Skip to content

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

Media Release

Buffalo-Based Accelerator Kicks Off Search for Five Companies to Receive $1 Million Investments

Applications Can Be Submitted Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that applications are now being accepted for the ninth year of 43North, the State-funded accelerator that invests $5 million annually to attract world-class entrepreneurs to grow their startups in Buffalo. This year, 43North will select five seed-stage startups to receive an investment of $1 million each and join their immersive accelerator program.

“Buffalo has become an epicenter of technology and innovation thanks to programs like 43North’s startup competition and the investments made by New York to foster economic growth and job creation,” Governor Hochul said. “Since its launch, 43North has helped to revitalize this community and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and creators to build and participate in Buffalo’s growth. I applaud 43North’s continued work and our message is loud and clear to entrepreneurs around the world – New York State is home to the jobs of the future.”

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, “The transformative economic success offered by 43North elevates our communities with innovative job creation, cutting-edge businesses, and the draw of diverse, top talent to our region. I look forward to supporting this year’s applicants and I thank 43North for fueling an economic resurgence in Western New York.”

On Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, 43North will host a live pitch event at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, where a panel of judges will consider pitches from up to ten finalists, then select and announce the five winning companies on stage. The startups selected to join 43North’s 2024 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 1,000 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 and workshops
  • Access to recruitment support services to help them grow their teams in Buffalo
  • Local and national connections for business development
  • Marketing and media relations support
  • Investor introductions

Selected companies agree to provide 5% 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.

43North President Colleen E. Heidinger said, “We are excited to launch year nine of 43North’s competition. For nearly a decade, our mission has been to nurture a vibrant ecosystem in Buffalo where entrepreneurs can thrive. We are eager to build on the established positive momentum and continue to create opportunities for entrepreneurs right here in our Queen City.”

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 nine years, 43North has invested in a diverse portfolio of over 64 companies, 46% of which have founders of color and 26% have female founders. Those startups have gone on to raise over $1 billion in capital. 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.

Applicants have until Friday, June 23 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 12, 2023

On Wednesday, May 31, 43North is teaming up with program alumni and founders to host the “43North Why to Apply” webinar where entrepreneurs can learn more about the competition and accelerator program. More details on the webinar, program and application for 43North’s 2023 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

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