Annual Ei Business Plan CompetitionSeptember 2012by Calvin Chin
The Redeemer Entrepreneurship Initiative (“Ei”) will host its annual Business Plan Competition Kickoff on Thursday evening, September 26. It is our eighth competition and couldn’t be timelier as New York City continues to be a beacon for start-up activity. Our 20 winners and other entrants from prior competitions are currently toiling throughout the city, in Silicon Alley (Flatiron), Wall Street, L.I.C., Dumbo, Mott Haven, and Williamsburg. Ventures such as Hoppit!, Tegu, Restore NYC, 100Cameras, Arts & Minds, and A House on Beekman, to name a few, push ahead their mostly early-stage entrepreneurial ventures in cafes, shared work spaces and incubators. This entrepreneurial spirit is core to Redeemer—from our humble beginnings in 1989 to bring the gospel to New York City and our recent move to a collegiate model on the way to truly becoming a church for the city.
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When Tim and Kathy Keller started Redeemer, they attested to how lonely, incredibly risky, and painstaking the journey was. For those of us who are believers we need to cling to and rely more on God’s spirit than our own devices during such a journey. In the world, we see that the message of entrepreneurship often focuses mainly on the individual, process, or outcome rather than on the calling that undergirds the activity. Not everyone is called to create new ventures and certainly, given the challenges of entrepreneurship, a person needs proper grounding and support to even have a chance of survival. The Ei, in part through its annual business plan competition, is creating a community that shares the risks and the rewards among those who respond to the call of working towards a vision of gospel-centered cultural engagement!
Since the Ei began in 2007, our staff and dozens of lay leaders have met with, evaluated, and coached over 251 entrants in the arts, for profit, and not-for-profit sectors. We have also provided seed financing totaling $236,000 to our 20 winners and 2 runners-up. These funds are from foundations and individuals specifically for the competition and not from the general operating budget. Being in a highly strategic place like New York City, we need to be relevant in every sector to push forward gospel-centered entrepreneurship.
Therefore, the Ei is calling all new and experienced entrepreneurs as well as investors in the congregation who want to provide their prayers, time, and/or resources to attend our September 26 kickoff. Come catch the gospel-centered vision, energy, and excitement of this vibrant entrepreneurial community. You will have an opportunity to meet with previous winners, finalists, and participants, including judges and coaches. We plan to give you a glimpse of how the gospel can drive your organization or venture idea in order to address unmet needs in all sectors of culture. RSVP at www.faithandwork.org/2013bpckickoff and join us!