits and is considering adding a subscription service.

Plum

Hometown: Waterloo, Ont.

Team size: 7

Stage: Revenue

What they do: Plum makes employment assessment software that combines behavioral science with predictive analytics to help screen job applicants and help determine how well they fit a position.

The online service assesses an applicant’s intellectual and behavioral priorities, and matches those results with the findings from a 10-minute questionnaire that employers complete on the key attributes they are seeking for a particular position.

Qoints

Hometown: Toronto

Team size: 5

Stage: Revenue

What they do: Qoints helps brands evaluate how well their digital campaigns are doing by comparing their results with industry benchmarks – something that only about a quarter of all companies do.

It also offers ways to improve the performance of future marketing campaigns. Cory Rosenfeld, Qoints’ CEO, called the company’s evaluation tools “a scientific revolution in marketing.”

The company won $100,000 earlier this year in a startup competition in Northumberland County, Ont.

Uma Bioseed

Hometown: Ithaca

Team size: 4

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Uma Bioseed, founded by Cornell University MBA students, is developing affordable seed coatings that can help fight viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens, including during the seed’s germination phase. The coatings, using enzyme technology developed by another Cornell spin-off, ZYMtronix, could increase crop yields.

UmaBioseed won the $100,000 grand prize this year in the state-sponsored New York Business Plan Competition, as well as first place in a business plan contest in Thailand.

Voiceitt

Hometown: Jerusalem

Team size: 10

Stage: Pre-revenue

What they do: Voiceitt is developing voice translation technology for the disabled. The company’s translation app, Talkitt, is designed to help people with disabilities communicate better with others. The app can be programmed to recognize a user’s unintelligible speech and translate it into words that can be broadly understood.

The company won $250,000 in last year’s Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award contest and raised $87,000 through a crowdfunding campaign.