A competition held in New York State has granted a $1 million prize to a Syracuse-based startup that specializes in portable charging stations for electric cars and vehicles.
The startup, SparkCharge, was the grand prize winner of the fifth annual 43North contest that rewards companies for new business development ideas, according to the Associated Press.
The competition was held this past weekend in Buffalo, where local businesses and politicians are hopeful that events like this one can help rake in more capital and more development.
“Tonight was an incredible demonstration of the continued validation of our competition’s commitment to quality of our applicants. I’d like to congratulate our eight tremendous winners, especially SparkCharge, our grand prize winner. We welcome them to Buffalo,” said 43North board of directors Eric Reich in a news release from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.
On top of the big cash prize, 43North’s organizers also give SparkCharge one full year of office space at a local incubator where staff can receive mentorship.
Another seven companies were awarded $500,000 in cash to companies from all over the country and even some participants from Canada.
SparkCharge was born out of Syracuse University and offers portable-carrying chargers that people with electric cars can easily store in their trunks and use to free up extra space. CEO Joshua Aviv said that after doing some market research on electric vehicles, he was stunned to find out how lacking the infrastructure was in the industry.
“And I said, this is really inefficient. Why can’t the charger go with the electric vehicle owner? Why can’t it go in the trunk, that way you’re not having a parking space sitting empty from time to time?” Aviv said.