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Rosie Wins Startup Labs Syracuse
Date:  4/8/2013
ArticleType:  Press Release

Rosie Wins Startup Labs Syracuse, $200k in Cash and Prizes
Announcement made during CenterState CEO’S Annual Meeting

CenterState CEO awarded Rosie, of Ithaca, $200,000 in cash and prizes in its Startup Labs Syracuse program. Rosie receives a $150,000 cash prize and the Market Ready Award presented by Eric Mower + Associates, which will provide a suite of marketing and branding services valued at $50,000. Both awards were presented during CenterState CEO’s annual meeting.

Rosie is an online shopping tool that tracks household items customers buy most and alerts them when they are running low. Rosie’s website or iPhone application allows customers to quickly order these items at the lowest price and pick them up in the store. www.rosieapp.com.

“Winning this award is great recognition of what we’ve accomplished as a company, and we’re thrilled to receive this endorsement from one of the industry’s most innovative accelerator programs,” said Nick Nickitas, Rosie founder and CEO. “Our experience in Startup Labs has demonstrated to us the importance of outstanding mentors and amazing impact they can have on our business. Through our work with Eric Mower + Associates, we developed consistent messaging and branding while, CenterState CEO and National Grid connected us to business leaders across the region to accelerate our progress.”
“National Grid is honored to be a part of Startup Labs Syracuse and recognize Rosie for winning the program’s top prize,” said Melanie Littlejohn, Central New York regional executive for National Grid. “Startup Labs is about collaboration among the region’s business leaders partnering to support entrepreneurs and helping to grow the Central New York business community. National Grid has been engaged with Rosie and the entire field of finalists throughout the process and excited to be a part of their launch.”

Syracuse is the first US city to host Startup Labs. The program is hosted worldwide in countries including: Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Columbia; India; Jordan; Malaysia; Mexico; Philippines; Turkey; Taiwan; Uruguay; and Vietnam.

“Central New York is emerging as a destination for creative people who want to launch new companies,” said Andres Echenique, senior partner at EMA. “Even at this early stage of the company’s development, Rosie is a sophisticated, high performance team. They define ‘market ready.’ We are proud to call Rosie our newest client and look forward to helping the company grow.”

“Winning the grand prize means we will be able to grow more quickly, hire two full time employees and scale nationally by 2014. Additionally, our strategic partnership with CenterState CEO enables this growth to happen in upstate New York,” said Nickitas.

“The cash prize and Market Ready Award are a significant investment which will help advance Rosie’s platform to market,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “These awards signal a new beginning for Rosie and an incredible opportunity for our region. We are committed to continuing our
support of this company and will look for ways to support all of the companies that participated in this round of Startup labs Syracuse.”

“Over the past five years, this region’s business leaders have invested more than $1 million dollars in the growth of promising startups,” said Allen Naples, regional president of M&T Bank. “This year, we went beyond a single cash prize providing each team with management, marketing, legal and financial advice. This means that each of these companies is more than prepared to raise capital and meet the challenges of advancing their idea to market.”

“There are a lot of talented and hard working entrepreneurs across the upstate New York Region,” said Rami Katz, chief operating officer of Excell Partners. “Really, all of these companies have the potential to advance their ideas and grow a successful company. We are proud to have provided them with a foundation for that growth.”

Rosie was selected from five finalists. Each finalist team received an initial $30,000 investment and completed Startup Labs intensive 22-day program. Each team says the program was incredibly valuable to them and the opportunity to work with and learn from mentors has helped them make significant advancements in their businesses in a short time.

Each of these five companies will receive ongoing support from Startup Labs. For any future investment, Startup Labs will provide each of the five companies with the leading 20 percent of the investment - typically the most challenging for early stage companies. Also, each of the five companies becomes part of a global Startup Labs’ network and can connect with other companies, investors and mentors from any of its international programs.

“Startup Labs Syracuse has been one of the most successful programs we’ve run,” said Clint Nelson, founder, Startup Labs. “This success is the result of finding strong companies and connecting them to an incredible support network of mentors. We have total confidence in all of these companies moving forward and know they will contribute and benefit from Startup Labs’ global network.”

Rosie was selected as the program’s top company after a competitive Demo Day in early February. Companies were judged based on a 10 minute presentations and how they have advanced their ideas and engaged with more than 50 mentors and advisors during the 22-day program.

Judges this round included: Brian Anderson, National Grid; Dave Bulger, formerly of Eric Mower + Associates; Joe Charles, Fust, Charles, & Chambers; Nate Desmiore; Professionals Inc.; Andres Echenique, Eric Mower + Associates; Greg Loh, Eric Mower + Associates; Barry Manny, Harris Beach; Jim Muldoon, Harris Beach; Rob Poyer, Hancock and Estabrook; Rick Scrimarle, Hancock and Estabrook.

Other Finalists Include:
Full Circle Feed (Syracuse, NY): Full Circle Feed is a former Student Sandbox company that takes nutritionally-dense food leftovers from dining halls and processes them into dog treats. www.fullcirclefeed.com

SnagMobile LLC (Delmar, NY): 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. www.SnagMobile.com

Pretty Padded Room (New York, NY): Pretty Padded Room Provides online therapy to men and women on their own time and in their own space. www.prettypaddedroom.com

Yorango Inc. (Ithaca, NY): Yorango is an alternative to existing classifieds sites. The unique platform allows landlords and renters the ability to easily manage and monetize their spaces. www.yorango.com

Startup Labs Syracuse Lead Sponsor
National Grid www.nationalgridus.com

Startup Labs Syracuse Investors
CenterState CEO www.centerstateceo.com
Eric Mower + Associates www.mower.com
Excell Partners www.excellny.com
M&T Bank www.mandtbank.com
Startup Labs startuplabs.org

Gold Sponsors
Bristol-Myers Squibb www.bms.com

Silver Sponsors
Bousquet Holstein PLLC www.gslaw.com
Fust, Charles, Chambers LLP www.fcc-cpa.com
Hancock Estabrook www.hancocklaw.com
Harris Beach www.harrisbeach.com
Pathfinder Bank www.pathfinderbank.com
Professionals, Inc. www.cpsprofessionals.com

Bronze Sponsor
Seneca www.senecadata.com

About Startup Labs
Startup Labs is a three week program providing seed capital, mentorship and technical support to teams in an effort to help validate their team and business model to later stage investors. The goal is to help early stage startups succeed and accelerate their growth with capital and support from influencers.

Startup Labs is focused on investing and growing the entrepreneurial eco-systems of “emerging markets” by bringing together local investors and accelerating the growth of startups in the community. By connecting these markets Startup Labs is able to launch products and platforms across multiple regions simultaneously. startuplabs.org

About Excell Partners
Excell Partners is a unique regional economic development partnership established in cooperation with the University of Rochester and the State of New York to manage a state-supported fund which provides pre-seed and seed stage financing to high-tech start-up companies in the Upstate New York region.

Because of the high risks inherent in very early stage investing, few venture funds make seed investments, particularly in this region. Yet a tremendous research base exists in Upstate NY which generates commercializable technologies. Excell Partners is positioned to tap into this research base, help identify promising technologies, and accelerate the creation of new technology-based businesses
which offer high potential for commercial success. In particular, we provide the financing necessary to launch these companies and link them with the critical services, mentoring, and follow-on capital they need to become self-sustaining businesses.

The mission of the fund is to support regional economic development by bridging the pre-seed and seed stage funding gap in Upstate NY while generating sufficient returns so that, over time, the fund becomes self-sustaining. www.excellny.com

About CenterState CEO
CenterState CEO is 2,000 companies, large and small, working together to increase business competitiveness, community prosperity, and regional growth. We deliver results-driven programs including New York’s most modern Chamber of Commerce and nationally-recognized economic and community development planning. Based in Syracuse, convening members and partners across 12 counties, CenterState CEO advances the region with member-focused solutions for success. www.centerstateceo.com