Category Archives: Start-Up

New York SMEs: Making the Connection

The City of New York is attempting to assist small business owners, as well as businesses owned by minority groups.  The way they are doing this is through certification.  One example was what happened with black-owned business Dabar Development Partners back in 2009.  Being certified by the city as a “minority-owned business,” the firm’s owner, Dawanna Williams was thenceforth awarded over $100 million in city contracts. This resulted in an increase in steady revenue as well as putting her and the business more in the spotlight, leading to even more business.

Companies can be certified either as a minority or woman owned-business (M/WBE) within the city of New York.  As if that wasn’t positive enough for NYC, it just so happens that women and minority business owners are at the prime time for opening new businesses.  For the first time ever, city agencies are joining together to assist owners of local small businesses by reducing bureaucracy and streamlining the process of opening a business in the city, thanks to the Small Business First plan.

In addition, the Mayor has recognized that facilitating the building of strong, diverse businesses will ultimately support his work and that of the government in the establishment of a stronger city.

Start-Up Nation: Latest on NYC

According to a recent NYTimes article by Zoe Henry, when it comes to being a business founder it’s so much more of a case of “who you know.”  As such she put together a list of her Top 10 NYC Power Brokers you should know.  They are: CEO of New York Tech Alliance (Jessica Lawrence Quinn), NYU Professor and Founder of the Future Today Institute (Amy Webb), founder and CEO of Tusk Holdings (Bradley Tusk), CEO of MediaRedef (Jason Hirschhorn), CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group (Danny Meyer), General Partner at Eniac Ventures (Nihal Mehta), founder of Personal Democracy Media (Andrew Raseij), co-founder of Oscar Health and founder of Thrive Capital (Josh Kushner), Union Square Ventures co-founder and Managing Partner (Fred Wilson), Build Your Dream Network author (J. Kelly Hoey).

These people have – and are – definitely making it big in NYC.  It seems that New York could just be the right place for budding start-ups and their founders.  Just look at the bus start-up company, Skedaddle (the firm that developed an app enabling individuals to collectively  commission private bus rides) which noted that most of those booking bus trips during their recent booking surge, were women.  And acted on it.  Successfully.

According to another recent NYTimes article by Katie Brenner company founders then put it together:  they were all trying to get to Washington to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.  As such, Skedaddle got the business of around 11,000 women – approximately 5% of the estimated 200,000 participants.  Following on from this, other bus companies tried to use the Presidential inauguration – and its consequential people descending on Washington – to their benefits.  These included:  Airbnb, a variety of eateries, hotels, Uber and the like.