NEW YORK — Manufacture New York, a hybrid fashion incubator and factory for independent designers, has been named one of 50 national winners of a U.S. Small Business Administration award and will receive a $50,000 grant as part of an Obama administration Growth Accelerator Fund competition looking to invest in job creators.
MNY is one of only 50 winners out of 800 applications nationwide. A panel of experts in entrepreneurship, investing and business plans reviewed finalists from within the government and the private sector. MNY is the only New York City-based incubator to win an SBA award.
“We’re very pleased that a sustainable business model emphasizing local design and production is now being recognized as pointing the way toward future job creation and a Made in America resurgence,” said MNY chief executive officer Bob Bland. “We’re hopeful that this recognition of our hard work will help to inspire other domestic manufacturers to move forward. Local apparel production is indeed beginning a renaissance in New York City, and we’re grateful that the SBA is willing to contribute to our incubator’s ability to help local startups and entrepreneurs.”
SBA launched the Growth Accelerator Fund competition in May to award “supplemental and critical capital to the operating budgets of entrepreneurial ecosystems across the United States.” Special consideration was given to “any accelerator models which support manufacturing.”
“The SBA is empowering accelerators and startups that are on the cutting edge of successful, innovative new endeavors,” said SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We’ve seen the enormous success of the accelerator model in communities like Silicon Valley. We believe we can export this type of sophisticated support structure across the country to help start-ups become commercially viable and create jobs more quickly. I want SBA to stand for ‘Smart, Bold and Accessible’ and these accelerators encompass all three of these goals.”
Founded in 2012, MNY just celebrated its 2nd anniversary and has been recognized for its innovative Garment Center Pilot Program in Midtown Manhattan. The SBA award will also aid MNY’s efforts to launch an innovative 160,000-square-foot manufacturing innovation center for apparel, textiles and wearable technology in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
RELATED STORY: Brooklyn Draws Manufacturing Initiatives >>