Take the H.E.L.M. Take the H.E.L.M. Take the H.E.L.M. Take the H.E.L.M.

  • Who doesn't love $250K that a VC can't take credit for?

    John Ernsberger, co-founder of STELLAService and previous Take the HELM winner
Winners

Up to four Take the HELM winners will receive a total of $250,000, payable upon occupancy in Lower Manhattan office space as reimbursement for rent payments or working capital grants.

RUNNERS UP

Up to four Take the HELM Runners Up will each receive a total of $50,000, payable upon occupancy in Lower Manhattan office space as reimbursement for rent payments or working capital grants.

Finalists

Up to twelve Take the HELM finalists will receive $10,000 each interviews with the prestigious Take the HELM Selection Committee, and promotion by the Take the HELM Competition and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in print media and online. All finalist will attend a high-profile Awards Ceremony in Lower Manhattan in Mid-November.

Additionally, all HELM Winners, Runners Up, and Finalists that move to Lower Manhattan will receive free space planning design services for their new space in Lower Manhattan, courtesy of Turnstone. Turnstone’s professional designers will lay out your furniture, help you choose color, and adhere to codes & compliance.

View official competition Rules, Terms & Conditions

HELM 2.0 SELECTION COMMITTEE

ALICIA GLEN

Head of the Urban Investment Group (UIG), Goldman Sachs Bank USA

VIEW BIO

RACHEL HAOT

CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, CITY OF NEW YORK

VIEW BIO

KYLE KIMBALL

President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)

VIEW BIO

LAWRENCE D. LENIHAN JR.

Founder and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital

VIEW BIO

ARTHUR LEVITT

Selection Committee Chairman
Senior Adviser, Carlyle Group

VIEW BIO

ALEXIS OHANIAN

Founder of Reddit, Breadpig and Hipmunk

VIEW BIO

RICHARD PARSONS

Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners, LLC
Former Chairman, Citigroup, Inc.
Former Chairman and CEO, Time Warner, Inc.

VIEW BIO

ROB FASSINO

Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of XO Group Inc

VIEW BIO

DAVID TISCH

MANAGING PARTNER, BOXGROUP; CO-FOUNDER, TECHSTARS NYC

VIEW BIO

WILLIAM BERNSTEIN

ACTING PRESIDENT, CHEIF OPERATING OFFICER; ALLIANCE FOR DOWNTOWN NEW YORK, Inc

VIEW BIO
HELM 2.0 Evaluators
  • Scott Anderson

    Control Group

  • Bob Balder

    Cornell University

  • Paul Cianciolo

    FirstMark Capital

  • Shari Coulter Ford

    NYC Tech Connect

  • Alexandra Hall

    Harley & Co

  • David Gilford

    NYCEDC

  • Jennifer Hensley

    Association for a Better New York

  • Aaron Holiday

    Cornell University

  • Dan Kozikowski

    FirstMark Capital

  • Adam Lerer

    Norges Bank Investment Management

  • Greg Pass

    Cornell University

  • Bob Richardson

    Control Group

  • Adam Rothenberg

    TechStars NYC

  • Daria Siegel

    Alliance for Downtown New York

  • Ellie Wheeler

    Greycroft Partners

  • Marsha Yuan

    Partnership Fund for New York City

HELM 1.0 Evaluators
  • Scott Anderson

    Control Group

  • Bob Balder

    Cornell University

  • Christina Cacioppo

    Union Square Ventures

  • Paul Cianciolo

    FirstMark Capital

  • Joe Curatolo

    Goldman Sachs, Urban Investment Group

  • Shari Coulter Ford

    NYC Tech Connect

  • Rahul Gandhi

    High Peaks Venture Partners

  • David Gilford

    New York City Economic Development Corporation

  • Albert A. Gore III

    Strategic Capital Partners

  • Alexandra Hall

    Harley & Co

  • Jen Hensley

    Association for a Better New York

  • Micah Kotch

    Polytechnic Institute of NYU

  • Dan Kozikowski

    FirstMark Capital

  • Adam Lerer

    Goldman Sachs, Urban Investment Group

  • Michael Moynihan

    New York City Economic Development Corporation

  • Jason Ostheimer

    Advancit Capital 

  • Andrew Parker

    Spark Capital

  • Bob Richardson

    Control Group

  • Adam Rothenberg

    TechStars NYC; BoxGroup

  • Cristina Shapiro

    Goldman Sachs, Urban Investment Group

  • Daria Siegel

    Alliance for Downtown New York

  • Ben Siscovick

    IA Ventures

  • Sherry Wang

    Goldman Sachs, Urban Investment Group

  • Ellie Wheeler

    Greycroft Partners

ARTHUR LEVITT

Selection Committee Chairman

Senior Adviser, Carlyle Group

Former Chairman, United States Securities and Exchange Commission


Arthur Levitt is a Senior Advisor to The Carlyle Group where he advises management on strategic business matters. Arthur is also a Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs & Co. and serves on the Firmwide Suitability Committee and the Investment Management Division's Client Business Standards Committee. Arthur is a Bloomberg Board Member, an Advisory Board Member of GETCO and a Senior Advisor for Promontory Financial Group.

Mr. Levitt was the 25th Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. First appointed by President Clinton in July 1993, the President reappointed Chairman Levitt to a second five-year term in May 1998. In September 1999, he became the longest-serving Chairman of the Commission. He left the Commission in February 2001.

Investor protection was Chairman Levitt's top priority. Throughout his tenure at the Commission, he worked to educate, empower and protect America's investors. Early in his tenure, Chairman Levitt created the Office of Investor Education and Assistance and established a website, which allows the public free and easy access to corporate filings and investor education materials. He conducted more than 40 investor town meetings throughout the country to listen to the concerns of investors and to give them tips on safe and wise participation in the securities markets.

Before joining the Commission, Mr. Levitt owned Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill. From 1989 to 1993, he served as the Chairman of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and from 1978 to 1989; he was the Chairman of the American Stock Exchange. Prior to joining the American Stock Exchange, Mr. Levitt worked for 16 years on Wall Street.

Arthur Levitt graduated from Williams College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, in 1952 before serving for two years in the Air Force. His bestselling book, TAKE ON THE STREET: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know/What You Can Do to Fight Back was published by Pantheon Books in October, 2002. Mr. Levitt participates weekly on the Bloomberg Surveillance radio show and hosts his own weekly radio program, A Closer Look with Arthur Levitt.

ROB FASSINO

Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of XO Group Inc


Rob is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of XO Group Inc. He graduated from NYU film school and started his career in advertising. In 1996, he founded The Knot with three other NYU graduates. As a Co-Founder, Rob served as VP-Sales & Marketing and VP-Business Integration, managing many key projects in the start-up years of The Knot.

Following his departure from The Knot in 2006, Rob joined United Media, the global syndication and licensing division of the E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:  SSP), as VP/General Manager of Interactive. There he developed strategies, business models and digital/mobile product extensions for their comic brands, including the Dilbert series. 

He is currently an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at NYU where he helps students and faculty advance their venture concepts in conjunction with NYU's $20M Innovation Venture Fund. Rob lives in Brooklyn with his wife Alexis and 5-year old son Kai.  When not meeting with entrepreneurs or consulting startups, Rob enjoys taking photos around the city or blogging about startups and online media. 

ALICIA GLEN

Head of the Urban Investment Group (UIG),
Goldman Sachs Bank USA


Alicia Glen is head of the Urban Investment Group (UIG) and is responsible for implementing the firm's Community Reinvestment Act business strategy. She is a member of the GS Bank USA Client and Business Standards Committee, Bank Management Committee and Community Investments Committee and the firmwide Diverse Business Engagement Committee. Ms. Glen co-heads the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2003 and was named managing director in 2005.

Prior to joining the firm, she was the assistant commissioner for housing finance at the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development from 1998 to 2002. She was a real estate associate at Fulbright & Jaworski and at Kalkines, Arky Zall & Bernstein (now Manatt, Phelps) from 1996 to 1998. Ms. Glen was also an attorney at Brooklyn Legal Services from 1993 to 1996. Prior to attending law school in 1990, she worked for the Manhattan borough president's office.

Ms. Glen serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Enterprise Partners, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, the Bowery Residents Committee, The Fund for Public Schools and the NYU Institute for Affordable Housing and is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission. She was a 2010 David Rockefeller Fellow.

Ms. Glen graduated from Amherst College in 1988 and Columbia Law School in 1993.

RICHARD PARSONS

Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners LLC

Former Chairman, Citigroup, Inc.

Former Chairman and CEO, Time Warner, Inc.


Richard Parsons is a Senior Advisor at Providence Equity Partners, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm specializing in media, communications and information companies, He is the former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc. Prior to serving in those roles, he was the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Time Warner, Inc., the world's largest media and entertainment company, from 2002 to 2008. In its January 2005 issue on America's Best CEOs, Institutional Investor magazine named Mr. Parsons the top CEO in the entertainment industry.

Before joining Time Warner in 1995, Mr. Parsons was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dime Bancorp, Inc., one of the largest thrift institutions in the United States. Previously, he was the managing partner of the New York law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler. Prior to that, he held various positions in state and federal government, as counsel for Nelson Rockefeller and as a senior White House aide under President Gerald Ford. Mr. Parsons received his undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii and his legal training at Union University's Albany Law School.

In 2008, Mr. Parsons served as a member of then President-Elect Barack Obama's Economic Transition Team. More recently, he serves as a member of President Obama's President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. At present he is the Chairman of Governor Andrew Cuomo's New NY Education Reform Commission. His other civic and non-profit commitments include Chairman Emeritus of the partnership for New York City; Chairman of the Apollo Theatre Foundation and of the Jazz Foundation of America. He also serves on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Mr. Parsons is also a member of the boards of the Estee Lauder Companies, Inc., Lazard Fr∂res and Company, and Madison Square Garden, Inc.

ELIZABETH H. BERGER

President, Downtown Alliance


Elizabeth H. Berger joined the Alliance for Downtown New York as President in November 2007. The Alliance manages the Business Improvement District for Lower Manhattan and promotes Downtown as a premier global address for businesses, residents and visitors through programs, service and advocacy.

During Ms. Berger's tenure, the organization has established the Hive at 55, a co-working facility for freelancers and entrepreneurs, expanded the Downtown Connection, which provides bus service throughout the neighborhood, produced comprehensive studies designed to advance Lower Manhattan as a new kind of 21st-century central business district, and published State of Lower Manhattan 2011, the definitive report assessing a decade of progress within the district's commercial, residential and tourism sectors following 9/11.

A graduate of Yale College, Ms. Berger has been involved with civic organizations in New York City for more than 20 years. She is President of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association and a board director of The Municipal Art Society, Film Forum, Second Stage Theatre, American Museum of Natural History Planetarium Authority and the New York Building Congress. She is a mayoral appointee to the board of the Trust for Governors Island.

ALEXIS OHANIAN

Founder of Reddit, Breadpig and Hipmunk


Alexis Ohanian is a startup founder and investor in Brooklyn, NY.

After graduating from UVA in 2005, Mr. Ohanian and his co-founder Steve Huffman started reddit, now a top 100 website.

Now a reddit board member, Mr. Ohanian focuses on social enterprise Breadpig, publishing authors like xkcd and SMBC -- profits donated to worthy causes.

Mr. Ohanian helped launch hipmunk and ran marketing/PR/community before becoming an advisor and joining the fight against SOPA & PIPA.

Mr. Ohanian invests in and advises over fifty tech startups. He's Y Combinator's Ambassador to the East, co-founder of the non-profit IHAS, and is writing a book, Without Your Permission.

Along the way, Mr. Ohanian spoke at TED, volunteered in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow, and was named on Forbes and Inc Magazine 30 Under 30 lists.

He proudly doodled the logos for all three of his startups and loves his cat, Karma.

DAVID TISCH

MANAGING PARTNER, BOXGROUP; CO-FOUNDER, TECHSTARS NYC


David Tisch is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, a New York City based seed-stage angel capital firm. Mr. Tisch is also the Co-Founder of TechStars NYC, where he previously served as Managing Director.

As an investor, Mr. Tisch has worked with over 80 startups including Fab.com, GroupMe (sold to Skype), Boxee, Romotive, Lore, CrowdTwist, Behance, OnSwipe, SkillShare and DataMinr. He was named to NYC Mayor Bloomberg's Advisory Council on Technology and serves on the Investor Board of Venture for America. Prior to joining TechStars, Mr. Tisch served as Executive Vice President of Interactive Strategies at kgb, a global information services company. While at kgb, he founded and lead Knowmore.com, a social aggregation startup within kgb.

Mr. Tisch has a B.A. in American History from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. He was born and raised outside of NYC in Westchester. He likes wearing hoodies and over using ellipses...

@davetisch
www.davidtisch.com

WILLIAM BERNSTEIN

ACTING PRESIDENT, CHEIF OPERATING OFFICER; ALLIANCE FOR DOWNTOWN NEW YORK, Inc


William Bernstein is the Acting President of the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc. and its Chief Operating Officer. The Downtown Alliance is an $18 million business improvement district, established to spearhead the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. It is the largest business improvement district in the United States. Mr. Bernstein is responsible for all aspects of management, administration and finance for the corporation.

Before joining the Downtown Alliance in 1997, Mr. Bernstein was the First Deputy Executive Director of the New York City Department of City Planning for more than ten years. City Planning is responsible for the orderly planning and development of New York City. Mr. Bernstein managed the Department’s staff, human resources, labor relations and computer operations and oversaw its $15 million budget.

Prior to this, Mr. Bernstein worked for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Rent Control Division and for the New York City Loft Board for sixteen years, serving in a number of management and policy positions.

Mr. Bernstein attended New York City public schools, including Stuyvesant High School, and graduated from City College of New York and New York University School of Business. He has one son and lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

LAWRENCE D. LENIHAN JR.

Founder and Managing Director, FirstMark Capital


Lawrence Lenihan is a Founder and Managing Director of FirstMark Capital and focuses on seed and early stage investments companies that provide technology-based solutions for industries such as retail and fashion; finance and insurance. He also has extensive experience in building data and analytics companies. Prior to founding FirstMark, Lawrence founded Pequot Ventures in 1996. He started his career at IBM in the IBM sales organization and later founding a business within IBM providing interactive kiosks for retailers. He later joined Broadview Associates, where he was a senior member of the M&A advisory team. Lawrence is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and NYU's Stern School of business and teaches a popular course called "Ready, FIRE! Aim." He holds a BSEE from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

@lawrencelenihan
www.lawrencelenihan.com

Kyle Kimball

President of the New York City Economic
Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)


Kyle Kimball is Executive Director of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Kyle first joined NYCEDC in 2008, overseeing the Real Estate Transaction Services Group, where he was responsible for negotiating real estate deals on behalf of the City. He later served as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining NYCEDC, Kyle worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as a Vice President and at J.P. Morgan, also as a Vice President.Kyle is a graduate of Harvard College, where he majored in Government. He received his Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard's
Kennedy School of Government.

rachel haot

CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, CITY OF NEW YORK


Rachel Haot (formerly Rachel Sterne) is the Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, leading NYC Digital, part of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. The mission of NYC digital is to realize Mayor Bloomberg's digital roadmap for New York City, a plan to fulfill the City's digital potential.  In addition to providing strategic guidance, NYC Digital is focused on enhancing the way that city government engages with New Yorkers online, and on supporting and partnering with the thriving tech industry.

Prior to this role, Rachel was an independent digital strategy consultant, and Founder and CEO of GroundReport, a global, crowdsourced news startup. She founded GroundReport in 2006 with the mission to democratize the media and help the world share its stories.  She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, specializing in social media and entrepreneurship.

A lifelong New Yorker, Rachel attended public schools and graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a BA in History. In 2012 she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and serves on the digital advisory board of Women@NBCU and the NY/NJ 2014 Super Bowl Social Media Advisory Committee.