43North The Competition - 43North



43North is an accelerator in Buffalo, NY that invests $5 million annually through one of the world’s largest startup competitions. Now in its seventh year, the competition is geared towards seed-stage startups, offering founders a chance to secure up to $1 million in funding and land a spot in 43North’s accelerator program. We look for founders with domain expertise, traction with customers, and a strong team.

Click here to be notified when our application opens for 2022!


After completing the online application, hundreds of applicants are narrowed down through a highly competitive selection process and three rounds of judging. Eight companies are ultimately selected to receive investment and join 43North’s accelerator for a year of programming and an experience like no other.



Since coming on the scene in 2014, 43North has invested in 51 startups. Our portfolio companies have gone on to raise more than $1B, with collective valuations at nearly $6B. With a unicorn and publicly-traded company among our ranks, and several others on the rise, we’re co-investors with VC’s like Bessemer, Iconiq Capital, and Rise of the Rest to name a few. Does this sound enticing? If so, keep reading, or better yet, apply now!


Each year, our winners receive a cut of $5 million in investment in exchange for 5% equity. Our awards are:

  • (1) investment of $1 million
  • (7) investments of $500,000 each
  • $500,000 in follow-on funding (to be invested in one or more companies at the end of the cohort year)


In addition to an investment of $500K or $1 million, companies receive:

  • One-on-one mentorship with experts in their field
  • Class A office space in the newly renovated Seneca One Tower in Downtown Buffalo
  • Access to an extensive network of nearly 1,000 investors, customers, and vendors
  • Recruiting, fundraising, and marketing support from the 43North team

The opportunity to operate tax-free as part of STARTUP-NY


We look for companies that have raised venture capital investment and have three or more team members. Our winners are often seed-stage companies that have traction with paying customers. Founders should not only be willing to relocate their company to Buffalo but should see significant value and opportunity in operating in a city like it.

Many of our past winners are graduates of other incubators or accelerators.

That said, if you have an incredible startup that falls outside this description, we still want to know about you.

There are a few things we can’t budge on, though:

  • If you become a winner of 43North, you must:
    • Provide 43North with 5% equity in your company, in the form of a warrant
    • Agree to locate your CEO and 50% of your staff in Buffalo for at least 12 months
  • The following businesses are not eligible for the competition:
    • Retail businesses with brick and mortar storefronts
    • Residential real property business
    • Investment vehicles that invest in the securities of other entities
    • Sports venues
    • Gaming and gambling businesses
    • Places of overnight accommodation
    • Past 43North cash-prize winners
    • Entertainment-related establishments
    • Single-purpose entertainment or event productions (e.g. movies, albums, concerts)

Please give our Terms & Conditions a good look to make sure everything matches up.

Get on the waitlist to be notified when our application opens for 2022!