For the third year in a row, applications are being accepted for the 43North startup pitch competition, a competition awarding up to $5 million to entrepreneurs.
The 2016 competition 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.
Winners will also have the chance to 43North’s business accelerator in Western New York, where they will receive mentorship and connections in the local community.
The competition is part of Buffalo governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, which includes a $1 billion investment in projects and companies that boost Buffalo’s economy. In the past, Canadian founders have won big at 43North, including Plum, Qoints, and CleanSlate. The three startups earned a combined total of $1 million.
“The prize we were awarded from the second 43North competition was a transformational moment for our company,” said Plum co-founder Caitlin MacGregor. “Like so many entrepreneurs, we look to introduce the next great idea that will revolutionize our industry. With the resources, support and collaborative environment spearheaded by 43North, we are closer to realizing that vision.”
Applications are being accepted until May 31. Semifinalists will be announced by summer 2016, and up to 20 finalist teams will pitch their business in person to a panel of Buffalo-based by October 2016.