Metal Manufacturer Wins $1M Business-Plan Prize

BUFFALO (AP) -

A fledgling metal manufacturing company that promises to make lighter, stronger and less expensive parts has won the million-dollar grand prize in a contest aimed at attracting entrepreneurs to Buffalo.

ASi, LLC won the 43North business-plan competition Thursday evening, a hometown entry in a contest that attracted 6,932 submissions from 96 countries and 50 states.

“This changes everything. This launches us,” ASi Chief Executive Glenn Thomas said after winning $1 million, incubator space for a year and expert mentoring.

The company, based in nearby Tonawanda, has developed a rapid metal forming process that will produce more durable components for things like engines and medical devices at a lower cost than overseas rivals.

ASi was chosen from among 11 finalists who made final pitches earlier in the day. They all won prizes; winners have agreed to operate their businesses in Buffalo for at least a year.

Among the finalists were EcoBreeze of Taiwan, which developed a fanless cooling system, and Energy Intelligence of Somerville, Mass., which invented a road-mounted technology that converts energy from braking vehicles into electricity.