1. How long has your organization been in the business of helping small businesses?
IncubateNYC is an alternative investment and financial advisory firm that provides capital and services to new and small businesses. IncubateNYC was started at the beginning of 2012 with the mission of making entrepreneurship more accessible. We started with providing training to first-time entrepreneurs on how to start a business and grow it once up and running.
As we worked with more entrepreneurs, we realized there is a market need for new alternative forms of flexible capital. In addition, we saw the need for an invested partner to help entrepreneurs manage their financial operations, similar to how large private equity firms help manage the financial operations of their portfolio companies. So we are trying to bring that same rigor and analysis to new and small businesses.
My partner and I have a background in private equity, financial management and consulting so we have invested in large companies, provided financial analysis support to these companies and worked with owners to make strategic decisions. We are now bringing that service to new and small businesses that do not have the scale of larger enterprises.
As our business continues to evolve with the needs of our clients, we will look to launch new services that support their growth.
2. What’s been your organization’s biggest hurdle in achieving its goals of aiding small businesses?
Oddly enough, our biggest challenge has been around the definition of a startup. When we tell people we work with startups, they automatically assume we are talking about tech companies, with young founders, who are trying to build multi-billion dollar businesses. So many people we want to work with automatically assume we will not work with them. In fact, we prefer what most people call small businesses, which we still define as startups because they are young businesses that are trying to find their market niche.
We like these types of businesses because they have tremendous growth potential and they represent an overwhelming percentage of the market. The reality is that there are probably only 10-15 startups each year that have the potential to make a billion dollars, compared to over 200,000 companies started each year. Like we tell our founders, always go after the larger market.
So to be clear, we like consumer businesses, services businesses and certain retail businesses. The underlining theme is that we are looking for companies that are leveraging technology to amplify their growth. We like startups but we also like small businesses where the founder has the drive and desire to move from being a small lifestyle business to growing saleable business.
3. Describe any major accomplishments for your organization over the last year.
We view success in the context of the accomplishments of our clients. We are excited about working with some great founders and watching as their businesses grow. Since last summer we have worked with over 200 founders in helping them shape their business and vision. We are proud of that, but we still have a lot more work to do.
We believe cash flow growth is the one metric that matters for any business. Our client’s cash flow growth is the metric we use to gauge our effectiveness. We are very focused on helping companies either start generating cash flow or growing their cash flow quickly. This starts with providing entrepreneurs access to the resources for them to grow their businesses. From there it comes down to effective decision making and we believe this can be accomplished through data analytics. Access to resources plus data driven decision making will grow your business.
4. What are the key strategic goals for your organization over the next year?
We believe in simplification and have chosen to focus on three core themes in the next year:
1. We want to increase the deployment of capital to new and small businesses. We have capital and we are looking to provide alternative financing solutions to hard working entrepreneurs.
2. We want to increase the number of small businesses that use data analytics to make strategic business decisions. The best companies make decisions based on data. Recognizing that most new and small businesses do not have the capacity to do this internally, we are developing scaled solutions that can help entrepreneurs make better business decisions through data.
3. We want to launch new services that provide alternative capital to entrepreneurs and tools to help them implement and execute on strategies that lead to cash flow growth. As I said before, our business will continue to evolve with the needs of our clients.
5. What should a small business entrepreneur know about your organization?
We like working with hard working business owners who want to grow their business beyond a small life-style business. Although technology startups are popular in the media, we believe that traditional businesses like service businesses and consumer businesses that leverage technology will continue to be the backbone of the economy.
We are working to solve the problem of cash flow growth for new and small business owners. We believe this can be accomplished by providing access to alternative financing and partnering with entrepreneurs to make data driven decisions. We combine capital + data analytics + data driven decision making to grow businesses.
6. Where can they get more information about IncubateNYC.
7. Describe how a partnership with NYBDC can help your organization achieve its mission.
We look to support the NYBDC by providing current and potential clients of the NYBDC with alternative capital and financial advisory support. We believe we can play a role with companies looking to receive SBA financing from NYBDC by providing bridge capital and helping organize the financials of the business prior to applying for financing from the NYBDC. Similarly we look to work with companies that have received funding from the NYBDC by providing additional financing, financial management and advisory. We view the NYBDC as a partner in providing new and small business clients the resources, tools and services to establish and grow successful businesses in New York State.