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Eight startups reach semifinals of business plan contest

By TROY L. SMITH
 - 3/15/2013 3:00:42 PM

Eight startup companies have made the semifinals of this year’s Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest.

They are 5D Innovations, Empire Robotics Inc., Flower City Malt Lab., Graphene Devices Ltd., IMSWorkX Inc., KidsOutAndAbout.com, Localized Therapeutics LLC and Tour Builder.

The semifinalists were chosen from a pool of 46 companies that entered the competition last month. The field is to be narrowed down to five finalists selected by a review panel in the next two weeks. The final five then compete for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.

“With 46 companies entered this year, this is one of the largest cohorts in the history of the contest, a clear sign that Rochester’s entrepreneurial spirit is strong,” said James Senall, president of High Tech Rochester Inc., in a statement. “The quality of this year’s applicant pool was outstanding, and whittling that field down was no easy task, but we’re excited for all of them and the promise they hold for success.”

The five finalists are slated to present their business concepts to a panel of judges on April 18 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester. The winner will be announced that day at the Celebration of Entrepreneurship Luncheon. Each finalist will receive some prize combination of cash and services, officials said. The winner will receive a prize package that includes $25,000 in cash.

The Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest is put on by community organizations and colleges, including High Tech Rochester, Digital Rochester and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc.

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