Are you an entrepreneur in search of seed money to expand your business? Are you georgraphically flexible and not afraid of a little (OK, a lot) of snow? If so, you might want to take a look at the latest competition from 43North, an accelerator program that invests $5 million each year in innovators who are willing to relocate to Buffalo, New York.
Founded as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, 43North has invested in 44 companies since its inception in 2014. Those companies have gone on to raise over $200 million in seed money and created over 400 local jobs, says 43North.
The $5 million investment is shared by the winners in the following amounts:
- One $1 million investment
- Seven $500,000 investments
- Follow-up investments of $500,000 awarded to selected companies at the end of the year.
The competition is open to people of all ethnic backgrounds — it’s not just for women and minorities. Notably, however, the two top awards went to African-American led startups in 2017. The two firms, Femi Secrets, a maker of innovative feminine hygiene products, and Squire, a B2B platform for barbershops, received a total of $1,150,000.
In addition to a financial investment, winners of the competition also receive:
- Twelve months of free incubator space
- Mentoring from industry leaders
- Marketing assistance and media exposure
- A 10-year tax holiday from NY State taxes for the business and their employees as part of the Start Up NY Program.
The 43North competition is available to all start-ups, although the organization prefers to invest in firms that have a track record of raising venture capital and have a minimum of three team members on board. That said, if you don’t meet those criteria but have a great startup you’d like to pitch, you are welcome to apply.
Most importantly, winners of the competition must be willing to provide 43North with 5 percent equity in the company, in the form of a warrant. Additionally, the company CEO and at least 50 percent of the company staff must agree to relocate to Buffalo for a minimum of 12 months.
Additionally, companies in the following industries may not apply:
- Brick and mortar retail businesses
- Residential real estate firms
- Gambling or gaming businesses
- Sports venues
- Entertainment-related establishments
- Hotels, motels and other places of overnight accommodation
- Investment vehicles
- Single purpose entertainment or events, such as movies, concerts, albums or plays
- Former winners of the 43 North competition
Visit the 43North website to get details about the competition and/or to apply. The preferred deadline to submit your application is June 12, 2019 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, but applications will be accepted until July 8, 2019 at 9 p.m. There is a $50 application fee if you submit by June 12. That increases to $100 after that date.
The Carmoon Group Ltd. is a minority-owned insurance broker located in Hicksville, New York. Through our large network of insurance affiliates, we service businesses of varying sizes all across the United States. Whether you’re an emerging entrepreneur or an established business owner, we can develop a risk management program tailored to your needs. Just give us a call to schedule and appointment or reach out online and we will get back to you at a convenient time.