As Buffalo, New York gains recognition as one of the fastest-growing startup hubs in the U.S., and on the heels of a transformational year, 43North is on the hunt for its eighth cohort. With the first IPO in 2021 by 43North portfolio company and unicorn, ACV Auctions, and an active cohort in residence at its headquarters, 43North has now opened applications for 2022!
This year, the accelerator program will select five companies and is increasing their check sizes to make $1 million investments. Previous years saw varying investment amounts with only one $1M dollar opportunity. The organization says the decision to make the shift came in response to a changing funding environment. “Venture capital looks a lot different than it did when we launched in 2014,” said Colleen E. Heidinger, president of 43North. “We took time to evaluate our offering and feel that this move, coupled with the value of our programming, ensures that we’ll remain competitive and continue to attract the top startups to our region.”
The $1M investments will each be made in exchange for 5% equity. But more than funding, the organization prides itself on the experience tied to a 43North investment, which includes hallmarks such as which include mentorship, connections to customers and 43North’s vast investor network, marketing and recruitment support, free office space, as well as the opportunity to operate tax-free for up to 10 years.
Ideal candidates are seed-stage, have raised outside capital, and have traction with paying customers. Companies must also agree that their CEO and half of their team will locate in Buffalo, New York for one year.
Over the past eight years, 43North has invested more than $35M into 59 companies creating an industry agnostic, diverse portfolio with 27% of companies having founders of color and 18% having female founders. The collective portfolio has gone on to raise over $1B in capital and boasts a market value of $4.4B.
In addition to ACV Auctions, 43North has an impressive roster of early investments in companies like barbershop software platform Squire, which tripled its valuation to $750M in 2021 alone; and Circuit Clinical, a startup aimed at bringing diversity to clinical trials, which recently closed a $29M Series C.
43North’s value was well articulated by Courtney Caldwell, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of 43North Y7 company ShearShare. In explaining how ShearShare has benefited from moving their business from Dallas to Buffalo, Caldwell said, “When 43North invests in your business, they support the company but more than that and something unexpected, you honestly get support as the whole person. Everything that you need to be the best founder for this stage in your business is waiting for you at 43North.”
43North takes those sentiments seriously, with the 43North team devoted to supporting all aspects of a founder’s life – professional as well as personal. With programming and support around “quality of life” details, 43North helps founders with everything from finding childcare, to housing, to the best spot for a post-work cocktail. “We’re hyper-focused on serving as a comprehensive support system that enhances both the business and the personal aspects of a founder’s daily life,” said Heidinger. “It fosters a sense of community, and is something that I think uniquely sets our program apart.”
Applications can be submitted at 43North.org and must be received by Friday, July 8 at 12 p.m. EST. 43North is hosting a “Why to Apply” webinar on Wednesday, June 29, where people can learn more about the program, as well as tips on how to stand out during the application process. To register for the webinar, click here.