Cory Rosenfield knew the deal: in exchange for up to a $1 million state investment in his fledgling company, he would have to move the business to Buffalo for at least a year – and hopefully much longer.

So, when he made his pitch to the judges of the 43North competition two years ago, he assured them this wouldn’t be a problem.

“We are so excited to be making our new home in Buffalo,” he said. “We are here to stay no matter what.”

Just over a year later, the company had gone back to Toronto – despite winning $250,000. Being in Buffalo, Rosenfield said, was not helping them grow.

For almost any other economic development program, giving so much money to a company that leaves the state a year later would be a glitch. For 43North, it’s an accepted part of the plan.

Rosenfield wasn’t alone in his decision. Most of the companies that have come to Buffalo after winning in the first two years of the competition have since left: of the 14 out-of-town winners, 11 no longer have any employees in Western New York.

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