The city will dole out $1.25 million to startups
that plan to move to storm-stricken lower Manhattan, according to a new report.
The Economic Development Corp. will announce the 20
finalists for the cash this week, which it expects will spur a migration of hip
tech companies to the area long associated with finance, Crain’s New York
The newcomers would also — the city hopes —
invigorate lower Manhattan, which is still struggling to recover post-Sandy.
“We think it is vital to bring these companies to
lower Manhattan at this stage, when they are starting up, so that they can grow
and attract similar emerging firms in the neighborhood, an EDC spokesman said.
The top five winners will receive $250,000 toward
opening an office downtown. The other 15 winners will receive $10,000 with no
strings attached — though they will be “strongly encouraged” to move downtown,
an EDC spokesman told Crain’s.
The finalists include an online invitation company,
Paperless Post, and an e-commerce site, Of a Kind. Only two nontech companies
are finalists: the architecture firm that designed the Barclays Center, SHoP;
and Rock Shrimp Productions, the film production company of celeb chef Bobby
At least two more rounds of the cash competition are
The effort is the latest initiative meant to
encourage startups to put down roots in the city.
Last year, Mayor Bloomberg spearheaded plans for a
“genius school” that would serve as a training grounds for the next Mark
Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin.
The school, Cornell NYC Tech, is already holding
classes at the Google building in Chelsea.
The permanent campus on Roosevelt Island will open