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43North finalist turns down $250,000 prize

GetGems, an Israeli startup that won $250,000 in the 43North business plan competition, has turned down its prize.

The company, which is developing technology to allow users to transfer money using social messaging apps, won the smallest prize available to the 11 finalists in last month’s competition.

To claim the prize, GetGems would have had to shift its operations to Buffalo for a year and give 43North a 5 percent stake in the company.

Toronto-based Infonaut will receive the $250,000 prize in its place. Infonaut, which also has an office in the Jacobs Institute on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, is developing systems to prevent infections in hospitals by tracking how staff wash their hands and examining the movement of people and equipment.

GetGems isn’t the first 43North winner to decline its prize. Last year’s runner-up, Scottish-based medical device maker Eulysis, also declined its $500,000 prize.