Funding Supports Startup Competition to Attract Entrepreneurial Talent and Opportunity to Western New York
Complements Economic Revitalization of Buffalo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the 43North business startup competition will receive $2 million from the New York Power Authority to help support the program in Buffalo through 2018. 43North is designed to attract entrepreneurial talent to Western New York and showcase the assets Buffalo can offer to promising startups.
“43North is creating a strong foundation for entrepreneurs to startup and grow their businesses in Buffalo,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will help ensure the competition continues to attract the very best and brightest ideas to Western New York, supporting a robust economy for years to come.”
The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved the $2 million 43North award at its meeting on Thursday, December 15. Funding was approved following recommendations by the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board. The awards are made possible by net earnings from the sale of unused hydropower from NYPA’s Niagara power plant and stems from legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2012.
In October, Governor Cuomo announced $5 million in funding provided by Empire State Development for 2017. This latest award brings state funding for 43North up to $7 million through 2018.
At the 43North awards ceremony in October, Governor Cuomo announced that Oncolinx, from Boston, MA, was the winner of this year’s $1 million grand prize. Oncolinx, in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, is developing the next generation of cancer therapies that target cancer cells without impacting healthy cells, thus reducing side effects and improving effectiveness. This year’s competition attracted 542 competitors. For the third straight year, 43North awarded a total of $5 million in cash prizes. HigherMe, also from Boston, MA and which helps retail and hourly employees hire employees faster, was the $600,000 runner-up winner. Additionally, there were six $500,000 winners. The awardees will receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors and access to other business incentive programs.
“The 43North competition has proven to attract innovative entrepreneurs from around the globe who seek to grow their business and invest in Buffalo. This additional funding signals that Western New York remains open for business,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "As someone who calls Buffalo home and has experienced the transformation of the Western New York economy under Governor Cuomo’s leadership firsthand, I can proudly say this area is back and better than ever.”
NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel said, “NYPA is proud to once again sponsor 43North, which has proven to be a high-impact economic development driver for Buffalo and Western New York. The competition has tremendously energized the region in addition to bringing more than 30 new businesses as well as jobs and intellectual capital to Buffalo, making clear it will be a key piece of our renaissance.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “As Buffalo becomes a top location for promising innovators of the future, the 43North pipeline continues to fuel Western New York's entrepreneurial engine.”
43North Board Chairman Bill Maggio said, “Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s visionary Buffalo Billion initiative and the support of the New York Power Authority, 43North is leading an entrepreneurial movement in Western New York. I look forward to seeing the impact that 43North will continue to have on the Buffalo community in the years to come.”
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "43North has helped to put Buffalo and its entrepreneurial spirit on the map. The New York Power Authority is continuing to fuel its commitment to the betterment of Western New York. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and Chairman Koelmel for their dedication to our community, and I'm excited to know that 43North will continue to draw new startups to our region."
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Western New York hydropower has the unique ability to create, sustain, and attract more business to our region. Companies have the opportunity to move anywhere, thankfully our natural resources provide us with a competitive advantage. 43 North will continue to attract entrepreneurs to Buffalo from around the world. I applaud Governor Cuomo, NYPA leadership, and all of the supporting parties that help make today a reality.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "43North has proven to be one of the most forward-thinking and effective economic development programs across America. I applaud NYPA and Governor Cuomo for making this important investment in the future of innovation in Buffalo and Western New York."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “The 43North competition puts Erie County in the spotlight as a potential home for new, cutting-edge business and this funding will help to continue that trend. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and NYPA, we will continue to grow and attract new business to our region.”
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “We are building a city of opportunity for everyone in Buffalo and with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement today of $2 million in proceeds funding from the New York Power Authority to help support 43North, we will see even more innovation, investment, and job creation injected into the local economy.”
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, “We’re proud that the low-cost power coming from our Niagara project can fuel New York companies. Along with the innovators that have made 43North such a coveted competition, we are seeing the evolution of the Buffalo area as the next high-tech hub.”