Re-post from Buffalo Business First

Buffalo’s startup scene now has a panoramic view of the city.

43North – the business competition and incubator – has moved its staff members and portfolio companies into newly renovated space on the 24th floor of Seneca One Tower.

That includes seven new 43North companies – the winners of prize money in its annual competition last October – and 11 companies that won 43North prizes in recent years.

“We’ve had a busy and exciting week welcoming the new cohort, introducing them to local leaders, hosting workshops with community partners and showing them around their new city,” said Maura Devlin, a 43North spokeswoman.

The 17,296-square-foot space was renovated with an assist from a $1.5 million Empire State Development Corp. grant. 43North’s operations and $5 million in annual prize money have been funded almost solely by New York state since it debuted in 2014. Recently, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation announced it was committing $3 million to the program.

In exchange for cash prizes, 43North winners agree to give up 5 percent equity in their company and to operate from Buffalo for a year. Several companies have used the competition as a springboard to build significant operations here.

43North may be the first company to move back into the tower, but it will have company soon. M&T Bank will begin this year moving its technology hub into 11 floors of the building, which plans to bring more than 1,500 workers into that office space in the coming months. M&T plans to lease 330,000-square-feet within the 1.2 million-square-foot downtown complex.

The building is being redeveloped by Washington, D.C.-based Douglas Jemal, who is investing $120 million into the effort.