With almost 7,000 pitches submitted from startups around the world, the 43North startup competition is arguably the largest ever held. The winner received USD 1 mllion in funding, and 10 finalist teams were awarded cash prizes of either USD 500,000 or USD250,000 each. The only catch is the winner has to move the business to Buffalo, New York.
The event was funded by local and regional economic development agencies and a large utility in the region. It’s a clever idea for a region whose once-thriving manufacturing base has been shrinking in recent decades. And while some folk may wrinkle their noses at Western New York as a location to live and work, submissions emerged from 96 countries and 50 US states according to Forbes, whose reporter was on site and impressed by the spirit of the event. Buffalo obviously compares well enough to other regions because the finalists hailed from Southern Ontario, Taipei, Ohio, Edinburgh, and NYC and were all willing to make the move to the city of 43rd parrallel (same latitude as Corsica, Cosovo, Xinjiang, China, and North Korea).