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Semi-finalists named in $200K business competition

SYRACUSE — The 10 semi-finalists for this year’s Creative Core Emerging Business Competition include startups working on everything from biorefinery technology to biometrics.

The Central Upstate Regional Alliance announced the semi-finalists today. The competition seeks to honor the most innovative, growth-oriented company in the region.

The winner of the contest’s $200,000 grant prize will be announced April 4 at the CenterState CEO annual meeting. The competition also includes a $15,000 prize for innovations in agribusiness and a $5,000 prize for the best student business idea.


M&T Bank and the New York Business Development Corp. are the contest’s title sponsors.

“This year’s semi-finalists exhibit the strength and depth of entrepreneurial spirit that is defining innovation in our region,” M&T Syracuse Division Regional President Allen Naples said in a news release. “The judges next face the difficult task of choosing one winner from this impressive field of candidates.”

The top 10 companies were chosen from a field of 96 candidates. Finalists will pitch their companies to a panel of judges March 26.

Two of this year’s semi-finalist companies previously competed for the competition’s top prize, including MicroGen, which has been a finalist in two previous years of the competition.

This year’s semi-finalists are:

-Applied Biorefinery Sciences, which is developing biorefinery technologies to turn plant biomass into carbon-neutral, biodegradable products and fuels.

-Cortland Research, which has developed technology that allows consumers to see how much power their appliances are using in real time and control them when they’re not being used efficiently.

-Georeader, which offers a smartphone app that plays short audio messages about historical markers as users drive by.

-ImproviSoft provides software products and services to the mobile device industry. The company is working to establish an advertising business around its AdStreamer Software Development Kit.

-MyMuzik, which is launching a digital music stand designed to eliminate sheet music for groups and individual performers.

-MicroGen’s technology harvests the energy created by vibrations for use in a variety of applications. The company is developing a line of micro-power sources to extend rechargeable battery lifetimes.

-NexID develops and licenses software to allow fingerprint-scanning technologies to more accurately authenticate scanned images.

-NOHMS is a supplier of advanced lithium ion battery materials and components. The products allow for improved battery performance at a lower cost.

-Seraph Robotics uses a robotic arm to create instant models or prototypes.

-Technology Life Cycle Solutions provides Web-based lease management software that allows companies to manage their entire portfolio and access information anywhere through a secure Internet connection.

Past winners of the competition include Sound Reading Solutions, Widetronix, e2e Materials, and Mezmeriz, all based in Ithaca.

The winner of the 2011 competition, of Syracuse, is a sponsor for 2012. The firm provides a Web-based tool that allows users to manage their search results.

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