BUFFALO, NY - The 43North competition named its finalists in the beginning of October. Since then the sixteen finalists have been refining their pitches and business plans, all vying for the $1 million prize.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the judges for the world's largest startup competition and it includes leaders from a variety of industries.

The governor also announced that former NBC correspondent Luke Russert will emcee the 43North finals at Shea's Performing Arts Center on Friday, October 27th.

Three different prize levels will be given away during the finals of the competition, 6-$500,000, 1-$600,000 and 1-$1,000,000 prize. An additional $400,000 prize will be given away to one of the winners as a bonus sometime in 2017.

The winning startups are required to stay in Buffalo for the first year, and NYS does have the option of taking a 5% equity in any of the startups that receive awards.

This year, seven judges will determine which startups win the various prizes:

  • Soraya Darabi - Co-founder | Zady
  • Thomas Lynch - Managing Director | Goldman Sachs
  • John M. MacMahon - Founder & CEO | V2K Medical
  • Ambarish Mitra - Founder & CEO | Blippar
  • Erik Moore - Founder & Managing Director | Base Ventures
  • Matthew Ryan - Global Chief Strategy Officer | Starbucks
  • Tracy Valorie - Senior Vice President, General Manager | Bausch + Lomb RX, and Valeant Women's Health