43North for Detroit

Idea: Invest up to $1M each in the best startups and manufacturers that move to Detroit.

  • Create a $5M+ per year fund sponsored by the City, State, and/or nonprofits.

Think: 43North for Detroit

  • 43North invests $5M per year in startups that move to Buffalo.
    • This accelerator is funded by the State of New York as part of its Buffalo Billion program.
    • 43North’s Grand Prize winner gets a $1 million investment.

Why? Create an Arsenal of Progress in Detroit, the original Arsenal of Democracy.

  • Create thousands of jobs in Detroit.
  • Manufacture critical supplies in America close to where they’re needed most.

Case Study: 43North

43North invests $5M per year in startups that move their CEO and 50%+ of their staff to Buffalo, NY.

  • Since 2014, 43North has invested $35 million total in 59 startups.

Here’s the story of 43North’s best investment yet — ACV Auctions:

In 2015, ACV Auctions won 43North’s startup competition.

  • Their prize? A $1 million investment for 5% of their company.
    • That’s a $20M valuation.

ACV is now a public company and is Buffalo’s first unicorn with a $1.8B+ market cap.

  • ACV employs 1,150+ people (with 400+ in Buffalo) and is still headquartered in Buffalo.

43North got a huge return on its ACV investment:

  • When ACV IPOed at $25/share in 2021, 43North’s 3,014,820 shares were worth $75,370,500.
    • That’s enough to >2x their entire $35M fund by itself.

And ACV is not 43North’s only success story:

  • 43North’s 59 portfolio companies now have a combined value of over $4.4B.

43North will go down in history as one of the best government funding programs ever.

  • In a time when governments compete to give away billions in incentives to the largest corporations, we need more 43Norths.

We need one of these public accelerators in every American industrial city.

  • Each of these investments pays for itself and creates thousands of jobs!
  • These accelerators also manufacture solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems!

I want to create the 43North for Detroit!

  • DM me @neilthanedar or reply to this thread to connect with me about this idea!
  • Please share this 43North for Detroit post with people who can help us make this happen!
Let’s make a great Arsenal of Progress in the home of America’s original Arsenal of Democracy, Detroit!

This idea is a work-in-progress. If you’d like to riff on it, hit me up @neilthanedar on Twitter.

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is an entrepreneur, investor, scientist, altruist, and author. He is the founder & GP of Utopic, a pre-seed biotech VC fund investing in the future of science. He is also the founder & chairman of Air to All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit medical device startup, and Labdoor, a consumer watchdog with $7M+ in funding and 20M+ users. He previously co-founded Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has also served as Executive Director of The Detroit Partnership and Senior Advisor to his father Shri Thanedar in his campaigns for Governor, State Representative, and US Congress in Michigan.