Bright Buffalo Niagara is bigger than ever for 2016

This June marks the eighth installment of the annual Bright Buffalo Niagara Venture Forum, an event led by UB and more than a dozen partners to showcase Western New York’s surging population of startups.  Bright was first conceived during the 2008 recession and has grown to include dozens of companies and an ever-growing list of investors coming to see them — each a symbol of our region’s progress and ever-expanding entrepreneurial culture.

So what’s new in 2016?  Bright has moved from its traditional fall home to June, where it will better fit with the other entrepreneurial support programs region wide.  A $20,000 top prize and $5,000 people’s choice award have been added for the entrepreneurs with the best five-minute business pitches at the event.  And Bill Rancic, Donald Trump’s (yes, that Donald Trump) first apprentice, will be on hand to provide a keynote address, and provide mentoring to entrepreneurs.

What can an entrepreneur expect at Bright Buffalo Niagara 2016?

Your application gets you in the running to compete for $25,000 in prizes at Bright.  Leading up to the event, you’ll get to complete a pitch course, with the top five performers presenting for prizes at Bright and getting greenlighted into the 43North semifinals.  Your application will also get you in the running to exhibit at Bright 2016, putting you in front of dozens of investors from Buffalo and those coming to the region for this event. 

Accepted entrepreneurs will be required to make a $100 deposit, which is refunded to you after you participate in the event.  So, there’s nothing to lose- head on over to and apply before Monday!

What if I’m not an entrepreneur?

If you’re an investor or otherwise interested in supporting regional startups, registration is now open and available here.

Who’s involved?

Bright is led by the University at Buffalo economic development team and includes our friends at Superior Group, Invest Buffalo Niagara, and more than a dozen additional partners.  This is a huge team of dedicated, well-connected folks spearheaded by UB CBLS’s Julie Molenda.  Come meet us all at Bright!