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“After two years, the 43North competition has attracted some of the world’s brightest and most innovative entrepreneurs to Buffalo and in year three, we will continue to carry them momentum forward,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

“With Western New York rapidly becoming home to so many forward-thinking businesses, we must commit to making the targeted investments that are critical to growing the industries on the cutting edge of innovation.”

The 2016 competition includes a revised prize structure that now features a grand prize of $1 million, a runner-up prize of $600,000, and six $500,000 awards. An additional $400,000 will be awarded to winners as incentivized follow-on funding.

Part of the Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, the competition operates through $6 million in support from the New York Power Authority and $1 million from Empire State Development.

The funding beyond the prize money is used to cover operational costs and to help ensure 43North continues to both attract new competitors and support last year’s winners as they begin their work in Buffalo.

Round 1 (March 4 ā€“ May 31, 2016): Applications will be accepted via the competitionā€™s website, The purpose of Round 1 is for applicants to provide a vision for their venture, including their business concept, target customers, industry overview, competitive landscape, and revenue potential.

This year, 43North will be charging an application fee of $100, with an early bird fee of $50 for companies that submit their applications by March 31.

Round 2 (Summer 2016): Semifinalists will be announced.

Round 3 (October 2016): Up to 20 finalist teams will pitch their business in person to a panel of judges in Buffalo. The competition concludes with a celebration of 8 selected winners.

43North is open to applicants ages 18 and older in any industry, with the exception of bricks-and-mortar retail and hospitality. Applications to the competition will be accepted through May 31, 2016 at