Creating New Jobs in Buffalo

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM EDT

A unique program is designed to jump start Buffalo's business sector. The goal of Build It Buffalo is to change WNY and create exciting new companies. The inaugural competition will take place this year, drawing hundreds of pre-screened companies from across the globe. The winner will get $1million from New York State, with $4 million awarded overall. An additional $1.4 million will be used to run the competition. A report in this week's Business First says the prizes are much higher than similar programs across the country. Organizers say they hope to change the mindset that Buffalo really is open for business.

Business First is coming out with its annual Power 250 list this week, ranking 250 of the most influential WNYers. The polar bears at the Buffalo Zoo made the list, since they're responsible for a 12.3 percent increase in zoo attendance last year. The cubs are poster animals for the $14 million needed for the zoo's new Arctic Edge exhibit that's under construction.

Today, Business First released numbers 200 to 151. Drew Cerza, the Wing King, who runs the National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival made the list, ranking 159th.

You can get the first 100 names at or The complete list will be in Business First on Friday.

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