Improving a Tech Incubator’s User Experience With a New Website

Since 2014, Buffalo, NY, has been a major player in the startup ecosystem. Businesses worldwide are invited to participate in 43North’s accelerator program, which offers millions of dollars in funding and a system of support and resources each year to help emerging enterprises scale. After ten years of hard work and countless success stories — including a significant portfolio IPO — 43North was ready to refresh its tone and look, starting with the redesign and development of a new, custom website.

Website Development: Branding and Messaging for Targeted Audiences

When our team begins a project, we first examine who the work needs to speak to, why we need to speak to them, and importantly, in what scenarios the messaging will reach them. 43North has three key audiences: business founders, capital investors, and the local Western New York community. To fully understand which marketing material audiences connect with and where an opportunity for deeper or clearer messaging could be found, we conducted a full brand audit of 43North’s current website, social channels, print collateral, and brand guide. That work, in conjunction with an analysis of key competitors, allowed us to provide recommendations for updated messaging across platforms. We also used our findings to inform the architecture of the new website.

The outcome is an updated brand guide for 43North defining new fonts, graphic styles, patterns, and colorways for the brand. We also created audience-specific branding systems within the primary brand so communications directed at its key audience groups have a distinct look and feel while maintaining consistency and a branding hierarchy in all use cases. Establishing these elements was identified as critical to the overall success of the 43North brand as it evolves and grows. In creating an updated website design, part of our task was to think beyond the website in our work’s earliest stages in order to set up future marketing efforts for success.

Simplicity and Clarity

43North’s clearly defined audiences receive somewhat similar information about the benefits and successes of the accelerator program, but that information is tailored to each target’s unique perspective. The new website design offers clear user journeys for each audience, which shortens and streamlines the user journey and marketing funnel for each group.

Working Smarter

In addition to improved information architecture and a fresh aesthetic, we upgraded several of the website’s features to give 43North a site their portfolio of innovative founders could take pride in. The most data-heavy section of the website showcases 43North’s portfolio of investments and their founders. Now it includes a dynamic sort and search feature for viewing the growing list of accelerator participants by criteria, including fields like industry type and cohort year. We also improved the event section of the site, making it clearer who the event host is as well as each event’s location and details.

With a fresh brand guide and a sleek new website, 43North is poised to grow into an even more significant player in the startup ecosystem. Its new online look shows the world how, since its inception in 2014, 43North has held its own in the accelerator space and is poised to attract investors and founders who believe Buffalo, NY, is the right place to foster and focus their business interests.


19 Ideas just completed a months-long intensive overhaul of the 43North website, and we are thrilled with the outcome as well as the process in getting to that point. The 19 Ideas team did an incredible job of both carrying out our big picture vision and also executing and delivering on the small details to create an impressive digital footprint for 43North, and a seamless user experience for our website visitors. You can see our new website here at 43North.org.

We started this RFP process back in March of 2023, and vetted over 10 agencies. We always strive to work with local partners as much as we can but given budgets and the scope of the work, we did open this search up to agencies outside of our city. We ultimately chose Katie, Dan and team based on their experience in building sites but also on what we saw as a highly talented group who believed in and grasped our mission as well as the audiences we need to serve. In their pitch to us, they articulated their ability to work in partnership with our team to meld our vision with their expertise in website development and user experience to create something we can all be proud of. I’m pleased to say that’s exactly what we received in working with 19 Ideas.

— Maura Devlin, the VP of PR & Marketing

Start a project
NYS Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise

32C Essex Street
Buffalo, NY 14213

© 2024 by 19 Ideas, Inc. All Rights Reserved.