How This $5 Million Business Competition Highlights The Best Of Entrepreneurship

  43North Team (photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

43North Team (photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

Over the last two years, 43North events have shown that the area’s investment of 5 million dollars a year in start-ups (the largest prize purse in the world) is producing a return for the region. This and other investment is helping the city come back to life in what is being described by many as a true renaissance.

43North: the experiment is working

The Executive Director of 43North, John Gavigan, announced that the last 24 months have shown a portfolio value increase of some 300% for past winning companies – an incredible return!

The entire 43North team, a small but energized group of Buffalo boosters, have conceptualized and executed a world-class production. They have crafted what has become the world’s biggest entrepreneurial event: a creation that rivals anything produced in Hollywood, but doesn’t stop with the credits at the end of the show. It only starts there.

  Runner-up “The Wealth Factory” took home the $10K “Peoples Choice” award after audience members texted their votes. (photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

Runner-up “The Wealth Factory” took home the $10K “Peoples Choice” award after audience members texted their votes. (photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

43North’s real achievement was being able to attract the best start-ups to this community. Teams from around the world were invited to compete for a piece of the largest purse in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

The Contestants

The week was filled with both triumph and disappointment, as fifteen teams competed for a piece of the 5 million dollar purse while only 8 left with an investment.

But, those investments were large. The smallest prize was a half million dollars, with a $600k second prize and a one million dollar top prize investment which went to a start-up working on treatments to help people with cancer – a small Boston start-up, Oncolinx.

  Oncolinx – Grand Prize investment winner of one million dollars.(photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

Oncolinx – Grand Prize investment winner of one million dollars.(photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

There were two days of pitches with the final top three companies on stage presenting “Shark Tank style” to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business executives in front of an audience of nearly 3,000 at the historic Sheas Performing Art Center in Buffalo’s theater district.

  Boston’s HigherMe took home second prize and $600K investment. (photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

Boston’s HigherMe took home second prize and $600K investment. (photo: Nancy J. Parisi)

Baltimore’s PathoVax, a company working on a low-cost vaccine to prevent HPV-associated cancers, was a runner-up in the 2015 contest, but took home a cool half-million to continue their efforts this year.  The two were more than excited to find that their 2-year effort to make it into the Buffalo start-up community was successful.

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