43North ShearShare

Next Step for 43North Winners – Making Their Way to Buffalo

The CEO of Guidesly – a platform headquartered in Topsfield, Mass., that uses website tools to help connect fishing tour guides with new customers – had been thinking about fundraising for the company he started in 2020. So he investigated what the Buffalo-based startup accelerator and incubator was all about.

He liked what he found out, so Lord applied earlier this year with hopes of winning one of its five $1 million prizes.

And it paid off Thursday night when Guidesly was chosen as one of five winners to earn $1 million – in exchange for a 5% equity stake in their businesses – during the 43North finals at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

Kwok, a competitive cyclist who wanted to bring new technology to helmet making and help prevent head injuries and concussions, said he also likes to collaborate with local artists and businesses – potentially Stitch Buffalo, an embroidery workshop employing refugees – to help design and make the helmets.

“Part of what we’ll do is build around the community,” said Kwok, who first heard about 43North from owners of program alumnus ShearShare, Tye and Courtney Caldwell. “It’s not just about building the most advanced helmets in the world. We think of what we’re doing as more than that.”

KAV offers custom-fit, 3D-printed helmets also known for their sleek look and being well-ventilated and light, using polymer material, for improved aerodynamics. The company was recognized as one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2022.