A new startup competition with a global profile is underway in Syracuse - its first U.S. location.
The five teams taking part in Startup Labs - all from New York state - were announced Monday afternoon. They'll spend about three weeks (22 days, to be exact) working out of free office space at the city's Technology Garden incubator and networking with investors.
"The whole idea is to sort of work with the companies to get [them] through hiccups," says Mitchell Patterson, who helps run the Tech Garden.
Startup Labs replaces a previous competition run by CenterState CEO, a pro-business organization for the region. Startup Labs has been run around the world in cities like Mexico City and New Delhi.
"Startup Labs is more focused on working with the teams," Patterson says, explaining why they went with the new competition.
According to Clint Nelsen, a co-founder of Startup Labs, it was Syracuse that courted them to bring the competition to upstate New York.
"The support system and just the people that wanted to make that happen in Syracuse - and the number of them" he says. "So it was just easy to say yes to."
Four-out-of-five of the finalists have upstate New York roots. One got its start in the Student Sandbox, an incubator for college students run at the Tech Garden. Two are from Ithaca.
They beat out 92 other entries to make it to the finals. For the effort, they've been given $30,000 each in seed money. Judges will decide on February 7 who deserves another $150,000 as well as a prize of $50,000 worth of free legal fees.
Here are the five finalists:
- Full Circle Feed (Syracuse): Full Circle Feed is a former Student Sandbox company that takes nutritionally-dense food leftovers from dining halls and processes them into dog treats.
- SnagMobile LLC (Delmar): SnagMobile makes it convenient to get food and drinks at live events with its mobile app. You order and pay with a credit card without having to leave your seat.
- Pretty Padded Room (New York City): Pretty Padded Room Provides online therapy to men and women on their own schedule and in their own space.
- Rosie (Ithaca): Rosie saves customers time, money, and stress by predicting household items they need, before they run out, and orders them at the lowest price.
- Yorango Inc. (Ithaca): Yorango is an alternative to existing classifieds sites. The unique platform allows landlords and renters the ability to easily manage and monetize their spaces.