43North is holding their 7th annual start-up competition to attract high growth businesses to Buffalo.
.@forty3north is back for a 7th year hearing business pitches! Tonight at 5:30 I talk with a previous winner to hear how the support has impacted his businesses. Semi-finals are going on right now with the final round set for tomorrow at 6 PM. @WKBW will be steaming the finals pic.twitter.com/PjkdHww6r6— Natalie Fahmy (@NatalieFahmy) October 27, 2021
“It’s really an exciting night, it’s a Shark Tank style experience, but it’s right here in Buffalo,” 43North senior marketing manager Christian Gaddis said.
Scott wayman won the 43North competition in 2017. He created a software program, Kangarootime, to help childcare centers.
“It changed our lives,” Wayman said. “We are fortunate to have been part of 43North’s mission and growing economic development here.”
There are ten finalists, one company becomes a million-dollar winner, and the others receive funding and move to Buffalo to grow their company.
“Being here, being able to build their teams here and have the connections we make for them has been great for their growth,” Gaddis said.
Wayman said he entered the competition in 2016, did not make it to the finals, but decided to return a year later. He said the opportunity for extra capital is what brought him back.
“We could make a beautiful product for our customers if we could just survive,” Wayman said.
His company is approaching 40 employees and just this year, Kangarootime has seen 300% growth.
“And we’ve already booked, in contracts, what’s the equivalent of 500% growth for next year,” Wayman said.