Skip to content

Governor Hochul Announces Launch of 43North's Eighth Startup Competition


Buffalo-based Accelerator Kicks Off Search for Five Companies to Receive Increased Prize of $1 Million Each

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that applications are now being accepted for the eighth year of 43North, the state-funded accelerator that invests $5 million annually to attract world-class entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Buffalo. This year, 43North is changing its terms by offering companies the chance to receive an even larger individual award than in previous years. 43North will select five seed-stage startups to receive an investment of $1 million each. The winners will join 43North’s accelerator program, which has a proven track record of picking and elevating high-growth winners.  “Since its launch in 2014, 43North has created a new epicenter of technology and innovation in Buffalo,” Governor Hochul said. “Now, as we build back better than ever from the pandemic, 43North continues to revitalize this community and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and creators to build and participate in Buffalo’s growth. Innovation has always been at the heart of this city and I applaud 43North for their role in helping spur economic opportunity.”   On October 20, 2022, 43North will host an exciting live competition at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, where a panel of judges will consider pitches from ten finalists, then select and announce the five winning companies on stage. The startups selected to join 43North’s 2023 cohort will each receive a $1 million investment, as well as office space, mentorship, and support from 43North. They will also have access to 43North’s network of more than 600 North American investors. Companies will also have the opportunity to enroll in the START-UP NY program, and 43North’s mentorship and support program, which includes:

One-to-one mentorship, workshops, and access to a bank of consultant hours;
Access to recruitment support services to help them grow their teams in Buffalo;
Connections for business development;
Marketing and media relations support; Investor introductions

Selected companies agree to provide 5 percent equity to 43North and to locate their CEO and a minimum of half of their staff in Buffalo for at least a year. See the full terms and conditions here.

Empire State Development Commissioner and President & CEO Hope Knight said, “There has never been a better time to build a startup in Buffalo. More Western New Yorkers than ever are connected to the region’s growing startup ecosystem—from investors, employees and suppliers to mentors, customers and service providers. We encourage startups with strong growth potential to compete for one of five $1 million prizes and the chance to scale their companies in Buffalo’s thriving high-tech hub.”

43North President Colleen E. Heidinger said, “We are pleased to launch year eight of 43North’s competition, with a new funding structure that reflects both the changing technology investment landscape and also the increased interest in investing in early-stage technology startups outside of the traditional markets. We’re excited to get started on our road to discovering five unique businesses to add to the 43North portfolio and Buffalo’s larger startup and innovation ecosystem.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “As the Buffalo and Western New York economy continues its recovery from the pandemic, it’s critical to keep fostering the next class of entrepreneurs. In its first seven years, the 43North competition has guided five dozen start-ups to success, with more than 60 percent making the City of Buffalo their home to continue their dreams, creating more than 1,000 jobs. I thank Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to the 43North program and give my sincere thanks to the 43North team for building on the great success of this business competition year after year.”

Founded in 2014, 43North is a signature initiative demonstrating New York State’s commitment to and investment strategy for growing Buffalo’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Over the past eight years, 43North has invested in a diverse portfolio of over 59 companies, 27 percent of which have founders of color and 18% have female founders. Those startups have gone on to raise over $1 billion in capital and boast a valuation of $4.4B. Nearly sixty percent of those companies have maintained a material presence in the Queen City, creating over 1,000 local jobs. 43North’s portfolio includes tech unicorn ACV Auctions, which brought 43North to new heights as its first publicly-traded portfolio company, after an IPO on March 24, 2021.

In addition to ACV, 43North has an impressive roster of early investments in companies like barbershop software platform Squire, who tripled their valuation to $750M in 2021 alone; and Circuit Clinical, a startup aimed at bringing diversity to clinical trials, who recently closed a $29M Series C.

This year’s 43North applicants will answer approximately 40 questions and upload a 60-second video in which they explain why they think their company would be a good fit for Buffalo. Startups have until Monday, June 27 at noon to submit their applications via The judging process will remain similar to years past with the following cadence:

A first-round written review of the applications
A semifinal round of live video pitches
Winners announced during a live in-person pitch event at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 20, 2022

On Wednesday, June 29, 43North is teaming up with program alumni and founders to host the “43North Why2Apply” webinar where entrepreneurs can learn more about the competition and accelerator program. More details on the webinar, program and application for 43North’s 2022 startup competition can be found here.

About 43North

43North is an accelerator program that invests $5 million per year to attract and retain high-growth companies in Buffalo, NY. 43North portfolio companies 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 New York State, Empire State Development, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and several other sponsors. More information about 43North is available here.

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