ACV Auctions earned the top prize of $1 million in the second 43North business competition. The announcement was made Thursday night at Shea's as $5 million in prizes were handed out.
ACV's Joe Nieman says he has bought and sold thousands of cars over the years. His new business venture involves potentially selling millions of used cars using a proprietary software.
"We revolutionized the wholesale used car market. Most people don't even realize it exists," Nieman said.
"There's 24 million cars that sell a year, through physical auctions primarily. We do it all on a mobile app for dealers, 20 minutes. It's faster. It's cheaper. It's way more efficient. So, it's a perfect blend of an antiquated industry and modern technology."
The product works off a smart phone. Nieman, a UB graduate, says the company has already hired out-of-town software engineers to move here and help ACV build its business.
When Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winner the other company waiting the decision was Disease Diagnostic Group. CEO John Lewandowski says the company has developed a new machine to test for highly infectious diseases, like malaria or flu.
"One of the things we stressed in the presentation was showing that with magnetic base that's sort of functionalized, we could actually scale up to other diseases," Lewandowski said.
"Influenza is key because it changes every year and so it's always a recurring market. You can't just buy one and never need it again. So, we have a couple of partners actually funding an influenza test underneath our portfolio."
Lewandowski says mass production of the test machines will occur here and go out into the field to be operated by people with minimal training to detect diseases which he says are expanding across the globe because of global warming, like malaria and dengue fever.