8th Annual 43North Startup Competition Seeking 5 Companies to Receive Increased $1 Million Prize


Fri, June 3, 2022 9:20 AM

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that applications are being accepted for the eighth year of 43North, the state-funded accelerator that invests $5 million annually to attract world-class entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Buffalo. This year, 43North is changing its terms by offering companies the opportunity to receive an even larger individual award than in previous years. 43North will select five early-stage startups to receive an investment of $1 million each. Winners will join 43North’s accelerator program, which has a proven track record of selecting and nurturing high-growth winners.

“Since launching in 2014, 43North has created a new epicenter of technology and innovation in Buffalo,” Hochul said. “Now, as we rebuild better than ever after the pandemic, 43North continues to revitalize this community and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and creators to build and participate in Buffalo’s growth. Innovation has always been in the heart of this city, and I commend 43North for its role in stimulating economic opportunity.”

On October 20, 43North will host a live competition at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, where a judging panel will review submissions from 10 finalists, then select and announce the five winning companies on stage. Startups selected to join 43North’s 2023 cohort will each receive a $1 million investment, as well as office space, mentorship and support from 43North. They will also have access to 43North’s network of over 600 North American investors. Businesses will also have the opportunity to enroll in the START-UP NY program and 43North’s mentorship and support program, which includes:

√ Individual mentoring, workshops and access to a bank of consultant hours;

√ Access to recruiting support services to help them grow their teams in Buffalo;

√ Connections for business development; and

√ Marketing support and media relations, and presentations to investors.

Selected companies agree to provide 5% equity to 43North and relocate their CEO and at least half of their staff to Buffalo for at least one year. See full terms and conditions here.

Empire State Development Commissioner and President and CEO Hope Knight said, “There’s never been a better time to build a startup in Buffalo. More Western New Yorkers than ever are connected to the region’s growing startup ecosystem – from investors, employees and suppliers to mentors. , customers and service providers. We encourage startups with high growth potential to compete for one of five million dollar prizes and the chance to scale their businesses in Buffalo’s thriving high-tech hub.

43North President Colleen E. Heidinger said, “We are excited to launch the eighth year of the 43North competition, with a new funding structure that reflects both the changing technology investment landscape and the growing interest increased for investments in early-stage tech startups outside of the traditional framework. We’re excited to begin our path to discovering five unique companies to add to 43North’s portfolio and Buffalo’s broader startup and innovation ecosystem.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “As the economy of Buffalo and Western New York continues to recover from the pandemic, it is essential to continue to nurture the next class of entrepreneurs. In its first seven years, the 43North competition has guided five dozen start-ups. to success, with over 60% making the city of Buffalo their home to pursue their dreams, creating over 1,000 jobs. I thank Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to the 43North program and I sincerely thank the 43North team for building on the great success of this business competition year after year.”

A press release said, “Founded in 2014, 43North is a flagship initiative demonstrating New York State’s commitment and investment strategy to growing Buffalo’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Over the past eight years, 43North has invested in a diverse portfolio of over 59 companies, 27% of which have founders of color and 18% have female founders. These startups went on to raise over $1 billion in capital and boast a valuation of $4.4 billion. Almost 60% of these companies have maintained a physical presence in the queen city, creating more than 1,000 local jobs.

“The 43North portfolio includes the tech unicorn ACV auctions, which propelled 43North to new heights as the first publicly traded portfolio company, following an IPO on March 24, 2021.

“In addition to ACV, 43North has an impressive list of early investments in companies like hair salon software platform Squire, which tripled its valuation to $750 million in 2021 alone; and Circuit Clinical, a startup aiming to bring diversity to clinical trials, which recently closed a $29 million Series C round.

This year’s 43North applicants will answer approximately 40 questions and upload a 60-second video explaining why they think their business would be a good fit in Buffalo. Startups have until noon Monday, June 27 to submit their applications via 43North.org.

The judging process will remain similar to past years with the following cadence:

√ A first round of written review of applications;

√ A semi-final of live video presentations; and

√ Winners were announced during an in-person pitch event at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 20.

On Wednesday, June 29, 43North is teaming up with program alumni and founders to host the “43North Why2Apply” webinar where entrepreneurs can learn more about the competition and the accelerator program. More details about the webinar, program and application for 43North’s 2022 Startup Competition can be found here.

43North operates with support from New York State, Empire State Development, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and several other sponsors. More information about 43North is available here.


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