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

  • Take the HELM is all about the future – the future of Lower Manhattan, its ongoing transformation, and the creative, technology and international businesses that will soon call it home.

    Arthur Levitt, Chairman of the Selection Committee;
    Former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

Applicants in the following categories should apply for an opportunity to win one of four $250,000 cash grants:


If you're a design, media, fashion, architecture, or other creative company, Take the HELM wants to reward you for joining Conde Nast, The Paris Review, XO Group, and others in Lower Manhattan - including HELM 1.0 winners and finalists - The Flatiron School, Rock Shrimp Productions, and SHoP Architects.


If you're a technology company focused on web-based services, application development, or other tech-focused endeavors, Take the HELM wants to welcome you to a neighborhood that has nearly doubled its tech presence in the last five years, Including the new additions of HELM 1.0 winners and finalists Booker, STELLAService, Paperless Post, Grapeshot, and OrderGroove.

New  New Yorkers

If you're a company seeking to open your first office in 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, including HELM 1.0 winners and finalist Grapeshot.


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, including HELM 1.0 winners and finalist            STELLAService.

At least one prize will be reserved for a Take the HELM Startup, and companies opening their first office in New York City will be given preference for at least one other prize. For HELM 2.0, runners-up will also receive grants of $50,000 to move to Lower Manhattan. All other finalist will receive $10,000.

Eligibility & Evaluation Criteria


The Take the HELM Competition is intended for catalytic 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 of at least 1 year for that office space between March 15th, 2013 and March 14th, 2014.

View official competition Rules, Terms & Conditions

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to be catalysts for the Lower Manhattan innovation economy. Specifically, evaluators will review the following for each applicant:

  1. Capacity to bring the best and brightest to Lower Manhattan (through the number and quality of current employees, and prospects of employment growth), and to be an employment "amplifier" (by helping to attract other companies to the neighborhood or bringing coworking employees, students, clients, freelancers, or other part-time office workers);
  2. Ability to promote Lower Manhattan, including potential media coverage, event hosting, social media presence, brand association, or connections to new communities.
  3. Overall submission quality and ability to meet competition goals.