World-class entrepreneurs to battle for a cut of $5 million in cash awards

New format for Finals to feature more live startup pitches, larger prizes

43North Week – eight days of events celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation in Buffalo – set to run Sept. 28 to Oct. 5

BUFFALO, NEW YORK — 43North – the $5 million startup competition – has announced that registration is now open for free tickets to the fourth annual 43North Finals on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

43North’s signature event will be more exciting than ever, with larger cash prizes and more companies pitching live on stage. Details:

43North Finals

Thursday, Oct. 5, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.)
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
646 Main St., Buffalo, NY

Ten startups will pitch live in front of seven Finals Judges for a shot at one of 43North’s eight cash prizes, which include a $1 million grand prize, a $650,000 runner-up award, a $550,000 third place award and five awards of $500,000. The audience will have the chance to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award Presented by Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, which will provide one finalist with an extra $10,000 on top of their main award. Tickets are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required at

43North is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s visionary Buffalo Billion initiative, with support from Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority and several other sponsors.

“43North Finals is a night for our community to be proud of,” said 43North Board Chairman Bill Maggio. “It’s a moment for us to welcome the next class of 43North Winners to Buffalo and shine a light on Buffalo’s growing entrepreneurial movement.”

“With ten world-class startups competing live on stage for a cut of $5 million in cash awards, 43North Finals will be a fast-paced, entertaining night,” said 43North Executive Director John Gavigan. “We expect a packed house on Oct. 5, so I strongly encourage the public to register for tickets at while they last.”

43North Finals is the culmination of 43North Week, eight days of events celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in Buffalo, spanning Sept. 28 to Oct. 5.

The schedule for 43North Week is as follows:

THE PITCH: A Collaborative MWBE Business Plan Competition

Thursday, Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, NY

THE PITCH is a business competition designed to support minority and female entrepreneurs in Erie County. The competition, which is now in its second year, has more than doubled its prize pool to $50,000. This year, there will be two categories to the competition: Growth Companies and Main Street Businesses. Each category will have one grand prize of $15,000 and one runner-up prize of $5,000. There will also be the Five Star Bank People’s Choice Minority and Women Small Business Award of $10,000. In addition to cash prizes, each winner and finalist will get the opportunity to participate in Allstate’s Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program. NYBDC/Excelsior Growth Fund is the Signature Sponsor of THE PITCH, with additional support from KeyBank, ECIDA, Kaleida Health, Foit-Albert Associates and Iroquois Construction Services.


Buffalo Startup Weekend

Friday, Sept. 29, 6:30 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 1 at 9 p.m.
Dig @ The Innovation Center
640 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY

Buffalo Startup Weekend is an intense 54-hour event where local entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts and anyone interested in building a business will come together to share ideas, form teams and launch a startup. For more information, visit Buffalo Startup Weekend’s website.


Startup Grind (Speaker TBA)

Monday, Oct. 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Dig @ The Innovation Center
640 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY

Startup Grind is a monthly series where innovators, entrepreneurs and investors share their personal stories. Save the date for October’s 43North-themed fireside chat and join us to be inspired and entertained, accompanied by great networking.

Ping Pong Diplomacy

Tuesday, October 3, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location TBA

We’re giving networking a new meaning. Join 43North for its annual,  high-energy ping pong tournament and business meet-up. This event is free and open to the public. Paddles and balls will be provided. Brackets will be drawn at random on the evening of the event. Players must be present at 6 p.m. to be included in tournament play.


716 Startup Showcase

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 1:30 p.m.– 4 p.m.
The Atrium @ Rich’s

This is the inaugural year of the 716 Startup Showcase. The event will act as a showcase of approximately 40 startups, including past 43North winners and other Buffalo-area companies, from a variety of industries and funding stages. They will mix, mingle and participate in speed dating and tabling sessions with investors from across North America. The 716 Startup Showcase is sponsored by Northwest Bank.

This event is by invite only. Media only. More information.

43North Qualifying Round

Thursday, Oct. 5, 8:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
646 Main St., Buffalo, NY

Between 15 and 20 Finalists will pitch live in front of more than two dozen judges for the opportunity to be one of the 10 companies that advance to the 43North Finals that evening. Register now for free tickets at School groups interested in attending should contact [email protected] to register. Attendees may come and go as needed throughout the day.

About 43North

43North is the $5 million startup competition, awarding cash prizes to some of the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. 43North winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and grants of $6 million from the New York Power Authority and $1 million from Empire State Development. Additional support comes from National Grid and several other sponsors. For a full list of sponsors and more information about 43North, visit