Buffalo Based Startup AweSweet! Launches

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New Social Network Hosts Contests to Discover Awesomeness

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AweSweet.com is a fun and engaging site where the goal is not to have the most content, but to discover and highlight the best content.

A new social network recently launched out of Buffalo, with the aim of discovering the most awesome products, photos, recipes and more. AweSweet.com was founded by Michael Collins, a local entrepreneur and former software architect at Synacor. The startup has been supported at the Z80 Labs technology incubator since early December 2012, and a launch party is being planned for early Spring 2013.

AweSweet.com offers community-driven games, contests, and the ability to share photos and videos of anything awesome with a competitive twist. Users can create their own contests, enter competitions, judge entries, and win cash, gear and prizes based on votes from the AweSweet! community. Users can also meet new friends with similar interests, share images of what they think is awesome, and discover what friends find awesome.

The idea for AweSweet.com came to Michael following his entry in an international yoga photo competition that drove him to try more daring poses in extreme environments. He also enjoyed the great feedback he read when he posted some photos on a Facebook page for yogis. He thought it would be great if people with similar interests could post the awesome things they’re doing, and could compete and inspire each other to achieve greater accomplishments.

Says Collins, “AweSweet.com is a fun and engaging site where the goal is not to have the most content, but to discover and highlight the best content. Our goal is to become a 24/7 competitive talent showcase where visitors can enter, judge, and create contests to discover anything and everything awesome. Our belief is that everyone is awesome and that people have amazing skills that should be shared with the world. Whether you’re an artist, photographer, awesome cook, or whether you catch air flying down a mountain on a snowboard, AweSweet! has something for everyone.”

Anyone can join AweSweet.com and start discovering and deciding what’s awesome. Current contests include “Most Creative Valentine,” “Best Mustache,” “Healthiest Meals” and more!

About Z80 Labs

Z80 Labs’ mission is to serve as a catalyst, transforming Buffalo and Western New York into a technology hotbed. By creating an environment that gives entrepreneurs exposure to industry leaders typically available only in New York City or Silicon Valley, Z80 Labs will kick-start entrepreneur-driven tech businesses within an accelerated environment, bolstering the local economy.

Z80 Labs’ main focus is on digital media, mobile and Net-based companies, providing valuable support across a wide range of service areas to help Buffalo-based entrepreneurs grow into self-sustaining businesses.

In addition to Z80 Labs co-founders Jordan Levy and Ron Schreiber of Softbank Capital, several luminaries have committed to help the incubator including Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures; Brad Feld, Foundry Group; Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital; Eric Hippeau, Lerer Ventures; Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures; Woody Benson, Prism VentureWorks; Mo Kaufman, Spark Capital; Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed and co-founder of The Huffington Post; Jordan Cooper, Hyperpublic; Dan Porter, OMGPOP; Mark Pincus, Zynga; Gary Ginsberg, Time Warner; Mike Perlis, Forbes Media; Jim Spanfeller, Spanfeller Media Group; and Andrew Siegel, Advance Newhouse.

Additionally, the Z80 Labs Investment Committee will serve as a selection committee, meeting regularly to review and accept top applicants. The founding committee is Jordan Levy; Ron Schreiber; David Kimelberg, CEO of Seneca Holdings Corporation; George Chamoun, co-founder and Executive Vice President of Synacor; and Eric Reich, co-founder of Campus Labs.

For more information or specifics about how to apply to Z80 Labs, or for information, please visit z80Labs.com.

More about Z80 Labs

Z80 Labs, launched in summer 2012, is Buffalo’s first Internet-focused technology incubator, providing entrepreneurs the ability to build new and innovative tech companies in Buffalo, New York. Startups invited to locate in Z80 Labs are given a wide array of services including office space, tech support, collaboration tools, weekly education programs, specifically-assigned mentorship teams, access to the Z80 Speaker Series, amenities and infrastructure from local companies, as well as expert advice from renowned industry advisors. Z80 Labs is funded by Softbank Capital, with additional funding from SCP Incubator via a grant from New York State and ESD. Corporate support is being provided by The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions, and Synacor. Z80 Labs is located in The Buffalo News headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

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Elizabeth Weinberg
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