The Westchester County Association, Westchester’s business leadership organization, announced the names of six promising early-stage companies that have just been accepted into the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network, after a highly selective process. The Accelerator is part of the BLUEPRINT for Westchester initiative to spark an Innovation Economy in Westchester. The six Accelerator companies are all offered private office space—rent-free for the first year—complimentary professional services, and access to financing and mentoring. Accelerator companies commit to remaining in Westchester for at least five years after their “graduation.”...
Christian Wielage, CEO, Plan Guru; Alan Antin, Nuvita; David Crane, Mobile Health One; Jenifer Ross, W@atercooler; John Rubbo, Yonkers Brewing Co.; Marissa Brett, WCA; Ellen Rose, Felecia Sternbach, Sternbach & Rose; Mary Molina, Lola Granola Bar.
...The six new Accelerator companies are: Lola Granola Bar, an organic granola bar company; Mobile Health One, a digital healthcare company; Nuvita, an online employee wellness program; the accounting firm Sternbach & Rose, CPA, PC; W@tercooler, a unique co-working space; and the Yonkers Brewing Co., a craft brewery.
“These six emerging companies have demonstrated they are ready for growth, ready to add jobs, and ready to become strong additions to Westchester County’s Innovation Economy,” said Marissa Brett, executive director, Economic Development, Westchester County Association.
Brett also announced that PlanGuru, an emerging software company now based in White Plains, and the first accepted company of the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network (2013), has increased its customer base by over 50 percent since coming through the Accelerator, created a new board of directors, and is expected to launch new products within the next two months. “We are immensely grateful to the BLUEPRINT for Westchester,” said Christian Wielage, CEO, PlanGuru. “They gave us the jump start we needed as we moved up from the incubator stage to that of a growth company with international markets.”
Accelerators vs. incubators
Unlike small business incubators, which offer centralized office space and shared services to startup companies, business accelerators operate as “boot camps” for early-stage companies to prepare them to seek venture capital financing. The hope is that they will become the next Regeneron, Apple Computer, Facebook, or Google. Only a few companies are accepted into an accelerator through a highly selective process. Accelerators provide seed capital, access to legal, accounting, and marketing services, and partnerships with universities, and opportunities to work with established businesses in the early-stage company’s field.
Private Sector Drives the Effort
The BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network combines Westchester’s prime business resources—office space, access to debt and seed financing, top professional services, and mentorship—into one attractive package. Accepted companies must commit to remain in Westchester following their “graduation” from the Accelerator. In exchange, the companies receive commercial space that matches their needs, and a variety of business-critical services including accounting/financial advice, legal, marketing and public relations, technology, and access to debt and seed capital.
“We are pleased to invite the best and brightest emerging companies to become part of our BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network,” said Bill Mooney, president of the Westchester County Association. “With over $300 million in debt financing and in-kind services, our partners are prepared to offer entrepreneurs worldwide the support they need to transform their companies into the established, successful enterprises of tomorrow right here in Westchester County.”
Interested parties should apply to the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network by visiting www.blueprintaccelerator.com
BLUEPRINT Accelerator partners are: Alianza Services, LLC, BioMed Realty, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP, Celestial Capital, Citrin Cooperman, Community Capital Resources, CMIT Solutions, CMS Bank, Compufit, Cuddy & Feder, LLP, DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise and Wiederkehr LLP, George Comfort and Sons, GHP Office Realty, Greater Hudson Bank, Harrison Edwards PR, Inc, Heritage Realty, Heyman Properties, Intelligist Group, Journal News Media Group, Key Bank, NA, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Mahopac National Bank, Maier, Markey and Justic LLP, M & T Bank, Normandy Real Estate Partners, O’Connor Davies LLP, Reckson, a Division of SL Green Realty Corp., RPW Group, Search Smart Marketing, Silverman Realty, Small Business Development Center, Spencer Creative Group, Sterling National Bank, SUNY Purchase / START-UP NY, Webster Bank, The Westchester Bank, Women's Enterprise Development Center (WEDC), Westchester County Business JournalAbout The Blueprint for Westchester
The Blueprint for Westchester is the Westchester County Association’s aggressive campaign to revitalize Westchester’s economy in collaboration with the county’s real estate, business, and academic sectors, and strong participation from Westchester’s six cities and County government. This multi-million dollar, multi-year initiative has been organized and driven by the private sector. Westchester is home to a highly educated workforce, a multi-billion dollar healthcare system, and internationally renowned cultural and recreational offerings. And with magnificent parks and preserves, excellent schools, beautiful communities, and highly touted restaurants and retail establishments, Westchester cannot be beat in terms of our lifestyle.
About the Westchester County Association
The Westchester County Association (www.westchester.org) is the preeminent business leadership organization serving Westchester County. The Association is committed to business advocacy, economic vitality and to providing a strong and clear voice for the interests of businesses on the regional, national and international levels. Its key objectives are promoting positive economic development in the region; fostering business development; and providing its members with access and interaction with key public and private sector individuals, agencies and organizations.