by Jenna Kavanaugh, BNE Marketing & Communications Director
I’ve been pleased to be part of the 43North team throughout the process of attracting entrepreneurs to compete for an unprecedented $5 million in funding. It’s crunch time as we head into the finals having scoured thousands of ideas submitted from February through May. Judges have narrowed it down to 113 semi-finalists, and at the end of September eleven finalists will be announced to advance to the final round of the competition.
As part of the excitement and anticipation such a competition presents, Buffalo will host “43North Week” from October 24th through October 30th, with a series of events and educational opportunities. This includes everything from a startup pitch competition, to a coding workshop, to an evening of networking in the eclectic cafes, clubs, galleries and music venues of Allentown.
One of the week’s most anticipated events is the Bright Buffalo Niagara Semifinalists Meet up, on October 29th. All 113 semifinalist companies are given the opportunity to meet and mingle with venture capitalists and angel investors and learn more about local resources that promote investment, business partnering and other startup services. It will be held at the University at Buffalo Clinical Translational Research Center spotlighting life sciences innovation and technology based economic development in the heart of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
The big finale takes place on Thursday, October 30th, when the eleven finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in front of a live audience at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. One business will be awarded $1 million, six will receive $500,000 and four will receive $250,000. The public is invited to attend the awards celebration that evening to experience first-hand the excitement generated by the competition. It will be an unforgettable evening, I’m sure. For more information about 43North or registering for the reception, please visit www.43North.org.