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Series of events to mark end of 43North business plan contest

A series of events meant to encourage entrepreneurial activity in Buffalo is part of the upcoming 43North Week, which culminates in the awarding of a $1 million grand prize in the international business plan competition.

Organizers say they hope the events build off the excitement surrounding the conclusion of the 43North contest and highlight the growing startup ecosystem community that already exists here.

The 43North business plan contest, part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion economic development effort, offered a total of $5 million in prizes to attract founders of startup companies to the region. More than 2,600 eligible applications were whittled down to 113 semi-finalists and then, last week, to 11 finalists. The winners, who must agree to relocate to Buffalo for at least one year, will be announced on Oct. 30.

The 43North Week events include:

• The fourth Buffalo Startup Weekend begins Friday and runs through Sunday at d!g, the Design Innovation Garage, a co-working space in the Innovation Center, 640 Ellicott St., on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and receive feedback from other people involved in startups. After participants vote on the most promising ideas, they form teams and spend the next 54 hours working on a business model and studying the market for each of those ventures.

More than 100 participants are expected, and the top three teams as determined by a panel of judges split $5,000 in prizes.

• The Whitespace Code and Design Camp takes place Saturday at the Foundry workshop space, 298 Northampton St. The full-day session will help beginners learn the basics of HTML and CSS, two types of programming that are used to design Web pages.

• Stephen Kiernan II, president of Algonquin Studios, will speak Tuesday at the next meeting of Startup Grind Buffalo, the local chapter of an international organization meant to encourage networking among entrepreneurs.

Kiernan will be joined by two colleagues, David Thiemecke and Adrian Roselli, from Algonquin Studios, which recently launched a startup accelerator called VCAMP that offers work space and mentoring services to fledgling tech companies. The event runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St.

• Startup Grind serves as the keynote for the Buffalo Startup Scramble, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at various establishments along Allen Street and allows people thinking about starting a company to network with the founders of local startups and other entrepreneurs.

Girl Develop It, which seeks to encourage more women to get interested in software development, will hold its October social from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Duke’s. And Allentown Hardware, the Melting Point gourmet grilled cheese shop, Glow Gallery, Holly Farms and Allentown Spirits all are hosting events that night.

• On Wednesday, local attorney Alexander R. McClean, along with investors and other local officials involved in startup ventures, will lead a forum focusing on crowdfunding as a way for entrepreneurs to raise money.

That session will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the University at Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, 700 Ellicott St.

• Also on Wednesday, all 113 semifinalists in the competition have the chance to meet with venture capitalists and angel investors.

That event, organized by Bright Buffalo Niagara, will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, 875 Ellicott St.

• The highlight of the week comes Oct. 30, with presentations by the 11 finalists before a panel of judges and a live audience in Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The winners, including the recipient of the $1 million grand prize, will be announced between 5:30 and 7 p.m. during an awards ceremony.

For more information about all of the events, visit