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43North Announces 7 Finals Judges for 2017 Competition

September 25, 2017

Some of the brightest minds in entrepreneurship and venture capital to determine winners of fourth annual 43North –The $5 million startup competition – on Oct. 5

BUFFALO, NY – Today, 43North announced the panel of Finals Judges who will award eight winning startups a cut of $5 million during the fourth annual 43North Finals. The judges will evaluate pitches from 10 finalists on stage in front of a live audience at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.

The seven Finals Judges will determine which startups receive 43North’s $1 million grand prize, $650,000 runner-up award, $550,000 third place award, and five $500,000 awards. Tickets to 43North Finals are free and open to the public at 43North.org.

43North is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s visionary Buffalo Billion initiative, operating through grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority, along with the support of several sponsors.


43North Finals Award Judges:
Bonin Bough

@boughb | Host | Cleveland Hustles

Bonin Bough is the producer and host of Cleveland Hustles, and author of TXT Me (646) 759-1837. As one of the youngest C-suite executives at a Fortune 50 company, Bonin has spearheaded some of the largest global marketing campaigns, including the first ever 3D printed food product, an Oreo. He was named “Mobile Marketer of the Year” by the MMA, was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement, and has been listed in Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40”, Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, The Adweek 50 and PRWeek Power List.


Melissa Bradley

@bradleyml and @Project500DC | Director | Project 500

Melissa L. Bradley is a Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She is Founder/Director of Project 500; the Entrepreneur in Residence for the District of Columbia; a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution; and Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).


Toby Corey

@tobycorey | Stanford University Lecturer, Entrepreneur & Former Tesla Executive

Toby Corey has managed three $1 billion+ businesses, had two successful IPOs and raised over $300 million in private and public financing, while disrupting the information technology, digital economy, renewable energy and mobile sectors. He has served as the President of the national leader in clean energy services and co-founder and former President/COO of the worldwide leader in web development services, managed a 7,000+ employee global organization and executed 40+ M&A transactions.


Virginia Giddings

Sr. Director, Advanced Technology & Innovation | Stryker Neurovascular

Virginia Giddings is a seasoned healthcare innovation leader in medical device, pharmaceutical and nutritional businesses. She heads Advanced Technology & Innovation at Stryker Neurovascular, leading technology, strategy and innovation to treat strokes. Virginia previously led Strategic R&D for early-stage research and science partnerships at Abbott Nutrition. She serves on the Cornell Engineering Council, the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and the Georgia Tech-Emory Bioengineering Board, and she is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. She also co-founded MedtechWomen.


Eric Hippeau

@erichippeau | Managing Director | Lerer Hippeau Ventures

Eric Hippeau is a Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. He is the chairman of RebelMouse and co-founder of NowThis Media. Previously, Eric was the Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post and a Special Partner at Softbank Capital, where he served as Managing Partner. Prior to Softbank Capital, Eric was Chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis, which was the largest media company serving the technology sector. He serves on the boards of various private and public companies, including Marriott.


David Jakubowski

Director, Publisher Solutions | Facebook

David Jakubowski is a seasoned executive and industry expert on advertising technology and digital monetization, with a history leading innovation around data, privacy and cross-channel measurement. Prior to Facebook, David was the CEO of Aggregate Knowledge (acquired by Neustar), the industry’s leading enterprise media analytics and DMP; SVP of Specific Media, one of the largest global ad networks; General Manager of Microsoft adCenter and Search Strategy; and SVP of Quigo Technologies Inc. (acquired by AOL).


Jill Thompson

@theJoLTGroup | President | The JoLT Group

Jill advises Life Science & Diagnostics companies in all aspects of business development. Her experience includes strategy, commercialization, mergers and acquisitions for companies ranging from startups to multinational corporations. Jill is passionate about connecting people and technologies to drive innovation.


“Knowing the caliber of finalists that 43North attracts year after year, it is only fitting that we have a panel of esteemed judges to evaluate and offer critical insight,” said 43North Board Chairman Bill Maggio. “I look forward to hearing this year’s pitches in what will be an exciting night in downtown Buffalo.”

“43North’s Finals Judges are some of the brightest minds in their fields. They’re also quick-witted, which should make for an entertaining evening on Oct. 5, when they grill our 10 Finalists live onstage during 43North Finals at Shea’s Performing Arts Center,” said 43North Executive Director John Gavigan.

“This year’s competition began with more than 500 submissions from 30 different countries, all vying for the fantastic opportunity to become a part of the Buffalo-area’s growing business support network,” said John. R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman. “I want to congratulate 43North and Empire State Development for assembling this incredible panel of judges and organizing another high-caliber competition this year.”

The 43North Finals event is part of 43North Week, a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Buffalo, NY that runs from September 28 to October 5. Visit 43North.org for a complete schedule of events.

About 43North

43North is the $5 million startup competition, awarding cash prizes to some of the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. 43North winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority. Additional support comes from several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.