43North opens applications for $5 million startup competition


Applications are being accepted for the 43North’s fourth annual startup pitch competition, which awards up to $5 million to entrepreneurs.

The 2017 competition features a $1 million grand prize, $650,000 first runner-up prize, $550,000 second runner-up prize, and five $500,000 prizes. One winner will also be offered $300,000 in follow-on funding at the end of 2018.

The competition is part of Buffalo governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, which mandates a $1 billion investment in projects and companies to grow Buffalo, New York’s economy.

“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,” said Cuomo. “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.”

In the past, Canadian founders have been well-represented in 43North. Last year, 26 Ontario-based companies were named semifinalists, out of 142 total startups. Toronto-based Formarum was one of six companies to win $500,000.

Another Canadian company, CleanSlate, was the first 43North alumni to receive $300,000 in follow-on funding for strong trajectory growth.

“From a business point of view, I’ve seen a lot of pitches, I’ve been to multiple competitions, and this was definitely the top competition in terms of quality of companies,” Seyed Nourbakhsh, CEO of Formarum, said at the time they announced their follow-on funding.

Applications are being accepted until May 24. Semifinalists will be announced by summer 2017, and those teams will pitch their business to a panel of judges in Buffalo by October 2017. The competition will select eight winners.


Madonna Dennis

Madonna Dennis is a staff writer at BetaKit. She’s a fourth-year journalism student interested in healthtech. She’s passionate about tight-knit teams working together, which is why she’s so fascinated by startup culture. Madonna’s hobbies include dragon boating, singing, and hosting a YouTube show about cat news.

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