Looking to Set Up in NYC? Take the H.E.L.M

lower manhattan

The history of New York City is interwoven with the growth and development of Lower Manhattan. Here, merchants landed from abroad bringing with them wares to spur a new economy. Here, 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 has brought thousands of new residents and businesses to Lower Manhattan.

To encourage growth, Take the HELM is looking to award four $250,000 cash grants to the following types of companies:

  • Creative: If you're a creative company, Take the HELM wants to reward you for joining an established and growing community of media giants, design professionals, and cultural institutions.
  • Tech: If you're a technology company, Take the HELM wants to welcome you to a neighborhood that has nearly doubled its tech presence in the last five years.
  • New New Yorkers: If you're a company from outside New York City, Take the HELM will help you establish roots in Lower Manhattan and extend the neighborhood's appeal to the world's best and brightest.
  • Startups: If you're a startup less than three years old, Take the HELM will help you establish an office and connect with the neighborhood's burgeoning startup community.

The Take the HELM Competition will select up to 20 finalists that best meet the goals of the competition and seek to open an office in Lower Manhattan. Finalists will each receive a $10,000 cash grant, an opportunity to interview with the distinguished Take the HELM Selection Committee, and will participate in two days of exclusive business development programs in Lower Manhattan.

Up to four Take the HELM winners will receive an additional $250,000. At least one $250,000 prize will be reserved for startup applicants.


The Take the HELM Competition is designed for companies that:

  1. Plan to open a new office or expand an existing office in Lower Manhattan south of Chambers Street;
  2. Enter into a new lease, sublease, or license agreement for that office space within 12 months of the competition Opening Date (13th Sept '12).

// See official competition rules here

Competition Deadline

Applications are due by 12:00 Noon EDT on 30th November. Early applications are encouraged. Applications may be saved and edited before this deadline.

// Find out more on the Take the HELM site

Photo (cc) Victoria Belanger