Programs for Entrepreneurs

Hire + Expand in Lower Manhattan: Take the H.E.L.M.

The second year of the Take the H.E.L.M. competition awarded four $250,000 cash grants and four $50,000 cash grants to companies seeking to open an office or expand in Lower Manhattan.


The history of New York City is interwoven with the growth and development of Lower Manhattan. Merchants landed from abroad, bringing with them wares to spur a new economy. Traders gathered beneath a cherry tree to swap goods—actions that would lead to the establishment of a stock market. More recently, $30 billion in infrastructure investment has attracted a new type of merchant— one that harnesses intellectual capital and creative ingenuity—and brings thousands of new residents and businesses to Lower Manhattan.

Watch this video and hear from Take the H.E.L.M 1.0 finalists about what Lower Manhattan means to them.

Take the H.E.L.M. 2.0: About the Competition

To encourage the continued growth of Lower Manhattan, Take the H.E.L.M. awarded four $250,000 cash grants and four $50,000 cash grants to the following types of companies, in particular:

  • Technology: If you’re a technology company, Take the H.E.L.M. wants to welcome you to join Control Group, STELLAService, and Booker in a neighborhood that has nearly doubled its tech presence in the last five years.
  • Creative: If you’re a creative company, Take the H.E.L.M. wants to reward you for joining Condé Nast, SHoP Architects, American Media, Rock Shrimp Productions, Flatiron School, and XO Group in Lower Manhattan.
  • International: If you’re company abroad moving to NYC, Take the H.E.L.M. will help you set you up in an office and connect you with the neighborhood’s burgeoning community.
  • Domestic (New to New York): If you’re a company from outside New York City, Take the H.E.L.M. will help you establish roots in Lower Manhattan and continue the neighborhood’s appeal to the world’s best and brightest.

The Take the H.E.L.M. Competition sought 20 finalists that best met the goals of the competition and sought to open an office in Lower Manhattan. Finalists received a $10,000 cash grant, an opportunity to interview with the distinguished Take the H.E.L.M. Selection Committee, and participated in exclusive business development programs in Lower Manhattan.

At least one $250,000 prize was reserved for startup applicants and one was prioritized for a company new to New York.

Take the H.E.L.M. 2.0 Finalists

Advance of the Finalists

All 20 finalists travelled to Lower Manhattan to participate in two days of programming, which culminated with a pitch to the selection committee and an awards ceremony on November 21. One winner was chosen from each track by the selection committee, which was chaired by Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About the Finalists

The twenty finalists in the four tracks were:

TechnologyCreativeInternationalDomestic (New to New York)


Blueprint Health

inspire-A-crowd4.0 Schools
Lover.lyHWKN (Hollwich Kushner)/ArchitizerNEVERBLAND

Dinner Lab Inc.

SplashObserver Media, LLCSisenseFabricating Partners, Inc
SumAll IncSHoP ArchitectsTalent GardenStartup Institute
Uber NYCWeWork (WeWork Companies, Inc.)Zwift International Pty LtdVidcaster Inc.

Take the H.E.L.M. 2.0 Winners

Below are the winners of the first Take the H.E.L.M. competition, all listed within the track they competed:

  • Technology: SumAll is committed to bringing users all of their data in one place and providing them with visibility into the past, present and future. They make information available by making it engrossing, affordable, and accessible.
  • Creative: HWKN/Architizer is a design office whose projects span the worlds of culture, branding and development. HWKN embraces all facets of contemporary culture to enrich and reinvent projects.
  • International: SiSense is an innovative business intelligence software company that is leading the way into a new era of business intelligence, reporting, dashboarding, and business analytics. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology and a unique business model, they aim to completely change the current reality in which only Fortune 500 companies can benefit from high-quality, scalable business intelligence solutions.
  • Domestic: Startup Institute is a career accelerator, offering transformative educational experiences that combine hard skills with cultural acumen to increase the velocity and impact of future startup employees. They cultivate the human capital that high-growth companies need to succeed, through a full-time, eight-week program in the areas of web development, product and design, technical marketing or sales & business development.

The four runners-up included SHoP Architects, NEVERBLAND, Dinner Lab Inc., and Splash.

Past Take the H.E.L.M. Winners

View the winners from past Take the H.E.L.M. competitions.

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