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Hochul unveils winners of 43North’s $5M startup contest

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners of the 9th annual 43North competition, New York State’s prominent startup contest, where five innovative companies each secured a $1 million investment.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Hailing from various parts of the U.S. and as far as London, these businesses presented their groundbreaking pitches at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. As part of the winnings, these companies will relocate to Buffalo to operate from the 43North incubator at Seneca One, thereby injecting fresh employment opportunities and pioneering concepts into Buffalo’s expanding innovation realm. “These game-changing enterprises will be instrumental in cementing Buffalo’s standing as one of the rapidly emerging startup hubs,” stated Governor Hochul.


The 2023 43North champions include Guidesly, an outdoor recreational guide platform; KAV, creators of life-saving custom helmets; Kredit Academy, a financial literacy platform focusing on credit; Stepwise, dedicated to cost-effective home electrification; and StoreCash, a mobile payment solution offering QR code payments. Apart from the financial boost, the winners also gain mentorship, office space, and access to a broad investor network. This year, Kredit Academy additionally won a $25,000 People’s Choice award, funded by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The success of 43North, backed by New York State, Empire State Development, and other partners, emphasizes Buffalo’s evolving reputation in the startup community.