Member Highlight: Colleen Heidinger

Meet Colleen Heidinger: President of 43North

Every year, 43North invests $5M in prize money to eight tech startups who pledge to operate from Buffalo for at least a year. Their portfolio includes ACV Auctions, Buffalo’s first “unicorn” company. 43North has a big impact on the WNY entrepreneurial community, the result of which Colleen attributes to “the strength and trust we have built within [their] team.”

Colleen accepted her role as President of 43North in January 2020, after being with the organization for five years. “I ride the elevator at Seneca One Tower every morning (when we can be in the office) and feel so proud to be in my role – I still get goosebumps as I arrive at our office on the 24th Floor! This is a result of over 7 years of hard work and dedication by our board, team, portfolio companies, and those in this role before me, who have all made it possible to attract some of the best and brightest to Buffalo through our annual startup competition.”

Colleen is committed to Buffalo. According to her, “Buffalo has often been overlooked as a place where startups can thrive, and now that we’re gaining significant momentum, it’s important that investors see what’s happening here and invest in the region’s growth.” She’s a Buffalo native and founded Ignite Buffalo, a business grant and mentorship program that brought in a $1 million investment from national partners to the area and created over 100 local jobs. She’s a certified yoga instructor and owns a yoga studio in Larkinville called Space on Seneca.

“You can find me there teaching classes or out golfing on the weekend! I also love a good Napa Cabernet and hand-written notes. Writing personalized notes is a huge part of how we stay connected and nurture relationships in the 43North network!”

Relationships are vital to doing business. Colleen and 43North joined as members of Upstate Capital to “help bring even more investment to startups in WNY. We’ve made so much progress, but there’s still more to be done!”

We agree, Colleen!

If you’d like to join the Upstate Capital network or find out more information about the investment community in Upstate New York, send us a note!