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Which 43North semifinalists are homegrown?

Of 129 semifinalists in this year's 43North competition, 11 are from Western New York. They include a maker of emissions measurement devices, an opinion polling app and an online children's tech academy.

Competing for the title are:

  • 3DATX Corp., a maker and developer of portable emissions testers
  • Bestest, LLC, an opinion research app that creates game-like polls to garner feedback
  • Buffalo Automation, an artificial intelligence company that makes navigational technology for self-driving boats
  • CrowFly, an online platform for buying and selling structured settlements
  • Empirican Group, a clinical research network that provides analytics and enrollment rates
  • Ventures, maker of a product maintenance controllers use to communicate during unscheduled aircraft repairs
  • Grit Seed, a hiring app that gives applicants job-related tasks to assess their skills
  • POP Biotechnologies, which develops and commercializes nanoparticle-based vaccines and light-activated chemotherapy
  • Ru's Pierogi, a pierogi maker
  • Sotere Medical Solutions, maker of a cardiac device that detects heart disease
  •, a monthly learning subscription service that delivers coding and tech projects to children

Bestest, a 43North finalist, makes an opinion research app that polls users. (Contributed photo)

Judges culled the list of 43North applicants from 528 to 129. Judges considered startups' "compatibility with Buffalo, company traction, team quality, and previous capital raised," when picking semifinalists, competition officials said.

All semifinalists are listed online at

Next up, semifinalists will make their pitches via live video before a team of judges who thin the herd to 20 finalists. That 20 will give live pitches during a qualifying round Oct. 29. The remaining 10 finalists will give their pitches live onstage at Shea's Performing Arts Center Oct. 30. The first place winner receives $1 million in venture funding. Seven runners up receive $500,000 prizes.

All winners also receive free incubator space for one year, mentorship and access to other business incentive programs. It was created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2014 as part of the Buffalo Billion initiative.

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