43North’s Startup Competition Kicks Off Again

Buffalo Rising | March 8, 2016

43North kicked off its 3rd annual startup competition on March 4, with the application process lasting until March 31. $5 million in startup capital will given out to the top 8 finishers of the competition. The top prize is $1 million dollars, along with the chance to set up offices in the Incubator at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

“After two years, the 43North competition has attracted some of the world’s brightest and most innovative entrepreneurs to Buffalo and in year three, we will continue to carry them momentum forward,” said Governor Cuomo. “With Western New York rapidly becoming home to so many forward-thinking businesses, we must commit to making the targeted investments that are critical to growing the industries on the cutting edge of innovation.”

In its first 2 years, 21 companies have won prize money in the competition and are now based in the 43North incubator. The 2015 winners included ACV auctions (a car selling app), Cytocybernetics (developers of improved drug screening methods), Disease Diagnostic Group (tackling infectious diseases in the developing world), and Painless1099 (a tax service for independent contractors).

43North Executive Director John T. Gavigan said, “Anyone with a rock-solid startup has a legitimate chance to make their dreams come true through the 43North competition. The 43North team is excited to spread Governor Cuomo’s message of opportunity throughout North America and around the globe, as we will yet again undertake several roadshow stops to engage entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, sectors, industries and walks of life. We also look forward to sharing the many wonderful qualities of Buffalo’s startup culture with these bold, exciting businesspeople.”

43North competition will be broken down into three rounds:

  • Round 1 (March 4 – May 31, 2016): Applications will be accepted via the competition’s website, 43north.org. The purpose of Round 1 is for applicants to provide a vision for their venture, including their business concept, target customers, industry overview, competitive landscape, and revenue potential. This year, 43North will be charging an application fee of $100, with an early bird fee of $50 for companies that submit their applications by March 31.
  • Round 2 (Summer 2016): Semifinalists will be announced.
  • Round 3 (October 2016): Up to 20 finalist teams will pitch their business in person to a panel of judges in Buffalo. The competition concludes with a celebration of 8 selected winners.

Energy Intelligence Founder and CEO Daniel Shani said, “With the funds we received from the inaugural 43North competition, our company has grown and evolved in ways we never thought possible. Buffalo has become a key part of our identity and the funding and resources from 43North have helped to build a strong foundation needed for us to be viable and competitive. We were so pleased to be a part of the inaugural competition, and can’t wait to see the businesses that will come out of year three.” 

Co-Founder and CEO of Plum Caitlin MacGregor said, “The prize we were awarded from the second 43North competition was a transformational moment for our company. Like so many entrepreneurs, we look to introduce the next great idea that will revolutionize our industry. With the resources, support and collaborative environment spearheaded by 43North, we are closer to realizing that vision.”

Two deadlines for submitting first round application:

  • Early bird submission deadline ($50 fee): MARCH 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • Final submission deadline ($100 fee): MAY 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Funding for the competition comes from Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative. Other sponsors include the New York Power Authority, National Grid, Independent Health, Rich Products, M&T Bank, Larkin Development Group, and the University at Buffalo.

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