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Startup weekend winners taking next step with business

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Startup weekend winners taking next step with business
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About 60 people participated in Binghamton's Startup Weekend earlier this month. Now, the winners are hoping to make their business model a reality. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what the team plans to do next and how the public can help.

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- Working together at Binghamton's Startup Weekend, Cathy Kuzia and five other local entrepreneurs developed a concept called ProtoMe3D.

"It was a good opportunity to work with people that weren't in the field that I'm in and to collaborate on one thing," said ProtoMe3D Team Member Sam Festa.

The team wants to create a high tech 3D printing company in the region. More than 60 Southern Tier manufacturers could benefit from the process, which would make it easier to produce actual 3D prototypes and models.

"Right now, if you want to do any type of prototype, which you would want to make before manufacturing, you would have to use conventional injection molding. That would take six months, then you would have to make the mold, pour the mold, make the pieces to test. But we can get a prototype to you in a day in $500," said ProtoMe3D originator Cathy Kuzia.

The group has already received money from the Binghamton Startup Event to help get their idea off the ground. But now they are hoping to win even more resources in a global startup competition.

The global competition is decided by which team has the highest number of online votes. People can log onto the Startup Weekend Page on Facebook and vote.

Whether or not the team wins its second competition, its members say they will continue building their business.

"We need to do some education, make some prototypes and go door to door to show these small businesses what opportunities there are," said Kuzia.

And with a little luck and lot of support, the idea could become the next successful business venture in the Southern Tier.

Voting for the Global Startup Competition begins Wednesday and runs through November 27th. Visit www.facebook.com/startupweekend.

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