Startup pitch competition 43North is accepting applications for its sixth annual competition in Buffalo, New York, where $5 million USD in investment will be up for grabs.
Winners will receive one year of incubator space, mentorship, and business support services from 43North.
Although held in the United States, applications for the competition are open to startups around the world, and 43North says 20 percent of its portfolio companies are Canadian. This year, a $1 million top investment will be offered, along with seven $500,000 investments, and an additional $500,000 in follow-on funding. Through the Startup-NY program, winning startups can also work free of state income taxes for up to 10 years.
On top of cash and tax incentives, winners will also receive one year of incubator space, mentorship, and hiring, business development, and marketing support. 43North takes a five percent equity stake in each winning startup and winners are required to locate at least half of their staff and CEO to Buffalo for at least one year. Some of 43North’s portfolio companies include Kitchener-Waterloo-based AI company Plum and social venture Magnusmode, as well as Fredericton-based SaaS company SomaDetect.
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Judges from the competition score each application based on overall team strength, knowledge of the market, the viability of the technology, product, or service, product relative to the target market, and revenue and financing plans. 43North typically invests in pre-seed and early-stage startups that have raised third-party capital prior to the competition, and have a path to revenue for the next year.
Between July and August, applicants will be notified of their standing, and those moving on to 43North’s Semifinals will be assigned a date to perform live video conference pitches to a panel of judges. Around August or September, semifinalists will be notified of their status and whether they are being considered as finalists.
In October, finalists will be invited to Buffalo, and pitch in front of 43North’s panel of judges and a live audience. Eight of the finalists will be named 43North winners. In January 2020, the winning startups will move to Buffalo and begin 43North’s incubation program.
Applications are open until July 8, and cost of $100 USD.