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New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the 20 finalists of Take the H.E.L.M.: Hire + Expand in Lower Manhattan, a competition designed to encourage innovative companies to open or expand office space in Lower Manhattan. The competition seeks to bring startups, as well as creative and technology companies from around the world, across the country and throughout New York City to Lower Manhattan in order to encourage growth and diversify the area’s economy. The competition, an NYCEDC program administered by HR&A Advisors and sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, is open to any organization with plans to open a new office or expand an existing office on or south of Chambers Street. The 20 finalists, selected from a group of over 300 applicants, will compete for one of four grand prizes of $250,000 each to assist in moving to or expanding in Lower Manhattan. Four runners-up will also win $50,000 each for moving to or expanding in Lower Manhattan, and all other finalists are guaranteed $10,000 each.
“Take the H.E.L.M. has proven to be a catalyst for driving business to Lower Manhattan, and the second iteration of this competition looks to build upon this success,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “This diverse list of 20 companies will help to grow and develop Lower Manhattan into a vibrant business district, creating a neighborhood that can thrive in today’s economy and beyond.”
The 20 finalists, listed below, come from four tracks; creative companies, technology companies, international companies and domestic companies new to New York. All 20 finalists will travel to Lower Manhattan and participate in two days of programming, which will culminate with a pitch to the selection committee and an Awards Ceremony on November 21. It is anticipated that one winner will be chosen from each track by the selection committee, which is chaired by Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Domestic (New to New York)
“Take the H.E.L.M. is all about the future – the future of Lower Manhattan, its ongoing transformation, and the creative, technology and international businesses that will soon call it home,” said Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the Selection Committee and former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Being a finalist in Take the H.E.L.M. is a huge step to realizing our dream of expanding Zwift in New York,” said Brent Chandler, Founder & CEO of Zwift. “It’s such an incredible part of the world and a key factor in the growth of our business.”
"The energy and density of Lower Manhattan is the perfect venue for the city's vibrant creative industries,” said Marc Kushner, Partner at HWKN and CEO of Architizer. “As architects we are always collaborating - Lower Manhattan gives us the perfect launchpad to meet and interact with creatives and developers."
"We are thrilled to be a H.E.L.M. finalist and excited to help make Lower Manhattan a hub for Enterprise Software companies,” said Amit Bendov, CEO of SiSense. “As a Big Data Analytics startup, our new location cannot be beat. The financial sector is particularly data driven so it makes sense for us to base ourselves on Wall Street."
The winners of the inaugural Take the H.E.L.M. competition – Booker, STELLAService, Grapeshot, Paperless Post and The Flatiron School – were selected from a high caliber group of 19 finalists, narrowed down from over 300 initial applicants. Each winner received $250,000, and took part in two days of programming in Lower Manhattan, which included interviews with the competition Selection Committee, a breakfast with the Association for a Better New York, and a tour of the WTC Site and Memorial. The winners were announced at an award ceremony at 7 World Trade Center in March. All five winners, and eight of the additional 14 finalists, have signed leases for office space in Lower Manhattan.
In the past decade, Lower Manhattan has seen over $30 billion in infrastructure investment and an influx of residents as well as new businesses, 86% of which are not financial related. Recently, both established and emerging companies such as Condé Nast, XO Group, and Fast Company have established their presence in Lower Manhattan. To further spur this growth, Take the H.E.L.M. sought out innovative businesses to bring additional talented employees to the neighborhood and further diversify the economic base of this central business district. The program is made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For the latest updates on Take the H.E.L.M., visit www.takethehelmnyc.com.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.
HR&A Advisors, Inc. (HR&A) is an industry-leading real estate, economic development and energy efficiency consulting firm. HR&A has provided strategic advisory services for some of the most complex mixed-use, neighborhood, downtown, and regional development projects across North America and abroad for over thirty years, and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.