Startup Community Tips n Tricks: “I believe the children are the future . . .”

I was lucky enough to be asked to judge the annual pitch competition in Buffalo that the crew at 43North run every year. This was the 5th installment and has been funded for another 3 years.  I have to admit I sometimes wondered (from afar) what the impact that this event was having to the Buffalo ecosystem. Over the last few months I have developed a deeper understanding of both the program and gotten to know the staff of 43 North. Same for many of the local community leaders.  [Full disclosure – Techstars has an engagement with the various state and regional constituents to help grow their startup community.] The 43 North program is pretty simple; startups from around the world compete for the opportunity to receive investment sizes; $500k (7 companies) and $1M (1 company).  The process first whittles the hundreds of applications down to 18 companies.  During the day, those 18 pitch to a private panel of about 25 judges in this beautiful old downtown auditorium.  In the afternoon, the judges select the 10 finalists who then pitch at a public event that night.  Seven judges (including yours truly) then select the 1 big winner and the 7

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