A Canadian start-up has won the $1 million 43North grand prize for their invention that allows farmers to check milk quality and detect illness. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week that SomaDetect as the grand prize winner of the fourth annual 43North competition.
Based out of New Brunswick, Canada, SomaDetect provides real-time, automated analysis of milk quality without any reagents or consumables. The company measures every compound of interest in raw milk, enabling farmers to identify issues early, manage reproduction, reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage, and ensure that only the highest-quality milk makes it into bulk milk supplies.
SomaDetect began with detection of somatic cell counts and fat content in raw milk. The company has been able to advance their technology to detect additional milk properties, including detection of protein, progesterone, and trace antibiotics. These quality indicators can be used to diagnose sub-clinical and clinical cases of mastitis and ketosis, two major diseases for dairy cows, track milk quality, and manage reproduction.
Since its inception, 43North has awarded a total of $5 million in cash prizes, free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors, and access to other business incentive programs to eight startups from around the world.
“43North continues to drive Buffalo’s resurgence by showcasing the breadth of opportunity and resources available in Western New York and attracting top-notch entrepreneurs and businesses from across the globe,” Governor Cuomo said. “We welcome these forward-thinking, creative men and women to New York and look forward to all of the 2017 43North winners supporting the continued growth of Buffalo’s economy.”