The Top 5 Moments From 43North Week 2017

It’s been a whirlwind since 43North Week wrapped up a few weeks ago – and before we know it, our fourth class of winners will be joining us in Buffalo! From THE PITCH to 43North Finals, the community came out by the hundreds (and even thousands) to show their commitment to the entrepreneurial movement happening right here in Western New York. To see people of all ages, backgrounds, and career paths come together in support of this mission was truly inspiring. Every element of 43North Week brought us back to the theme of #forwardtogether, a call to action for everyone to get involved and play a part in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

With our fourth 43North Week in the books, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite moments from the week.

5. When SomaDetect took home the $1 million grand prize – and the audience mooed

Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors, and it’s safe to say that this year’s grand prize winner, SomaDetect (a company helping dairy famers produce the best possible milk), is already feeling the warm welcome. When they were announced as the $1 million winner, the packed crowd at Shea’s Performing Arts Center didn’t just applaud and cheer – they mooed. It was a priceless moment that showed (in an unexpected way) the community’s excitement to bring SomaDetect to Buffalo.

4. When we packed a local brewery to play some intense ping pong

The annual Ping Pong Diplomacy event is always a favorite among 43North Week attendees, and this year was no exception. Nearly 100 local ping pong players filled Flying Bison Brewing Company, and boy was the competition fierce. Many brought their own cheering section, and everyone huddled around the tables to get a front row seat of the action. We take ping pong pretty seriously at the 43North incubator, but none of us stood a chance against these players.

3. When we kicked off 43North Finals like this…



There’s no way you don’t have chills after watching that!

2. When Black Monarchy won a $15,000 grand prize and the People’s Choice Award at THE PITCH – and we got this reaction

We tripled the prize money for THE PITCH this year, so the pressure was on. The founder of Black Monarchy, Phylicia Dove, nailed her live pitch – so much so that she not only won the $15,000 grand prize in the Main Street Businesses category, but also the $10,000 Five Star Bank People’s Choice Minority and Women Small Business Award.

Thankfully, we were able to capture Black Monarchy’s priceless and heartwarming reaction to the news.


1. And finally, when we crowned our fourth class of winners

It all came down to this – the announcement of our 8 winners. Coming from all over North America (and one already calling Buffalo home), this class of startups is ready to bring it in 2018. They’re a diverse group that excels in a variety of industries, including life sciences, software and technology, and consumer products. Relive the pitches that won them a cut of $5 million on our YouTube channel.


This year’s competition may be behind us, but we’re just getting started. So whether you’re an entrepreneur or investor, or aren’t currently involved in the startup community, you have a role to play in this movement. And we’re excited to work alongside you.