43North, a Buffalo, New York-based competition awarding a grand prize of $1 million to one startup, has announced 134 semi-finalists. Among them are 29 Canadian companies from cities like Toronto, Halifax, and Kitchener.
Some of this year’s Canadian semi-finalists include Toronto-based Dot Health, which aims to give people more context to their health data; Toronto-based Flashfood, which recently raised a $1.5 million seed round; and Komodo OpenLab, which was a winner of DMZ and Innovation Birmingham’s Next Big Idea competition in March 2016. The full list of 2017 semifinalists can be found here.
According to 43North, the competition’s semi-finalists will do a live pitch to a panel of judges. Companies selected as finalists will then pitch during 43North Week in Buffalo to win a cut of $5 million for their startup. Winners will also receive mentorship, incubator space, and access to the START-UP NY program, through which they don’t have to pay New York State taxes for up to 10 years.
“I’m very encouraged by the progress 43North’s winners have made since arriving in Buffalo at the start of the year.”
Past Canadian winners at 43North have included Toronto-based Formarum, which won a $500,000 prize at the competition in October 2016 for developing Dive, a product that allows swimming pool owners to skip the process of manually adding disinfecting chemicals. After winning $500,000 at 43North, Formarum told BetaKit that it would use the funding to move its product and manufacturing to Buffalo and build out its team in the area.
At 43North’s 2015 competition, Toronto-based CleanSlate, Waterloo-based Plum, and Toronto-based Qoints took home a combined total of $1 million. CleanSlate was also the first 43North alumni to receive $300,000 in additional funding for strong trajectory growth.
“I’m very encouraged by the progress 43North’s winners have made since arriving in Buffalo at the start of the year,” said John Gavigan, 43North’s executive director. “As always, Buffalonians have embraced our winners and contributed to their development as employees, customers, suppliers, service providers, and mentors.”
The 43North competition is part of Buffalo Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative — which invests in companies that can boost Buffalo’s economy.