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FuzeHub Commercialization Competition Winner SparkCharge Wins 43North Competition

Spark Charge Logo, an image of a green car with a lightning bolt arrow

SparkCharge, a NYS startup that was one of five winners of the 2017 FuzeHub Commercialization Competition, has won the $1 million grand prize in the 43North business competition. Launched in 2014, SparkCharge has developed a portable charger that’s designed to ease “range anxiety” among electric vehicle (EV) owners. The company plans to begin manufacturing next year.
“As a finalist in the FuzeHub Commercialization Competition in November 2017, winning a $50,000 award for consumer-ready portable charging stations for electrical vehicles, members of the SparkCharge team have been very busy throughout 2018 working to ramp-up production,” said Julianne Clouthier, Industry Engagement Manager at FuzeHub. “SparkCharge is halfway through the FuzeHub project milestones and expected to close-out the project by year end.”
Winning 43North
Joshua Aviv, the founder of SparkCharge, impressed a panel of seven 43North judges with the strength of his pitch and scope of his potential market. According to BloombergNEF, worldwide EV sales topped 1 million in 2017 and are expected to reach 11 million in 2025 and 30 million in 2030. Earlier this year, Aviv shared some thoughts about making a successful pitch with FuzeHub’s NYS Manufacturing Now podcast.
Now in its fifth year, 43North offers $5 million in annual prizes. The competition is funded through the Buffalo Billion initiative, grants from Empire State Development (ESD), the New York Power Authority, and several other sponsors. The winners grant 5% equity to 43North and promise to operate from Buffalo for at least a year.
As the 43North grand prize winner, SparkCharge competed against 10 other startups that gave pitches at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. The competition began with a whopping 485 applicants and included companies from around the country. Startups that won $500,000 prizes included businesses from Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boulder, Colorado.
Preparing for Growth
SparkCharge plans to part of its 43North award to hire as many as 90 employees. The company is currently based in Syracuse but will receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year. SparkCharge will also receive guidance from mentors and access to incentive programs such as START-UP NY, which helps new and expanding business through tax-based incentives and innovative academic partnerships.
“Winning the top prize of $1M at 43North is a testament to the passion and drive of CEO Josh Aviv to continue to move SparkCharge on the path to success,” said Clouthier. “FuzeHub is excited to be a part of the story.”

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