Skip to content


Media Release

Gavigan has led 43North through three years of growth

Gavigan to work alongside Board Chairman Bill Maggio on search committee to select next 43North Executive Director and continue at 43North until his successor is in place

BUFFALO, NY – Today, 43North, the $5 million startup competition, announced that John Gavigan is preparing to transition out of his role as the organization’s Executive Director, a position he has held for the last three years.

Gavigan will continue as 43North Executive Director until his successor is in place and he is also serving as part of the search committee that will select the organization’s next Executive Director.

Said 43North Board Chairman Bill Maggio, “John Gavigan has been a tremendous leader for 43North over the last three years and his contributions to Buffalo’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem are almost too numerous to mention. John is, at his core, an entrepreneur, and while it’s bittersweet that he will soon be moving on from 43North, I am very excited for John as he prepares to return to the private sector. As 43North enters this time of transition, I’m happy to say that John has has agreed work alongside me on the search committee that will select 43North’s next Executive Director and that he will continue to lead 43North until his successor is in place.”

“It has been an honor to serve as the executive director of 43North for the last three years,” said 43North Executive Director John Gavigan. “It’s been the most rewarding professional experience of my career and I’m exceptionally proud of what the 43North team and I have accomplished on behalf of the Western New York community. As my tenure nears its close, I look forward to passing the baton to 43North’s next leader, whom I’m certain will carry this organization to even greater heights.”

A six-person search committee consisting of the following members will select the next 43North Executive Director:

  • Bill Maggio, 43North Board Chair
  • Eric Reich, 43North Board Vice Chair
  • Norma Nowak, PhD, 43North Board Member
  • John Gavigan, 43North Executive Director
  • Sharon Randaccio, CEO, Performance Management Partners
  • Scott Stenclik, President & CEO, Aleron

The search committee aims to have the next Executive Director in place prior to the next 43North application period in early 2018. The 43North Executive Director job description can be found at

Under Gavigan’s leadership, 43North has seen great success in its efforts to help build a culture of entrepreneurship in Buffalo. During Gavigan’s three year tenure as Executive Director, 43North has:

  • Come to be recognized as one of the top startup competitions in North America
  • Supported 29 winning companies that have raised more than $40 million since winning the competition. Over the last year, 43North also attracted and selected eight additional winning companies that will locate to Buffalo in January 2018.
  • Expanded and strengthened its mentorship program for its winners
  • Built relationships with entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, accelerators and influencers across North America
  • Introduced and grown programming to help Western New Yorkers become more engaged in Buffalo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization has held more than 100 entrepreneurial events and workshops, including:
    • 43North Week, an annual eight-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship in Buffalo that culminates in 43North Finals
    • Students to Startups programming that has introduced more than 3,000 students per year to startup entrepreneurship
    • Think Big and THE PITCH events that have focused on supporting and engaging female and minority entrepreneurs
  • Helped put Buffalo on the map for entrepreneurship
    • 1,500+ media stories in outlets like the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Inc., Fast Company and Black Enterprise
    • 60 million+ social media impressions
    • 2 million+ video views
  • Secured over $50 million in additional funding for 43North’s sustainability
  • Expanded partnerships to drive economic impact through targeted sectors and industries in Western New York
  • Grown the 43North staff from 4 to 13


About 43North

43North is the $5 million startup competition, awarding cash prizes to some of the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. 43North winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority. Additional support comes from several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit

Tags: Press Release

More blog posts

Charging Ahead: Jane Chen’s Electrical Revolution with StepWise

In this episode of the Latitude podcast by 43North, Justine Palkowski, Senior Marketing Manager, hosts the co-founders of Stepwise, a Y9 cohort company that recently relocated to Buffalo. Stepwise aims to revolutionize electrification, making it affordable and accessible for homeowners. Meet the Team: Jane Chen, Co-founder and CEO, brings a business background and a passion

Phenomenal Ventures Managing Partner, Helen Min on the 43North Latitude Podcast Graphic
Leaning into Your Strengths for Entrepreneurial Success

Discover the keys to entrepreneurial success as Helen Min, Managing Partner at Phenomenal Ventures, shares insights on playing to your strengths in the startup world. Helen, a Buffalo native with a background in major tech companies and advertising, discusses the evolving role of AI, the power of complementary strengths in founding teams, and the crucial

How Tech Can Save You Money with StoreCash

In our latest Latitude with 43North episode, we sat down with Daricus Releford, Co-founder and CEO of StoreCash, a dynamic app that’s reshaping how you save at your favorite stores. Daricus, part of our year nine cohort, shares the ins and outs of StoreCash, its unique features, and his journey as a black founder in