Judges listen to a pitch at the 43North Competition in 2016. (John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

What do 43North and Praxair have in common?

The Buffalo-based $5 million startup competition and the industrial gas company are teaming up as part of a new initiative to encourage startup companies that use medical gases to enter the fourth annual 43North competition that awards cash to leading entrepreneurs and startups from around the world.

If any of this year's 43North winners are well aligned with Praxair's technology and innovation objectives, the company may opt to offer them various co-incubation services and resources beyond what 43North provides.

Praxair, a Fortune 300 company with $11 billion in annual sales, is considered produces and supplies industrial and medical gases. Its largest global research and development facility is based in Tonawanda.

“The goals of the competition are directly aligned with our strategy of tapping into innovation and entrepreneurship to grow our health care portfolio," said Stephan Gamard, Praxair's director of healthcare technology commercialization.

Reporter Karen Robinson covers the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Follow her on twitter at @krobinsonBN or reach her by email at krobinson@buffnews.com.

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