43North finalists battling for million dollar top prize

43north

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The big winners of North America’s biggest start up competition will be announced Thursday night, but first, ten finalists are facing a panel of judges on stage at Shea’s Theater, trying to remain in the running for the million dollar top prize.

MORE | Click here to get your tickets for the million dollar round.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs entered this year’s 43North competition, which offers $5 million in prizes to start ups, as well as mentorship, space in a business incubator in Buffalo, and tax incentives for up to ten years.

Over several rounds of competition, the field has now been narrowed down to ten finalists, vying for 8 prizes. The grand prize winner will receive a million dollars, a runner up will get $600,000, and there will be six $500,000 prizes awarded. The competition is made possible by the Buffalo Billion initiative.

A panel of seven executives and venture capitalists spent Thursday morning listening to the finalists’ pitches. They will pick the top three to make presentations in front of thousands of people at Shea’s Thursday night, ahead of the announcement about the winners.

Each of the winners must agree to base their company in Buffalo for at least one year. The winners also work with young people in the community to help develop their entrepreneurial dreams.

Thursday morning, about 1,500 students from around Western New York were in the audience at Shea’s to watch the finalists’ pitches. Organizers hope this will be a life-changing experience for them. “We’re looking to build an entrepreneurial movement in Western New York. These are going to hopefully be the next generation of great entrepreneurs,” said Peter Burakowski, Director of Marketing for 43North.

Tickets are still available for the final round Thursday evening, which is free and open to the public. Ticket information is online at 43North.org.

 

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s