43North, a startup competition and acceleratorprogram, is looking to invest $5 million in high-growth companies willing to relocate to Buffalo, New York. Since 2014, the initiative has invested in 44 companies with $800 million total in their portfolio and created 400 plus jobs in Western New York.

What’s the criteria?

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  • Your company must be in the seed or post-seed stage
  • The founders and/or company team must be uniquely qualified to solve a problem
  • The company must have had earned revenue or have a clear path to revenue within the next 12 months
  • The company must have a deployable product.

In addition to a financial investment, the winners of the competition will receive free workspace in their incubator, the opportunity to operate free of state taxes through STARTUP-NY,* mentorship from industry leaders, access to their network of investors, customers, vendors, and alumni and marketing and recruiting support. 

So what do they want in return?

The company must provide 5% equity to 43North and the CEO and at least 50% of the company staff must relocate to Buffalo for 12 months.

43North believes that Buffalo’s strategic location, infrastructure, and workforce make it a place where startups can truly make their mark. They boast that it’s not only an amazing place to live—with great nightlife, world-class art, an eclectic food scene, vibrant waterfront, and super-affordable housing—but is also quickly becoming a startup hub.

Back in 2017, two black founding teams took part in the competition and they both came out on top. The teams were Femi Secrets, a company that provides the ultimate protection to women of all ages during their monthly menstrual cycle, and Squire, a B2B all-in-one platform that powers barbershop operations.

Buffalo

Femi Secrets, Founder, Davielle Jackson (Image: 43North)

Combined, the two companies took home a total of $1,150,000. This was also the first time in the history of the competition that two African American teams took home top prizes simultaneously.

To apply, click here.

This post was written by Sequoia Blodgett, a writer at Black Enterprise, where it was originally published. It is published here with permission.