Rise of the Rest shows WNY at our Best

Later today, Steve Case and his Rise of the Rest tour are coming to Buffalo.  Buffalo Niagara Enterprise is hoping the crowd in Buffalo will be the biggest and most spirited stop in this year’s tour, which also visits Philadelphia, Baltimore, Manchester, and Portland.    


Curious about tonight?  It’s a free event at Buffalo RiverWorks – another sign of our city’s renewal that’s worth the trip in and of itself. 


So what’s happening?  Eight Buffalo-area startups have been selected to compete for a $100,000 investment from Steve Case.  We’re incredibly proud to have been of direct help to 7 of the 8 that have made it this far (and as you can see, we're certainly not their only supporter):


  • KeepUp - A productivity app that lets you take back your life from social media – KeepUp was a winner in the 2014 43North competition and now resides in the 43North incubator within the BNMC Innovation Center.  KeepUp is currently leveraging the IHS Embedded Consultants program to learn more about their app’s users and work with the data they collect.  Stay tuned. 
  • Cartefi - A network for entities to post, find and share new opportunities – we first met Cartefi, a group of recent Fredonia grads, when they applied to the Buffalo Student Sandbox program.  Julian Anjorin and Mitch Skomra spent the summer with us in dig, and moved the business forward full time while cofounders Rich Rogers, Ari Goldberg, and Andrew Klajbor burned the midnight oil.  Nine weeks later, Cartefi had moved from idea to reality. 
  • POP Bio Technologies - Innovative nanomedical cancer drug delivery solution – born out of the labs at UB, inventor Jonathan Lovell was soon paired with Jonathan Smyth, a law student and intern at UB STOR.  Smyth led POP into UB’s Panasci competition, where he earned $25,000 to advance the company further.  Next up, POP entered into Buffalo Student Sandbox, where they worked on their 43North application.  In July, POP was named as a 43North semifinalist, and has the next round of the competition to look forward to in addition to RotR.
  • InteractiveX - Platform where professors collaborate in the development of interactive e-books – Rohan Shah, a business and engineering student at UB from Goa, India,, entered into UB’s eLab in December 2014.  Rising to the top in that program, he won $8,000 to spend on the business, also won at student2Biz, and earned a spot in Buffalo Student Sandbox, which turned into another $10,000+ injected into the business. 
  • Energy Intelligence - A road-mounted energy harvesting system – Daniel Shani, a product of Brandeis and the University of Chicago, came to Buffalo via the 2014 43North competition.  Daniel has been working with NYSERDA’s Directed Energy program and IHS’s Embedded Consultants program to refine his firmware as he readies to launch his product. 
  • Heads Up Display - Wearable technology company focused on allowing users to make data driven decisions in real-time – perhaps the best example of a company taking advantage of the myriad opportunities available to them in WNY.  UB CAT, Z80Labs, IHS, Buffalo Startup Weekend, UB CEL, Algonquin, and Startup NY are all entities that come to mind as a part of the Heads Up story.
  • Smart Walls - A construction company that manufactures and builds deployable walls for flood protection – Jorge Cueto is a UB PhD student in structural engineering and Colombia native, where he already founded and runs a business.  Jorge joined UB’s eLab program, where he won $8,000 to move his idea forward, was a finalist in the Panasci competition, and now works out of UB’s tenX coworking space.


Fredonia, UB CAT, Z80Labs, Panasci, dig, 43North, eLab, student2Biz, tenX, Directed Energy, Innovation Hot Spot, Buffalo Student Sandbox, Buffalo Startup Weekend, UB CEL, Algonquin, and Startup NY – wow!  Eight companies will pitch tonight, but these organizations are supporting dozens more ventures you’ll be hearing about in the year to come.