Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Industry / Technology & Telecom / Semi-finalists selected for 2017 Rochester Venture Challenge

Semi-finalists selected for 2017 Rochester Venture Challenge

The 2017 Rochester Venture Challenge competition has selected eight semi-finalists from a pool of 35 companies, officials announced Friday.

 The eight early stage companies are competing for over $40,000 in cash and prizes. 

 "As usual, the selection committee had a very difficult time picking the eight semi-finalists from the many great companies that applied this year," said James Senall, president of High Tech Rochester Inc. in a statement.  "It’s clear that tech entrepreneurship continues to be on the rise here in our region—as evidenced by this strong field of contestants, as well as the many other new entrepreneurial activities taking place in the region."

 Five finalists for the competition are to be determined March 31. Finalists then will go on to present their pitches to a panel of judges April 27 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, officials said. The event is open to the public.

 The eight semi-finalist firms and their leaders are:

  • BeeFluent, Zack Bessler;
  • Empire Medicinals, Qiaosong George Zheng;
  • House at Work, Peter Schick;
  • HZ Innovations, Greyson Watkins;
  • Impact Earth Inc., Robert Putney Jr. and Elizabeth Carey;
  • MicroEra Power, Ellie Rusling;
  • Primary Book Club LLC, Erin Witmer; and
  • ThermApparel, Kurtis Kracke.

Each of the five finalists will receive some combination of cash or services prizes. The first-place prize includes $25,000 cash, HTR.  said 

The Rochester Venture Challenge is a combined effort by community organizations HTR, Digital Rochester Inc., the Entrepreneurs Network, Excell Partners Inc., Nazareth College School of Management, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester.

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail [email protected] 



Check Also

New state mandate for non-public schools provides clearer language, guidance (access required)

After years of conversation, public comments, and often contentious debate, the New York State Board of Regents unanimously voted on ...

Best Places to Work For DEI honorees announced (access required)

The Rochester Business Journal has announced the honorees for the inaugural Best Places to Work For DEI awards. This regional ...

REDCOM founders to receive philanthropy award from RIT

REDCOM founders to receive philanthropy award from RIT   (access required)

Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology will honor the Gueldenpfennig family for their dedication as alumni and longtime RIT supporters with ...

Vision Nissan on West Ridge Road in Greece was one of nine dealerships sold by Vision Automotive Group to a Florida-based firm

Vision Automotive Group sells area dealerships to Florida firm (access required)

Vision Automotive Group, a mainstay in recent years on the RBJ 75, has sold nine dealerships, as well as a ...