BUFFALO, N.Y.—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is continuing on his quest to build the Western New York business base, launching a $5-million competition aimed at attracting startups to the area.
Announced along the transforming waterfront in Buffalo, N.Y., the new 43North initiative will give away $5-million in cash prizes to the top business applicants from around the world as Cuomo continues to roll out his Buffalo Billion plan—a pledge of $1-billion in state funding to spur economic growth in the Buffalo Niagara region.
“For the past decade, Buffalo has slowly and steadily been on the move—you can see it in our skyline, in new, burgeoning neighborhoods,” 43North steering committee chair Jordan Levy said in a statement.
“Our city is ready for the next phase in growth and development. I’m excited to be part of the movement that is bringing entrepreneurs to our community and making Buffalo a place where startups are welcomed and encouraged.”
The 43North competition—named after the latitudinal line that runs through Western New York—features $5-million in cash prizes, including a top prize of $1-million, is aimed at generating new business ventures in the region through applications from around the world.
Called the largest business competition in the United States, the program looks to not only provide cash prizes for the top ideas brought to the table, but also offer mentoring and support, and help to attract additional venture funding.
The competition runs through the end of October, and is broken down into three rounds.
The first round, running Feb. 5 to May 31, marks the application phase, where people from around the world can apply through the competition’s website in order to provide a business concept, industry overview, competitive landscape and revenue potential.
This intitial submission is not intneded to be as comprehensive as a detailed business plan, but should provide judges with a summary of the venture.
Running Sept. 15-20, the second round will allow semifinalists to present details of their plans, including business concept, value proposition, competitive analysis, cost structures and more to a panel of judges through an online presentation.
The final round, slated for Oct. 27-31, will give finalist teams a chance to pitch their business in person to a panel of judges in Buffalo.
In addition to the top cash prize of $1-million, 43North will award six $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes.
Winners also receive free incubator space for a year and guidance from mentors related to their field.
According to 43North, winners agree to operate their business in Buffalo for a minimum of one year.
To find out more, log on to 43North.org.