Take The H.E.L.M. 2.0 is a competition from the New York City Economic Development Corporation that is designed to encourage tech startups and other fledgling companies to move their offices to lower Manhattan. They’re accepting applications today, and eventually the applicant pool will be narrowed down to 20 finalists that will compete for one of four grand prizes of $250,000 to assist them in moving their offices into the city.
The first stage of the competition runs until July 15, 2013, after which time 20 finalists will be selected to compete in the second round. These finalists will be given opportunities to present a detailed pitch as to why a move to lower Manhattan would boost their growth as a company. Each of the 20 finalists is guaranteed $10,000 in prize money, while the four runner-ups are presented with a prize of $50,000 each. The four grand prize winners will be presented with $250,000 in prize money to seek out or expand their office space in a location south of Chambers Street.
This competition is the second round of Take The H.E.L.M., which ran for the very first time last year, where the pool of finalists included a number of notable tech startups: Booker, STELLAService, Grapeshot, Paperless Post and The Flatiron School. The contest isn’t exclusive to tech startups, but the large majority of the applicant pool are young tech startups looking to get a boost with NYC office space.
So why is being based in New York City so important? “The power of branding in New York City is really about convening and talking about the right things,” says Kyle Kimball, executive director of NYCEDC in his interview with TechCrunch. “Our role is to try to solve some of the systemic problems in New York City to try and make it easier for tech companies to grow and be here.”
You can apply for NYCEDC’s Take The H.E.L.M 2.0 competition here. The deadline for applicants is July 15th.