SparkCharge Wins $1M at 43North | Upstate Venture Connect

It’s time to SparkCharge Western NY

Eight startups from across North America were selected as the next 43North Winners – and SparkCharge received the $1 million grand prize!

Syracuse-based SparkCharge has created a portable charging unit that is small, ultra fast, and modular.

The company was started by Syracuse University graduate Josh Aviv in 2014 with help from the Blackstone Launchpad entrepreneurship program at SU. SparkCharge also won first place in the 2017 NYS Business Plan Competition, and secured funding from the FuzeHub Commercialization Competition shortly thereafter. The momentum continued with acceptance into the prestigious Techstars Boston accelerator.

[Related] SparkCharge, one year after winning NYBPC

Josh gave a compelling pitch to a panel of celebrity / all-star judges during the 43North Competition finals.

“We are committed to growing SparkCharge in Upstate NY, including bringing our Boston investors to the region,” said Aviv.

Josh says that SparkCharge is in position to start manufacturing its portable charging units by the end of the year.

“Our chargers can fit in the trunk of electric vehicle easily, allowing owners to charge their electric vehicles anytime, anywhere without having to seek out stationary charging stations.”

Since the chargers are compact, they can also be delivered to an EV owner in emergency situations via Uber, Lyft, or AAA.

“This creates a mobile, on-demand charging infrastructure allowing electric vehicle owners to have their cars charged ultra fast anywhere,” he added.

In addition to funding, 43North winners receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, mentorship from industry experts and access to business incentive programs such as Start-Up NY. The competition is funded through New York State’s Buffalo Billion initiative primarily, as well as grants from Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority and sponsors.

Here’s a recap of the other 43North winners who captured a sharing of the $5 million in funding awarded during the competition.

Forsake – $500,000 winner
From: Boston, MA
Forsake designs all-weather boots and sneakers for travel and adventure.

HiOperator – $500,000 winner
From: San Francisco, CA
HiOperator provides customer service-as-a-service. They help companies overcome the classic challenges of customer service through a combination of automation, technology, and amazing people.

Immersed Games – $500,000 winner
From: Gainesville, FL
Immersed Games helps teachers deliver hands-on, Next Generation Science learning — with a video game! The game, Tyto Online, builds science and engineering skills with student experiences like solving an invasive species problem, building ecosystems, and breeding dragons. Teachers assign standards-aligned content and receive student assessments based on gameplay.

Kickfurther – $500,000 winner
From: Boulder, CO
Kickfurther is the world’s first inventory crowdfunding platform where anyone can support the growth of brands they love.

LegWorks – $500,000 winner
From: Buffalo, NY
LegWorks is a social enterprise revolutionizing access to high quality prosthetics for amputees. They believe every amputee, no matter where they live, has the right to walk with confidence. They design, manufacture, and distribute innovative and patented prosthetic technologies, and use a tiered pricing model to serve diverse patients globally.

Magnusmode – $500,000 winner
From: Waterloo, ON
Magnusmode leverages mobile technology to help people with autism and cognitive special needs live with greater inclusion and independence. The company’s flagship product, MagnusCards, helps people worldwide to learn life skills (e.g. cooking, traveling, personal care) through partnership with content producing customers including Colgate, CIBC, A&W, and Toronto Pearson Airport.

NaturAll Club – $500,000 winner
From: Philadelphia, PA
NaturAll Club uses food technology to offer the first hair products on the market made from fresh ingredients like avocado pulp, bananas, coconut creme, etc. NaturAll Club connects customers with the right hair ingredients using an algorithm quiz on its eCommerce site.

We’re excited to welcome these talented entrepreneurs to our community, and look forward to seeing them accomplish amazing things.

Learn more about the 45 companies in 43North’s portfolio here:

And mark your calendars for the next 43North Competition, which is held the first week of October in Buffalo, NY each year!

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