Thursday, July 30, 2015

Words of Wisdom for Startup Funding

When Jeanne Sullivan took the stage at the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce “Funding Your Passion + Financing Your Business” event last week to discuss startup funding -  she cut an unassuming profile, at least for a seasoned all-star venture capital professional.

Jeanne offered some practical advice about startup funding, based on her many years of VC experience. She is co-founder of StarVest Partners, a venture fund created in 1998 with $400 million under management

Forbes described Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs” and she serves on the board of the NY Venture Capital Association. She’s dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs, in what is still a male dominated world for most tech startups.

She now heads “Sullivan Adventures” as Chief Inspiration Officer. And she certainly inspired the MCC audience with her advice to entrepreneurs seeking funding for their startups:

  • Get the meeting: Identify who wants what you have: sector/stage/geography/you. Never go in cold. Get introductions from law firms, accounting firms – build and use your network.
  • Get the story out of your mouth: Articulate and package the business model. Provide use cases. Use the “eyebrow” test – try to raise the eyebrows, get them intrigued.
  • Tell me about the business of the business: Include the go to market plan, how you will build the business. Lay out the functional skills you will need to hire – as soon as you get funded. Stress your unique advantages.
  • Know your Financials (cold): Gross margin, capital needs of the business, estimated valuation, be a careful curator of other people’s money. Get the smartest outsourced financial person possible to show you the way, bring them to the meeting.
  • Follow up – and negotiate – appropriately: Business wins, key hires, fund raising, if they hear some other investors are coming in they will follow.

The thing that may set Jeanne apart from many others in VC community is her approachability. Talking to many NYC-based VCs makes one feels like being in the beholden presence of royalty.

Jeanne offered her e-mail to the audience at the end of her remarks, encouraging people to reach out her. She actually stayed around during the reception following the formal event remarks, and made the time to talk to everyone that approached her.

When asked why she has such passion for the venture capital world, she replied:

Entrepreneurism is driving the economy and fulfills passion and prosperity.  What good are all my connections and experience unless I leverage my network and knowledge and help support the efforts of others.

Jeanne’s Twitter stream is well worth following @gianna212.

And she delivered a thoughtful and funny talk at the recent TEDx Barnard College event entitled “Master the Minefield – Dealing with Bullies, Bozos and Buffoons.”

Please click here to find out the original article on
Original Blog Post by PM+CO

Monday, July 27, 2015

MCC Testimonial from Eric Hrubant, President of CIRE Travel, A Division of Tzell

Eric Hrubant and CIRE Travel are featured in the VISA® Small Business Spotlight campaign.  Visit the CIRE Travel blog to view the commercial!


MCC often helps its members by alerting them of press opportunities. When MCC sent out a press opportunity in April, it led to a member being featured in a national campaign! Eric writes about his experience below.



Hi Laura,


Working with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce has helped me land this great opportunity to be featured in this VISA Small Business campaign.  The email that was sent out, led to me working with the a booking agency for an audition and subsequent invitation to shoot the commercial


While my team and I prefer working behind the scenes to make travel far easier for our clients, Visa provided us an excellent opportunity to briefly encapsulate my story and discuss how I make it even easier for my team to deliver for our clients.  I’m particularly pleased that Visa chose to showcase the vibrancy of travel agencies, which are not just thriving, but booming.


The power of networking is extremely important as evidenced by my experience with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce – you just never know where an opportunity to build your business can come from. It’s fundamentally important to spend and invest in your business as I continually do. The dividends it pays are worth every penny.


Thank you again!





Eric Hrubant, President

CIRE Travel, A Division of Tzell

119 West 40th St. | 14th Floor | New York, NY 10018

tel (212) 339-2917 | fax (212) 812-3191

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MCC’s Press Opportunity Sent to Members on April 14, 2015:


Dear MCC Members:


A Casting Director from Vitamin Enriched, Maryann Driscoll, is looking for business owners in the NY Tri-State area for a Visa ad campaign and would like to reach the MCC members.


Vitamin Enriched is casting for Small Business Owners in the New York Tri-State area who will share their stories of how their businesses came to be.  It's a paid project and would offer some great exposure for the businesses that are booked.

More details about the project can be found here!


  • Auditions via Skype April 20 & 21, 2015
  • Callback - in-person in NYC on April 27th, 2015
  • Shoot day: May 01, 2015
  • Payment: This is a union (SAG) commercial. The shoot day pays over $600, plus additional compensation.


If you or one of your clients would be interested in applying, please contact Maryann directly.  


Maryann Driscoll

Vitamin Enriched





Thursday, July 23, 2015

Panel Discusses Higher Standards

By Zach Hutchins,

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce last week hosted a panel discussion on higher education standards, the value of assessments and business engagement in education at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City. The event—sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of New York State (PPI) and the Committee for Economic Development—featured a panel of local stakeholders: Cass Conrad, executive director of School Support and Development at CUNY; Tenicka Boyd, director of organizing at StudentsFirstNY; Neal Gorka a teacher at Democracy Prep Charter Middle School; and Robert Patterson, business development manager at Progressive Computing Inc.
Since its adoption by the New York State Board of Regents in January 2011, the Common Core has been conflated with a host of unrelated issues, namely teacher evaluations, which include a student-growth component centered on state and local assessments.
Boyd, who is a strong supporter of both the standards and Common Core aligned-assessments, told the audience about her background growing up in a low-income neighborhood in Milwaukee. There, Ms. Boyd told how she was inspired by her third-grade teacher, Mr. Smith, who made a huge impact on her life and the lives of her classmates. She also noted that the opt-out movement—which has been wrought with misinformation— was not prevalent in lower-income and minority communities.
In regard to the current workforce’s preparation for 21st century careers, Patterson noted that job applicants often lacked “soft skills,” including working in groups and critical thinking.
We would like to thanks the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce for partnering with us on this great event.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The State of Development in Manhattan, East Side Rezoning

On Thursday July 16th from 8AM to 10AM, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce hosted a Chairman’s Discussion with a special focus on the rezoning of Midtown East. New York City Councilmember Dan Garodnick, who represents Midtown East, gave the keynote address.
Garodnick’s remarks were followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Ken Biberaj, Chairman of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

The panelist featured experts in development, real estate, infrastructure and brokerage, including:

- Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, President, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
- Chris Sameth, Head of Acquisitions, Kuafu Properties
- Dirk Hrobsky, Executive Vice President, DTZ United States
- Jeffrey Holmes, Director, Woods Bagot

To view the video, please click here:…/929f4fadeaaf42d4814b23cd510b792…

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nominations Are Now Open For The 2016 NYC Venture Fellows

"We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the class of 2016! The NYC Venture Fellows is a world class year long fellowship program, designed to help potential entrepreneurs scale their ventures in New York City through mentorship, CEO Conversations, executive training seminars, and peer engagement.

As member of the NYC business community, you can play a pivotal role in helping us to identify founders of NYC startups that should be considered for our next cohort. If you know someone who should be considered as a Fellow, or if you yourself are a founder of a NYC startup, visit our website and learn how to submit a nominations today!

Have questions about the program? Please keep reading to get caught up on what the Fellows are up to and to see who's in our network of Mentors & Advisors.

Thank you for your support the City and the 92nd Street Y. Please contact us at with questions."


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

MCC Thanks June's Renewing Members

Contact Name
Company Name
Caroline van Scheltinga Blocadi Capital LLC
Joanna Anastasiadis Marathon Energy Corporation
Kishan Alexander A.Logan Insurance Brokerage
Melanie Gass  CenterPoint Solution, LLC
Torkan Maham Torkan USA Inc.
John Craven  John F Craven CPA LLC
Kamu Kilinc SKALA International Holding Inc.
R. Ashton Wall Colloquium Depot, LTD.
Lewis Gross
Alexa Adams Ohne Titel
Jeff Gorman SunEdison
Warren Davis Warren Davis - Human Resources Consulting
Chris Jones Promethean IT
Anthony Carro Point Vantage Employee Benefits

MCC Welcomes our New Members from June 2015

Contact Name Company Name Website
Matthew Roth Matthew Aron Roth Photography
Trung Truong Borough Construction LLC
Jessica Robinson PurePoint International
Steven Buchwald Buchwald & Associates 
Shoko Sekiguchi Ampleen LLC
Rise Hourani HVAC Mechanical Supplies & Solutions
Brittany Grando Grando Energy
Janet Falk Falk Communications and Research
Patricia Warmack PitaP's Productions, Inc.
Michael Cano Gateway VIP Services
Renee Leibler NotifyNeighbor
Michael Heiligenstein Fit Small Business
Irina Gubenko Fragrant Wellness
JoAnna Riggins JB Riggins Consulting, Inc.
Kishan Alexander A.Logan Insurance
Iren Gurarye ArtsInteractive
Liyah Eliyahu New York Life
Stephanie Rios Pop Squid Mkg
Anthony Constantinople Constantinople and Vallone Consulting
Angelique Kirton The Concept NYC
Michael Grove Nimzo Capital
Abraham Wilner
Alison Josephs Josephs Design, Inc.
Nora Campbell Execu|Search
Josh Fox Bottom Line Concepts