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Cuomo launches year 4 of 43North startup competition

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Fri, Mar 10th 2017 06:15 pm

$5 million competition for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Buffalo is accepting applications

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced applications are now being accepted for the fourth year of 43North. The $5 million competition attracts entrepreneurs from around the world to compete for prizes that transform startups with high growth potential into funded enterprises in Buffalo.

"43North has attracted some of the most innovative entrepreneurs from around the globe and, this year, the $5 million competition will again invite world-class startups to grow their companies in Buffalo's rapidly growing tech sector," Cuomo said. "With the launch of round four, 43North will continue to attract forward-thinking ideas and 21st-century businesses to the region, while supporting innovation and job creation throughout Western New York."

"43North has been putting Buffalo on the map for entrepreneurship and planting the seeds for Buffalo's next great companies," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. "Pioneering projects like 43North, supported by Gov. Cuomo's visionary 'Buffalo Billion' initiative, are helping to drive Western New York's renaissance."

This year, 43North changed the structure of its awards by increasing its second- and third-place prizes. 43North's 2017 awards will include:

  • One $1 million grand prize
  • One $650,000 first runner-up prize
  • One $550,000 second runner-up prize
  • Five $500,000 prizes
  • One 2017 winner will also be offered $300,000 in follow-on funding at the end of 2018

The "Buffalo Billion" initiative is a historic investment of $1 billion to grow Buffalo's economy. Over the first three years of the competition, 43North has crowned 29 winning startups from across North America and as far away as Taiwan and Israel.

Winners agree to locate their businesses in Buffalo for a minimum of 12 months beginning in January 2018 and provide 5 percent equity to 43North. To view the 43North 2017 application terms and conditions, CLICK HERE.

In addition to cash prizes, 43North winners receive free incubator space, participation in an expanded mentorship program with custom-paired national advisers, marketing exposure, and access to the START-UP NY program, which enables companies to operate free of New York state taxes for up to 10 years.

Similar to past years, there are several stages to the competition:

•Round 1 (March 10 - May 24): Written applications will be accepted through the competition's website. The purpose of round one is for applicants to provide a vision for their venture, including their business concept, team, target customers, industry overview, competitive landscape and revenue potential.

Semifinals (summer): Semifinalists will pitch live to a team of judges via video conference.

Finals (October): Finalist teams will pitch their businesses in person to a panel of judges in Buffalo. The competition concludes with a celebration of eight 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 24 (11:59 p.m. ET) at 43north.org. As in past years, there will be an application fee of $100, with an early bird fee of $50 for companies that submit their applications by April 12.

To learn more about the past 2014, 2015 and 2016 winners, click HERE.

43North Board Chairman Bill Maggio said, "In last year's competition, 43North focused solely on attracting the highest quality of applicants, rather than the largest quantity. This year, we'll be doubling down on that strategy, refining our outreach even further to find highly promising startups that are best positioned to benefit from all that Buffalo has to offer. I look forward to seeing the caliber of companies that enter 43North's 2017 competition."

43North Executive Director John T. Gavigan said, "43North's cash prizes of $500,000 to $1 million can be game-changing for startups. But that's just the start of what our winners receive. They'll have access to free incubator space, tax breaks, marketing exposure and an expanded suite of mentorship offerings, highlighted by our new adviser program, which pairs each winning company with a national business leader in their industry for guidance."

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "We at the New York Power Authority are a proud sponsor of 43North. This initiative continues to be a key part of Buffalo's ongoing transformation into a globally recognized hub for entrepreneurs, innovation and growing businesses."

NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel said, "43North is leading the way in making Buffalo an attractive destination for entrepreneurial companies to not only lay their roots, but to thrive. Now in its fourth year, 43North is keeping the best and the brightest coming to Buffalo, and the program gives awardees the supports they need to succeed."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "43North is a gift that keeps on giving in terms of promoting our city on a national and international level. It also brings us innovative entrepreneurs who enrich our business landscape, and brand Buffalo as a great place for start-up firms with big dreams. This competition complements the many initiatives of my administration by shining a beacon on Buffalo as a great place to grow a successful business."

CEO of Oncolinx Sourav Sinha said, "Last year's award from 43North positions our company for a strong future. We are working on developing the next generation of targeted cancer therapies to advance research and treatment for patients across the world. The resources and collaborative environment from 43North are helping us do this important work."

43North operates through the support of the "Buffalo Billion" initiative and grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority. Additional support comes from National Grid and several other sponsors. For a full list of sponsors and more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.

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