Hot, Young, Tech Company Selected as First Pick of the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network
PlanGuru to enjoy complimentary professional services, free rent for a year, access to financing and mentoring – all made possible through the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network!
The first company to make it through the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network vetting process was announced today at a press conference held at the company’s new headquarters in White Plains, by the Westchester County Association, Westchester’s pre-eminent business association...
PlanGuru, a young, dynamic software company that produces budgeting/forecasting/financial planning software for businesses and non-profits, is about to reap the benefits of the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network, which was created to speed the growth of promising, early-stage companies committed to growing in Westchester County. The Accelerator is an important component of the WCA’s BLUEPRINT for Westchester, a revolutionary initiative to spur economic development and job creation in Westchester County.
|PlanGuru accepts a key from White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach on January 28.|
For the next year, PlanGuru will receive at no cost 1,635 square feet of office space donated by Reckson, a Division of SL Green, as well as pro bono marketing services courtesy of Harrison Edwards Inc. and search engine optimization services from Search Smart Marketing. In addition, Plan Guru will receive legal services and accounting services from partners in the Accelerator Network, and mentoring from the county’s top corporate executives. The company also will enjoy access to the rich intellectual capital of Westchester’s colleges and universities.
“This is fantastic opportunity,” said Christian H. Wielage, CEO of PlanGuru, a growing firm which already boasts a base of over 1100 customers – from young entrepreneurial startups to the University of Singapore, which budgets for hundreds of cost centers. Says Wielage: “With over 12.4 million small to medium sized businesses and nonprofits in the United States alone, the potential for growth is tremendous. Most important, we’ve found a good reason to headquarter in Westchester. We couldn’t be more grateful.”
White Plains over other metro areas
Wielage previously worked as an analyst at IBM in New York. During the past couple of years, he and a colleague toyed with the idea of further developing the software product that Wielage’s father had once invented. So, he left IBM and, with two colleagues, took a small, shared office space in White Plains in which to build their business.
“We chose White Plains rather than other metro locations as it was a lot more affordable and you could easily catch an express train to the city,” he said. “But starting a new business can be a daunting process. Now that it’s time to scale the business, the Accelerator will take us to the next level on a much more aggressive route. It’s exactly what we needed.”
To date, the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network has attracted over $275 million in debt financing and investment. It is funded by the private sector and is overseen by a governance committee of business leaders.
Small businesses generate 65 percent of all new jobs in the U.S., and hire 43 percent of high-tech workers such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers. Yet, start-up companies face significant challenges.
“Small businesses rely heavily upon owner investment and bank credit, yet only about a quarter of all new start-ups survive 15 years or more. Recognizing this, as well as the potential for entrepreneurship to super-charge the local economy, the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network is accepting applications from businesses across all industry sectors,” says Marissa Brett, director of Economic Development, Westchester County Association.
BLUEPRINT driven entirely by the private sector
The BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network combines Westchester’s prime business resources – office space, access to debt and seed financing, top professional services, office space, and mentors – into one attractive package.
Accepted companies must commit to remain in Westchester following their ‘graduation’ from the Network. In exchange, the companies receive access to debt and seed capital, commercial space that matches their needs and a variety of business-critical services including:
• Accounting/Financial Advice
• Marketing and Public Relations
Interested parties should apply to the BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network by visiting www.blueprintaccelerator.com.
“We are pleased to invite the best and brightest emerging companies to become part of our BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network,” said William M. Mooney, Jr., President of the Westchester County Association. “With an aggressive timeline and over $275 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.”
BLUEPRINT Accelerator partners are: BioMed Realty, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP, Celestial Capital, Citrin Cooperman, Community Capital New York, CMS Bank, Compufit, Cuddy & Feder, LLP, George Comfort & Sons, Greater Hudson Bank, Harrison Edwards PR, Heritage Realty, Heyman Properties, Key Bank, NA, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Mahopac National Bank, M & T Bank, Normandy Real Estate Partners, O’Connor Davies LLP, Provident Bank, Reckson, a Division of SL Green Realty Corp., RPW Group, Search Smart Marketing, The Westchester Bank, Webster Bank, Women’s Enterprise Development Center.
About The Blueprint for Westchester
The BLUEPRINT for Westchester (www.blueprintforwestchester.com) 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. 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 membership organization in 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.
Media contact: Carolyn Mandelker or Melanie Rener
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