You have a great idea for a business. You've done your homework, you know it would work. You just need some bucks to get it off the ground.
Well, you are in the right place at the right time: Buffalo, this week.
The intentional confluence of three important Buffalo-based, global entrepreneurial events this week illustrates how we are embracing enterprise and rewarding entrepreneurism, and provides plenty of opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to tap into this energized environment.
The fifth Buffalo Startup Weekend is taking place quite appropriately at D!g, the cowork space on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on October 23-25. Over the course of just three days, this intense entrepreneurial experience will replicate on a small scale in Buffalo and 200 other cities around the world what 43North orchestrates on a year-long global scale from Buffalo. t is open to anyone.
So it is fitting that it's also 43North Week. Startups, venture capitalists, angel investors, innovators, entrepreneurs - all are flocking to Buffalo for the culmination of the second edition of one of the biggest business plan competitions in the nation. 43North Week culminates on October 29 with morning and afternoon Pitch Sessions, followed by the Awards Ceremony at 6:00pm when the winning entrepreneurs will receive $5 million in the splendor of Shea's. And this is not the first time this has occurred.
43North also gave out $5 million in cash prizes last year to some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs and startups from around the globe, and the first class of eleven winning teams is rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. Two of the winning companies were from Buffalo Niagara, and all eleven are still here in Buffalo.
Lest we forget, just a decade ago, there was hardly any entrepreneurial action in Buffalo - very little venture capital, few new businesses. The High Tech Investor and Entrepreneur Forum, the brainchild of Chris Smith, formed the cornerstone of Buffalo Old Home Week in 2006. This stimulating event then became part of Explore Buffalo-Niagara, spearheaded by Jan Barrett, which brought investors and businesses from around the world to Buffalo in 2007 to kickstart entrepreneurial and business activity. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus was just coalescing at that time, with the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences and its critical translational work, helping to commercialize raw science and technology into viable businesses. Director Marnie LaVigne rounded up a core group of investment-saavy players and took this event to the next level.
UB's Bright Buffalo Niagara Entrepreneur Expo 2015 will be held on October 28, during 43North Week. This year it's by invitation only (I remember working hard to make sure as many people as possible attended earlier iterations) and will feature the most promising companies of tomorrow, showcasing local entrepreneurs and 43North semifinalists.
The final week of October is not scary. in Buffalo, it's the most enterprising week of the year. We are germinating opportunity in our community. We are finally embracing enterprise and rewarding entrepreneurism, as we did in the late 1800s and early 1900s, to create prosperity and the jobs of tomorrow.
We have come a very long way in just one short decade.