43North, America’s largest business plan competition, officially launched today in Buffalo, NY, placing over $5 million in prizes at stake, including a $1 million grand prize. The top 11 business ideas put forward during finals week in Buffalo, October 27-31, 2014, will receive these cash awards.
The goal of 43North is to foster a strong entrepreneurship culture in Western New York and create a robust and innovative start-up eco-system currently present in such U.S. cities as Boston, San Francisco and Austin.
The competition-named after the latitudinal line that runs through Western New York-is part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic pledge of $1 billion in state funding to help spur economic development in Buffalo and throughout Western New York.
One winning team will win $1 million dollars, six first runners-up will be awarded $500,000, and four second runners-up will receive $250,000. Winners also receive free incubator space for a year, guidance from mentors related to their field, and access to other exciting incentive programs, such as Start-Up NY.
The competition will be broken down into three independent judging rounds, from February 5 – May 31, 2014, September 15-20, and October 27-31, 2014. The application process for 43North is open to anyone over the age of 18, from anywhere in the world and within any industry, except retail and hospitality. Winning teams must agree to operate their business in the Buffalo, NY for a minimum of one year. Click here to submit your team’s Round 1 application.