Worlds Largest Idea's Competition

  Pictured: Jennifer J. Parker / J. Parker Communications and 43North Director John Gavigan. 

  Pictured: Jennifer J. Parker / J. Parker Communications and 43North Director John Gavigan. 

We are sure you have seen the logo around the city and even the ads in our publication among others, but do you know what 43North really is?   If you have great business ideas or currently an emerging entrepreneur then you should keep reading this!  

43North is the world’s largest idea competition that awards $5 million in cash prizes to some of the best ideas for starting a new business in the Buffalo Niagara region.   The competition, part of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, operates through the support of the New York Power Authority and the Buffalo Billion initiative.  

In the past year, with the support of Buffalo’s Minority and Women liaison Jennifer Parker, owner of Jackson Parker Communications, the 43North team has managed to nearly double their minority and female entrepreneur registrants and are seeking to increase that number again for the 2016 competition. 

“43North is committed to raising the awareness of the emerging business opportunities such as in the Tech, Life Sciences, Renewal Energy and STEM (Science, Technology, engineering and mathematics) industries. We are not only proud of the increased awareness among minorities and women about the 43North Business competition but also that more minority and women business embraced the entrepreneurial challenge of ‘yes we can,’ ” stated Jennifer Parker.   Jennifer, along with 43North executive director John Gavigan, are strong advocates for the inclusion of minorities and females in business and working closely together to make sure everyone knows about this opportunity.  “Great ideas come from everywhere and 43North is truly committed to fostering inclusiveness and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs in Buffalo,”said John, who fearlessly leads the initiative into its upcoming third successful year in 2016. 

In 2015 MWBE outreach included a strategic plan that involved support from various ambassadors, including members of 2014 43North winning teams KeepUp and triMirror.  These teams along with Parker represented the competition at startup events and conferences across North America, including the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit in Atlanta; the Collision Technology Conference in Las Vegas; Startup Grind Toronto; Tech Cocktail gatherings in New York City and Washington, D.C.; judging of the Queensborough Community College Entrepreneurship Finals; and additional stops in Buffalo, Hamilton, Toronto, Waterloo and New York City. They also spoke at the University at Buffalo’s National Society of Black Engineers Annual Gala and for Buffalo State College’s Fashion & Textile Technology department. 

 -The 43North Finals Week - 

The 43North Finals Week is fast approaching and Buffalo residentsare invited to attend the next “Think Big with 43North” event: A Celebration of Entrepreneurship on Oct 26th, from 5:30- 8p.m. at the Buffalo Marriott HARBORCENTER, 95 Main Street. This is a great networking opportunity and will feature a panel discussion and conversation with the 2014 43North Female Competition Winners and Local Entrepreneurs who will discuss their journeys to success. Click to RSVP 

Then on Thursday, Oct. 29th The 43North Final Ideas Competition Pitch Sessions and Award Ceremony takes place at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.  The morningpitch session is between 9 a.m. and noon  you can click Here to RSVP for Morning Session and the afternoon pitch session is between 1 and 4 p.m., where you can witness all of the 43North’s finalists pitching their business ideas to an all-star panel of judges for a shot at $1Million. Click here to RSVP for Afternoon Sessions The pitch sessions are followed by the Awards Ceremony at 6 p.m. where the $1million grand prize winner will be announced;  a legacy video, similar in scope to last year’s ‘Next Things Now,’ is unveiled; and a Buffalo-centric marketing campaign kicks off.   Click here To RSVP for Awards Ceremony

You don’t want to miss this or the opportunity to learn more about what opportunities are next.   All of these events are free and open to the public. You can register to attend these events at


     43North is the world’s largest business idea competition. As part of Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, the competition awards $5 million in cash prizes to some of the best entrepreneurs and startups from around the world. 43North winners also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through grants of $6 million from the New York Power Authority and $1 million from Empire State Development. Additional support comes from National Grid, Orange Capital, Ernst & Young, and several other sponsors. For a full list of sponsors and more information about 43North, visit