43North — What We Look For



Since 2014, 43North has invested in 44 startups from around the world, which have gone on to raise an additional $280 million in capital and create more than 560 local careers. Our companies cover a wide range of industries and verticals, from artificial intelligence to medical devices, consumer products, manufacturing, and all-in-one software platforms.

Learn more about our portfolio here.

Our Awards

Each year, our winners receive a cut of $5 million in investment:
  • One investment
  • Seven investments
  • Follow-on fundingInvested in one or more companies at the end of 2019.
Winners also receive:
  • •  Mentorship from industry leaders
  • •  12 months of free incubator space
  • •  Marketing and media exposure
  • •  Freedom from New York State taxes for 10 years, both for their company and the personal income of their employees. For details and eligibility, please consult the STARTUP-NY website.

Ideal Applicants

We typically look for companies that:
  • •  Have a deployable product
  • •  Are seed stage and have raised venture capital investment
  • •  Have founders and a team that are uniquely qualified to solve a problem
  • •  Have revenue or a clear path to revenue in the next 12 months

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

If you become a winner of 43North, you must:
  • •  Provide 43North with 5% equity in your company, in the form of a warrant.
  • •  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.

Competition Timeline

  • July 8: Application period closes.
  • July-August: Applicants will be notified of their standing, and those moving on to 43North’s Semifinals will be assigned a date to perform live video conference pitches to a panel of judges.
  • August-September: Semifinalists will be notified of their status and whether they are being considered as Finalists.
  • October 27-31: Finalists will come to Buffalo, NY and pitch live in front of our panel of judges and audience. Eight of the finalists will become 43North Winners.
  • January 2020: Winners will move to Buffalo, NY and begin 43North’s incubation program.