Buffalo startup “Top Seedz” wins $1M grand prize investment at 43North’s annual competition

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Eight startup companies are getting a big boost after being named winners at 43North’s seventh annual startup competition Thursday night.

Competing entrepreneurs from around the world have gone head-to-head over the years to secure investment in their startups. 43North invests a total of $5 million spread across the eight companies, requiring them to move to Buffalo and providing them free office space at Seneca One Tower for a year.

This year’s grand prize went to Buffalo-based startup “Top Seedz.” The company will get a $1 million investment in its artisan crackers and roasted seeds business.

Governor Kathy Hochul was on hand at Shea’s Performing Arts Center to announce the eight winners.

“Buffalo’s entrepreneurial community has felt the positive impact of 43North and now there are eight new innovative companies joining an already vibrant startup scene,” said Governor Hochul. “We congratulate the extraordinary winners of this year’s competition and look forward to seeing them gain momentum while creating exciting new jobs in the region.”

Each winning startup will receive mentorship, local connections, access to 43North’s network investors and more.

Here’s a look at the winners:

Top Seedz – Buffalo, NY – $1,000,000 Winner – Top Seedz produces artisan crackers and roasted seeds packed with nutrition and flavor using the simplest ingredients that nature provides. BetterMynd, Inc. – Buffalo, NY – $500,000 Winner – BetterMynd is an online therapy platform that partners directly with universities to provide their students access to a diverse network of licensed mental health counselors from the privacy and convenience of their laptops and mobile devices. Big Wheelbarrow, INC – Austin, TX – $500,000 Winner – Big Wheelbarrow is a software as a service platform that enables food distributors and grocers to manage supply chains in order to meet consumer demand for local food profitably, efficiently, and safely. FLOX – The Healthy Chicken Company – London, England – $500,000 Winner – FLOX’s machine vision technology enables welfare-first farming; allowing poultry farm owners to improve chicken health & wellbeing, while also operating more ethically, profitably & sustainably.  Infiuss Health – San Jose, CA – $500,000 Winner – Infiuss Health powers remote research/clinical trials with their Software as a service platform, connecting clinical researchers in the US and EU to patient participants in Africa. ShearShare, Inc. – McKinney, TX – $500,000 Winner – ShearShare is a B2B mobile platform helping Salon owners drive additional revenue through filling empty salon chairs on-demand, through their matching of salon/barbershop owners with vetted licensed beauty professionals. Verivend – Buffalo, NY – $500,000 Winner – Verivend offers the quickest way available to pay and get paid, allowing businesses to transact with all customers and vendors and a digital wallet powering instant B2B and B2C payments. Zealot Interactive – Arlington, VA – $500,000 Winner – The best way to learn guitar, Zealot’s app offers augmented reality video lessons for real-life musical instruments paired with state-of-the-art hardware.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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