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Letter: Region is now a viable place to start and grow a business

Region is now a viable place to start and grow a business

As the second annual 43North Week culminates with 11 dynamic companies pitching for the chance to win $1 million, I invite the Western New York community to celebrate the great strides that Buffalo Niagara’s startup ecosystem has made in recent years.

Not only has 43North proven to be a game-changer in attracting positive entrepreneurial attention to Western New York, but complementary efforts by the likes of d!g, Z80 Labs, Startup Grind, VCAMP, Startup Weekend, the Student Sandbox and many others have provided the support, resources and camaraderie needed to ensure that startups can grow and flourish here.

With the help of committed advisers like Jack McGowan and John Moscati, regional champions like Marnie Lavigne and Howard Zemsky, and investors and venture capitalists like Jordan Levy and Ron Schreiber, Buffalo Niagara’s startup scene is coming together like never before.

It isn’t a coincidence that global entrepreneurs are also taking note. Social media maven Gary Vaynerchuk and serial entrepreneur Lauren Maillian arrived in Buffalo to help judge the 43North finalists pitch sessions. As did Daymond John of the hit ABC television show “Shark Tank,” who was the keynote speaker at the Bright Buffalo Niagara venture forum.

With several recent hometown success stories, such as ASi, City Dining Cards, Lloyd, CoachMePlus, ACV Auctions and Clearview Social, the important issue of lack of startup funding is also slowly becoming a thing of the past.

The lesson in all of this is that Buffalo Niagara is now a viable place to start and grow a scalable business. And that is a concept that bodes well for our local economy.

David J. Colligan

Partner, Colligan Law LLP

Board Chairman, Launch New York