© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

THE PITCH increases its prize pool


To help boost entrepreneurship among women and minorities 43NORTH has announced plans for the 2nd Annual THE PITCH Business Plan Competition. This year's prize pool has nearly doubled to $50,000.

Along with more prize money, 43North Executive Director John Gavigan says this year there are separate categories for Growth Companies including tech startups. And one for Main Street Businesses including restaurants and service providers. Gavigan says there's a $15,000 grand prize and a $5,000 runner-up prize for each category.

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News
43NORTH Executive Director John Gavigan says building a culture of entrepreneurship in Buffalo means that everyone has an opportunity to get involved.

"All of the six finalists in this year's competition will also get the opportunity to participate in Allstate's Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program. So it's no longer just about the cash. But it's also providing these entrepreneurs with access to great programming to help them scale," Gavigan said.

The founder of the refugee and immigrant paper Karibu News, Rubens Mukunzi won last year's competition. Mukunzi says the prize money helped him grow his company and double production.

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News
Karibu News founder Rubens Mukunzi says he's proud to have won last year's competition.

"Which means not only distributing 10,000 copies all over Buffalo. But right now I'm working on producing videos to have another channel of Karibu News. So very soon you'll be watching Karibu TV on your different websites," Mukunzi said.

Winning THE PITCH, Mukunzi said, also helped him make a lot of new connections in the business community. And he encourages other minority and women-owned businesses to apply. The deadline to apply is September first.