43North – a startup/economic development initiative funded (in part I think) by the state of New York – wrapped up its fourth contest on Thursday with finalist pitches and an amazing event at the historic Shea’s Theater in downtown Buffalo NY. Participating in this contest as a judge is a highlight of my year.
All sixteen finalist delivered compelling and well-rehearsed pitches. The winner was SomaDetect -a Canadian company. SomaDetect makes “an in-line sensor that measures every critical indicator of dairy quality from every cow at every milking.” Their founder and CEO – Bethany Deshpande – was extraordinarily poised on-stage. She connected with the large audience (and won the People’s Choice award) and with the judges apparently. I hope SomaDetect does well while doing good and delivers the benefit to Buffalo that 43North hopes for.