The state today launched what it says is the “largest business competition in the United States.”
Bring your business to Buffalo, win a competition and get up to $1 million in cash. Yes, cash.
Called 43North (www.43North.org) after the latitudinal line that runs through western New York, businesses would be able to compete for a pool of $5 million in cash prizes.The top prize is $1 million.
“As the next step of the Buffalo Billion investment, we are launching an exciting business competition that will be the largest in the nation to attract promising start-up ventures and innovators from around the world to western New York,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The goal is to attract entrepreneurs as part of Cuomo’s commitment of $1 billion to boost Buffalo. The competition will be marketed across the world with “an aggressive roadshow” that will include stops in 12 U.S. cities, southern Ontario, India, China and Israel, Cuomo said in a news release.
“The objective of this bold and proven approach is to position upstate New York and the Greater Buffalo Niagara region squarely on the map of America’s newest innovation and entrepreneurship hotbeds,” the press release said.
The prizes also include six $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes. Winners also receive free “incubator” space for a year, guidance from mentors and access “to other exciting incentive programs, like Start-Up NY” — which is Cuomo’s tax-free zones program.
“43North is open to applicants ages 18 and over from anywhere in the world in any industry, with the exception of retail and hospitality. Winners must agree to operate their business in Buffalo, New York for a minimum of one year,” the news release said.
The competition will be broken down into three rounds, starting today through the end of October, when the winners will be selected.