Salem State University has announced the winners of its ninth annual North of Boston Business Plan competition, which helps start-up companies develop their businesses.
The first place spot and $5,000 went to Apptomics, LLC, which is a company that develops mobile applications and devices to help benefit patients with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease. Apptomics plans to move to North Shore InnoVentures in Beverly in the coming months.
North Shore Speech Therapy LLC of Peabody won second place and $3,000, while third place winner was Gloucester-based The Bridge LLC, which received $2,000.
“All three of our finalists are very mission-based and committed to causes that directly benefit people or build community," said the event’s moderator, David Ives, entrepreneur in residence at the Enterprise Center, in a recent statement. "We are proud to have these companies on the North Shore.”
In this year's competition, 27 participants submitted plans that were reviewed by a judging panel comprised of local business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors.
The May 6 grand finale, held in the recital hall at Salem State University, featured the CEOs of all three companies, who presented their plans to a public audience and fielded questions from a panel of expert judges. Their knowledgeable feedback is always cited by participants as a primary reason for entering the competition.
“This competition gave me the opportunity to really focus on refining my plan," said Dr. Georgia Mitsi, founder and CEO of first place winner Apptomics. "The advice and coaching have been excellent. This has been a very positive and dynamic experience.”
Winners of the competition must commit to locating on the North Shore and to growing to at least five full-time employees within two years. Companies must also be less than three years old or implementing a new growth strategy.
In a recent statement, Enterprise Center COO Laura Swanson said that in order for the region's economy to grow, it's important that residents support developing businesses.
“This competition is all about supporting young and growing companies and encouraging them to put down roots on the North Shore," Swanson said. “Small businesses are the foundation of our regional economy.”
This year's gold sponsors included East Boston Savings Bank, People’s United Bank and TD Bank. Silver sponsors included North Shore Technology Council, Salem Five, Speaking of Leadership, and West Hill Technology Council.