All of New York City’s businesses are finding creative ways to navigate the novel virus that has brought the world to a standstill.
In 1937, during the Great Depression, Moishe (Morris) Cohen’s candy cart- within his hat/shoe repair shop- provided treats to those struggling to find or maintain work. Now run by Moishe’s grandson Mitchell, who took over the business from his father Jerry, Economy Candy has been forced to close the retail store and turn entirely to online business.
Mitchell, like his grandfather, wants Economy Candy to bring cheer to those in need. He and his wife are doing all they can to keep the business going with their new ‘CandyCare Packs.’ $35.00 can get you, or someone you love, a Basic Pack of candy/chocolate, a Health Nut Pack of dried fruits and nuts, or a Combo Pack with a little bit of everything. Recess Packs, filled with toys and treats, are a good way to bring some schooltime fun to the current homeschooling realities. Easter and Passover Packs are also available. The Cohen’s are also working to establish a fund for the store employees who have been out of work during the crisis.
In 2014, the Danish Sissel Hansen publishing firm initiated the Startup Guide series. As of late 2019, New York City has a guide and joins over 20 other major cities with similar publications.
With an impressive 265 pages, the informative and entertaining read highlights founders, shared work spaces, investors, educational programs, and other startup players. The goal is to profile New York’s diversity and creativity. The city’s robust portfolio, in technology, fashion, media, real estate, art, finance, and so much more allows for a dynamic and distinct startup environment.
The city is the No. 2 epicenter of new venture creation in the US.
“New York City is where innovation meets the real world.”Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
Also notable is New York’s demarcation as the No.1 city for women entrepreneurs. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen explains that “no other city has more female-founded firms; a quarter of our city’s tech founders are women.”
Vidler’s, one of New York’s most iconic family-owned businesses, has been awarded U.S. Small Business Administration Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. Open for more than 80 years, Vilder’s is the largest variety store in North America.
Vilder’s is a local institution that has maintained its ‘mom-and-pop’ feel for the duration. The Vilder family legend claims that other local vendors did not expect the shop to survive for six weeks. Today it has grown to about 16,000 square feet, including some properties once owned by those naysayers.
New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTLab), the community-driven, collaborative platform for promoting fashion, beauty and retail-tech advancement, launched its 7th group of supported businesses. NYFTLab is a program of Springboard Enterprises, supported by top tier retail, brand, and tech partners such as LVMH, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Levi Strauss and Co., Estée Lauder Companies, PVH Corp, Perry Ellis International, Accenture, Microsoft, and Avery Dennison. This is the first year that American Eagle Outfitters and HSBC Group joined as partners.
The 2020 cohort is comprised of eight women-led, emerging technology companies, who have functional and marketplace ready solutions for the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities.
Utilizing predictive analytics, in-store consumer engagement, AI-powered product personalization, advanced 3D/AR, circular economy and sustainability, the program offers innovators, brands, and retailers a chance to work closely in devising tech-based business programs and platforms to ensure the fashion industry’s future.
The 2020 Lab companies represent an international microcosm of the fashion industry’s emerging best:
“The New York Fashion Tech Lab is proud to be a cornerstone in fashion tech advancement, and a source of forecasting and fostering innovation that continues to push this industry forward. As NYFTLab continues to help weave the fabric of fashion’s future, we credit so much of the success we’ve enjoyed since 2014 to the engagement of our partners and their commitment to collaboration and open access.”Kay Koplovitz, Co-Founder of The NYFTLab and Springboard Enterprises
Maven, the New York-based startup for women’s health and family planning, announced that it has raised $45 million from investors. Forbes hailed this as one of the largest rounds of funding for a woman-run healthcare company.
Among the investors are noted actresses Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, and Mindy Kaling. 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki has also invested. This funding has brought Maven’s total funding to an impressive $88 million.
Kate Ryder founded the company in 2014, to provide millennial women with customized, personalized health services through a mobile app. Postpartum resources for working moms are also part of the platform. Ryder herself became a mom in the six years since the company was founded (she has a two-year-old and a three-year-old), and uses her experiences and needs to inform the services and capabilities of the app.
Ryder says she plans on using part of the funding to launch Maven Pediatrics.
“If the first mindset shift was convincing people that women’s health matters, now I think we are in a second mindset shift. Not only does it matter, but it is the core of a functional healthcare system. If you don’t help women and babies at the start of life, how do you build a functional healthcare system?”Kate Ryder, Maven Founder
Corey and Tamara Galloway of Brooklyn always dreamt of owning a professional New York sports team. In February 2020, during National Black History Month, the couple made that dream a reality. And they also made history when they became the first African American couple to own a NY team, National Arena League’s New York Streets. Last year, the franchise football team played their first game at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.
Corey Galloway has an extensive business resume; he is the founder of Legacy Growth Partners, a New York-based business development and investment firm. He was recently featured in BlackBusiness.com where he described himself as an avid football fan who goes all across the country and the world to attend games.
Since he began attending games, Mr. Galloway sought opportunities to combine his love of sports and business. He and his wife now want to use their ownership of the NY Streets as an opportunity to make sporting events more accessible to kids of all backgrounds.
“For me, as a football fan, as a football player, I acknowledge that there is a barrier of entry that’s created with ticket pricing. Not everyone is able to really enjoy the game and see the games live and upfront. So, creating that opportunity and being able to provide them with an option to see a game live—I’m just excited that those kids will be able to enthusiastically say ‘Oh, wow! I’m going to a game!’”Corey Galloway, owner of New York Streets
LendIt Fintech and NYC Fintech Women launched its inaugural year-long Mentor Program for tri-state area women. The collaborative program is designed to assist, advance, and aid aspiring fintech women as they grow professionally. LendIt Fintech is committed to supporting and facilitating diversity in fintech while creating opportunities for the global community.
Mentors, who must be in a senior position at a NYC-based fintech company, commit to at least three (in-person or virtual) meetings with mentees. Mentored women work in the fintech industry are committed to advancing their network of colleagues and peers. Mentor and Mentee applications for the 2020 cohort close on Feb 21st.
If mentorship isn’t an option right now, these are other ways to support women in fintech:
- Identify and encourage leading businesswomen to apply for speaking roles at LendIt Fintech. More than 300 speaker applications have been submitted for LendIt Fintech USA 2020, with only 20% women. More female voices are needed!
- Nominate leading women in fintech businesses for the LendIt Fintech Industry Awards. Only 5 women were nominated for the category Executive of the Year Award in 2019.
- Come to the 3rd annual Women in Fintech Luncheon & Speed Networking event on May 13th at LendIt Fintech USA 2020.
Since there are so many design tools out there – and increasingly more software programs for architects – navigating which one works best for your needs can be a challenge. Here, we bring some of retired architect Moshe Victor Keinig’s top picks for 2020.
For those who are just looking for a booster as it were to plans they have in their head but cannot quite articulate on paper, Homestyler is a great option. This 3D online software facilitates the interior design experience for the lay person and also makes it a lot of fun. Thanks to its floor plan solution one can design their very own house and even decorate as there is access to more than 200 real furniture brands. You can see how each and every corner and nook will look in your home with the rendering function and have all lights turned on and off to get a real “feel” for how the house will be once complete.
Infurnia takes designing to the next level. It’s more for architects and interior design professionals than for the lay person but those who are designing their own house with a professional can also benefit from it. It features detailed floor plans, customizable staircase tools and more. Plans can first be built using 2D and then immediately transformed into 3D. Infurnia has partnered with many furniture, material, appliance etc. stores so one can take their dream design to the next level very simply as well.
Higharc is really doing something extra special and unique. It is allowing the client to pretty much be the architect with its level of customization. in an attempt to completely transform home design in the digital age via interact design methods to establish completely customizable 3D building plans, algorithms are being used for the modeling. And for the lay person, they are just given the outside layer as it were; they have access to the simple 3D model. For the technology, there is so much sophistication going on behind that, working on the setting up all the details that until now had to be engineered by a professional architect.
“When I first heard about Higharc and its automation design tool I thought ‘wow, that’s so incredible,” relates Moshe Victor Keinig. “And then I started feeling relieved that I am at the end of my career. With tools like these, who knows if there will be a need for qualified architects within the next decade. It’s scary!”
CB Insights published its 2020 Tech IPO Pipeline report, including 281 of the most promising and highly valued private tech companies in the U.S. The entirety of the list remains under wraps, but what we do know is that 40 of the companies on there are based in New York.
Fashion outfit (pun intended), Rent the Runway is one of the ranking well-funded NYC based startups. The company allows fashionistas and style lovers to enjoy designer clothing for rent on a rotation basis.
Another NYC-based company on the list is Dataminr. A leader in AI businesses, Dataminr allows clients to assess and act on crises and opportunities effectively.
2020 is looking promising for female small business owners. According to a newly released Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Survey for 2019, 84% of women small business owners expect year-over-year growth. The data also suggests that more women small business owners than men:
- Have plans for expansion (73% v 66%)
- Expect revenue to increase (62% v 55%)
- Are planning on hiring additional staff (25% v 23%)
- Want to apply for a loan or external funding (12% v. 11%)
The survey questioned 1,323 small businesses in the U.S. with annual revenue between $100,000 and $4,999,999 and up to 99 employees. 524 of the respondents were female small business owners.
These findings were shared at a women entrepreneurs’ panel discussion, which also featured presentations from women entrepreneurs and small business experts. The event was held at Luminary, a coworking and event space for women and founded by female entrepreneur Cate Luzio. Some of the tips shared at the event included:
Tap the people around you. Elizabeth Foster, President, NAWBO NYC and Founder, Maison Visionnaire, highlighted the wisdom of connecting with the people around you, especially in the short term. People you already know could become customers, advisers or even partners.
Be inspired by others. Sharon Miller, Head of Small Business, Bank of America, presented the survey results, and shared that “more women in powerful positions of influence in politics, healthcare, and education” is the single most impactful factor for the next cadre of women entrepreneurs. Read up on success stories and find inspiration wherever possible. If your business is thriving, consider becoming a mentor for someone just starting out.
Take action. Deepti Sharma, Founder & CEO, FoodtoEat, encouraged attendants to support small businesses and women entrepreneurs by actually buying from these outfits.
Small businesses are an important part of any economy; it affects you whether you are an entrepreneur or employee, whether you sit in a Fortune 500 company or a start-up. Look around for the small and local shops and services in your area and be a part of keeping their business alive.