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New York City Economic Development Corporation Announces Take The H.E.L.M., A Competition To Encourage Businesses To Hire And Expand In Lower Manhattan

Up to 20 Finalists to Receive $10,000 Each; Four Winners to Receive $250,000 Each

New York City, September 24, 2012 – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today officially launched “Take the H.E.L.M.: Hire + Expand in Lower Manhattan,” a competition for businesses to join other innovative companies that have recently opened or expanded office space in Lower Manhattan. The competition, which is being administered by HR&A Advisors, is open to any organization with plans to open a new office or expand an existing office in Lower Manhattan, or those seeking to relocate along Chambers Street or below within the next twelve months. Eligible businesses will be asked to submit applications and the competition will employ a multi-stage evaluation process, with the chance for finalists to win one of 4 grand prizes.

“With this new competition, we are prepared to build upon the significant progress being made in Lower Manhattan,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “Take the H.E.L.M. will help attract critical high-growth industries to the area, and ensure Lower Manhattan remains a global center of innovative business activity for decades.”

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, Former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission and Chairman of the competition Selection Committee.

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 non-FIRE related companies. 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. is looking for innovative businesses that will bring additional talented employees to the neighborhood and further diversify the economic base of this 100 million square foot central business district, complementing the already vibrant financial sector. The competition is open to non-profits and businesses across all industries; however international, creative, technology and start-up companies are especially encouraged to join Lower Manhattan’s continued renaissance.

A group of experienced evaluators, including Jen Hensley of the Association for a Better New York and Adam Rothenberg of TechStars New York, will assess applicants and identify up to 20 finalists. These finalists will participate in two days of exclusive business development programs and each receive $10,000 cash grants, and be further evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges. Up to four winners will be selected and announced in early spring 2013, receiving $250,000 in rent reimbursements or working capital grants after relocating and maintaining office space in Lower Manhattan.

Judges for Take the H.E.L.M include:
•  Arthur Levitt, Senior Advisor, Carlyle Group and Former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission
• Elizabeth Berger, President, Downtown Alliance
•  Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express
•  Richard Florida, Professor, University of Toronto and NYU and Senior Editor, The Atlantic
•  Alicia Glen, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
•  Lawrence Lenihan, Founder and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital
•  Alexis Ohanian, Founder and Board Member, Reddit
•  Dick Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity and former Chairman, Citigroup
•  Carley Roney, Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, XO Group
•  David Tisch, Co-Founder, TechStars
•  Seth Pinsky, President, NYCEDC

For more information on how to participate in Take the H.E.L.M., or for more information, go to  Applications are due on November 30, 2012.


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 to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.