NYCEDC Announces Three Winners of Industrial Growth Initiative Business Plan Competition
Kings County Jerky Co., KD dids Inc. and Kombucha Brooklyn Earn $50,000 Each Toward Executing Their Business Expansion Plans
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the three winners of the Industrial Growth Initiative Business Plan Competition, a program piloted with Next Street to provide small industrial businesses the opportunity to learn specialized growth and development strategies from industry experts in New York City. The winners will each earn $50,000 to be put toward executing their business expansion plans. The winners, Kings County Jerky Co., KD dids Inc. and Kombucha Brooklyn, were selected by a panel of judges comprised of Department of Small Business Services Deputy Commissioner Gregory Bishop, President and Managing Partner of Next Street Ron Walker and 3rd Ward CEO and co-founder Jason Goodman, based on the feasibility of the plans. The winners will use the money to implement the business plans they developed during the Industrial Growth Initiative in an effort to expand and thrive in the City.
“The three companies who earned funding to implement their business expansion plans have demonstrated sound strategies and superior skills, which were honed as part of the Industrial Growth Initiative’s two-phases of programming,” said NYCEDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball. “I am looking forward to seeing how they implement their expansion plans, and watching these small businesses grow and succeed in New York City for many years to come.”
The winners are:
- Kings County Jerky Co. – A manufacturer and distributor of all natural, 100% grass fed beef jerky growing from direct to consumer sales to wholesale through retailers and distributors nationwide.
- KD dids Inc. – A designer and manufacturer of premium quality knits for movement and fashion sold by retailers worldwide.
- Kombucha Brooklyn – A supplier of top quality, all natural Kombucha beverages, Kombucha brewing kits and knowledge about Kombucha.
The Industrial Growth Initiative is comprised of two phases, which precede the business plan competition. In the first phase of the program, from May to June 2012, NYCEDC partnered with facilitators from the Levin Institute to lead Listening to Your Business, a Kaufman FastTrac curriculum workshop. In each session, industrial business owners received tools that enabled them to take a close look at the current state of their business as well as where they want to take their business in three years and how to achieve these goals. . Over the course of these workshops, one of which was hosted in each of the five boroughs, 53 businesses finished the curriculum.
Businesses that completed phase one of the initiative then used the information obtained through this workshop in order to apply for phase two, Future Focus. 11 different companies ultimately participated in phase two. Future Focus, which was developed and executed by Next Street, provided a balance of group learning and exercises targeted to assess and improve leadership style, preferences and practices. The specific areas of focus included strategy, finance, talent management, pursuing contracts, preparing to scale and sourcing. By the conclusion of the four-part workshop series, participants gained the information required to develop and implement a roadmap for translating lessons learned into practice. The 11 participants in phase two were then judged on their business expansion plans, with the three winners receiving funding to implement their ideas.
“Winning the Future Focus grant is a huge step forward for our growing company,” said Jessica Childs, Partner, Kombucha Brooklyn. “Without the drag of additional debt, we are able to accomplish our goals and pass along greater benefits to the New York community. Thank you NYCEDC!”
“For me, the Future Focus event last night was the culmination of a busy three months of training, traveling and focused expansion plans for our company,” said David Lee, President of KD dids Inc. “It was a great way to finish one set of initiatives and begin the next phase, and with the business planning tools that we learned in the course, I feel incredibly prepared for what I am embarking on. I also feel that New York City has really begun to embrace a real entrepreneurial spirit, and this is a phenomenal thing. I think Future Focus has it right on the pulse.”
"Next Street would like to congratulate Kings County Jerky, KD dids, and Kombucha Brooklyn on winning the NYCEDC Future Focus Competition," said Ron Walker, Next Street Managing Partner and President. "We look forward to following how these high-potential companies utilize the resources and insights they gained through the program to grow and succeed in New York's economy."
Next Street was founded in 2005 on the idea of providing growing companies in urban markets with the same level of expertise that investment banks, Madison Avenue, and the elite consultancies provide to Fortune 500 companies. Next Street portfolio companies now generate $600 million in annual revenues and employ over 4,000 people. The firm has worked with over 150 small businesses and nonprofits to date. To learn more about the firm’s clients, partners and capabilities, visit: www.nextstreet.com.
The Industrial Growth Initiative business plan competition is part of the 22 initiatives announced in June 2011 by Mayor Bloomberg, in partnership with the City Council, to revitalize, modernize, and preserve up to 9 million square feet of underutilized industrial space, and to create and retain up to 30,000 direct and indirect industrial jobs, generate annual payroll earnings of more than $900 million and generate more than $150 million in City tax revenue. The industrial sector is an integral part of the City’s economy that has faced serious challenges in recent decades, but now offers real opportunities for growth and development.
The initiatives resulted from an inter-agency review of the City’s industrial policies, led by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, NYCEDC President Pinsky, Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. The review found that while the City’s industrial sector has been declining in line with national trends of 8 percent annually over the past 10 years, there are certain subsectors showing stability and growth. As offshoring costs increase, it is anticipated that industrial activities will continue to grow nationwide. New York City in particular offers unique location-based advantages for industrial activity, including a population of about 8.4 million, access to a large workforce and highly-skilled labor and one of the nation’s busiest ports based on import volume. The review also found that industrial businesses in the City are challenged by a lack of building stock appropriate for modern industrial uses, higher costs and difficulty maneuvering City processes. Industrial sectors account for 15 percent of New York City’s overall private employment and more than 23 percent of employment outside of Manhattan, and industrial jobs have a mean wage of $67,000.
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.