New York City Economic Development Corporation Accepting Nominations for Third Class of “NYC Venture Fellows”

Prestigious Year-Long Fellowship Program, Created in Partnership with Fordham University, Connects Entrepreneurs from Around the World with Mentors from Leading Companies.

Previous Fellows Include Prominent NYC Start-Up Companies Foursquare, Etsy, and Warby Parker.

New York City, October 11, 2012 – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced that nominations are open for the third class of NYC Venture Fellows, a year-long fellowship program to establish the next generation of global entrepreneurs in New York City.

Originally established in 2010 by NYCEDC in partnership with Fordham University, the selective, international program provides successful entrepreneurs with opportunities to help grow their ventures by connecting them with mentors from leading companies. In addition to executive-level mentoring, the program also provides exclusive networking opportunities, as well as resources to assist and encourage the entrepreneurs to locate and grow their businesses in New York City. The nomination period for the newest class of fellows begins today at www.nycventurefellows.org, and will run until November 30, 2012.

“NYC Venture Fellows is a critical piece of our efforts to expand entrepreneurship across a variety of sectors and strengthen New York City’s global competitiveness,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “By providing emerging entrepreneurs with mentorship to take the next steps towards success, as well as introducing them to the many opportunities that exist within the five boroughs, we remain committed to ensuring New York City will remain the global hub of business and innovation well into the 21st century.”

“If you want to talk about a program that directly and powerfully affects New York City, Venture Fellows is it,” said Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., provost of the University and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “The cross pollination between academia and commerce is good for New York and good for Fordham. We are delighted to be part of the program.”

NYC Venture Fellows is designed for entrepreneurs whose businesses are at a critical stage in development, where the companies have the potential to substantially increase their employment. Once nominated, candidates will be asked to submit an application, which will be evaluated by representatives from NYCEDC and Fordham, as well as a committee of global and New York City industry leaders which will be announced at a later date. Final selections are expected in mid-January 2013.

Ideal candidates for NYC Venture Fellows are NYC-based or international entrepreneurs who are:

•  The Founder or Co-founder of an innovative organization (for profit or not-for-profit) with the potential to create significant, sustainable employment in New York City
•  A history of extraordinary achievement, substantial leadership, and demonstrated global perspective.
•  Demonstrate positive societal impact.

Once selected, NYC Venture Fellows are paired with mentors with whom they will meet regularly over the course of the year. The mentors will provide guidance throughout this period, including at critical moments, such as when a venture is nearing an acquisition or Initial Public Offering, and to draw on the experience of the mentors and hear best practices on how to maintain company culture during periods of rapid growth.

“The NYC Venture Fellows experience has been extremely positive,” said Daniel Callaghan (Venture Fellows class of 2012), Founder & Managing Director, MBA & Company (London, UK). “One of the great things about the Venture Fellows program is that it has very much been a shining light on how easy it is for us to get set up here. Subsequently, we have opened a New York base here and hired our first two staff working out of New York. We hope over the years that will continue to grow.”

“Being a NYC Venture Fellow has been very helpful through networking with fellow entrepreneurs at similar stages,” said Philip James (Venture Fellows class of 2012), Co-founder & President, Lot18 (New York, NY). “Mentorship as well—having an engaged mentor who runs a large, but not too large, business—has been a huge gift.”

The inaugural class of NYC Venture Fellows in 2010 consisted of 21 fellows from some of New York City’s fastest growing ventures including Foursquare, Etsy and SecondMarket. Other fellows were international digital media pioneers, nonprofit entrepreneurs, and cleantech innovators from countries including China, Germany and India. In 2012, the second class of venture fellows included the leaders of fast-growing NYC-based ventures including Rent the Runway, Warby Parker and Lot18. Other international fellows included entrepreneurs from countries including China, Switzerland and Ethiopia. In addition to mentorship, 2012 fellows also attended a series of events, including CEO breakfast roundtables; networking events with local and international entrepreneurs, program stakeholders, and other business leaders; and other New York City industry and cultural events.

NYC Venture Fellows is part of the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to encourage entrepreneurship within a variety of sectors. With a growing network of incubators around the City, the Administration is providing low-cost office space, as well as training and networking opportunities, to hundreds of start-ups and small businesses. In addition, in 2010, the City launched the New York City Entrepreneurial Fund (NYCEF), the first City-sponsored seed and early-stage investment fund located outside of Silicon Valley. NYCEF will make up to $22 million available to New York City-based technology startups.

For more information on the NYC Venture Fellows program and to submit a nomination for the 2013 class, go to www.nycventurefellows.org.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About Fordham
As New York’s Jesuit University, Fordham offers an international curriculum with a strong emphasis on critical thinking and analytic skills. The University has four undergraduate colleges and six graduate and professional schools at residential campuses at Lincoln Center in Manhattan and Rose Hill in the Bronx, and its commuter campus in Westchester. Fordham also operates the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.