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1,000 New York City Entrepreneurs Started and Grew Their Businesses with the Help of the Kauffman FastTrac® Education Programs


1,000 New York City Entrepreneurs Started and Grew Their Businesses with the Help of the Kauffman FastTrac® Education Programs

Partnership between the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the Kauffman Foundation and the Levin Institute Helped Turn Entrepreneurial Dreams into Successful Businesses, Creating Hundreds of New Jobs for New Yorkers

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB) February 09, 2011

The Levin Institute - a 21st century model for learning, research and public engagement that addresses key aspects of globalization - and the Department of Small Business Services announced today that more than 1,000 New Yorkers completed the Kauffman FastTrac® program. Kauffman FastTrac courses help entrepreneurs develop the skills needed to start and grow successful businesses. Recognizing that small businesses are a driving force behind the recovery and growth of New York City's economy, The Department of Small Business Services partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and The Levin Institute in March 2009 to implement an intense FastTrac program for New Yorkers under the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“New York City's economic recovery and sustainable growth largely depends on the success of small businesses. Providing the FastTrac program, through our partnership with the Kauffman Foundation and Levin Institute has proved immensely helpful to New Yorkers looking to either start or expand their business,” said Robert Walsh, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “When we launched FastTrac in New York, our goal was to give 1,000 aspiring and existing New York entrepreneurs the tools and skills to start and expand their businesses, and today we're proud to be celebrating this milestone. This program has proven results, and we look forward to seeing its continued success.”

At the behest of the Department of Small Business Services, Levin has delivered more than 50 Kauffman FastTrac programs since May 2009. More than 33 percent of the FastTrac®℠ alumni who responded to an SBS survey, launched their business within six months of completing the program. 54 percent of the FastTrac® GrowthVenture℠ alumni who responded to the Small Business Services (SBS) survey said that they grew their business within 6 months of finishing the program. Participants operate businesses in a wide range of industries, including information technology, green tech, professional services, healthcare, retail, and food services. Levin estimates that the New York FastTrac participants created more than 300 new jobs in New York City.

“The high caliber of our New York City FastTrac participants, and our stellar team of instructors, has made the program so successful. We are very proud that this talented group of business owners is building the new American enterprise here at the Levin Institute,” added Garrick Utley, President of the SUNY Levin Institute.

“During its 17-year history and with the support of the Kauffman Foundation, Kauffman FastTrac has developed a very unique, high-quality entrepreneurial ecosystem and set of learning curricula. In addition to providing entrepreneurs with immediately useful skills and tools that they need to succeed, we give them a network of resources and people that they can rely on to start and grow their businesses,” said Alana Muller, President, Kauffman FastTrac.

Among the FastTrac NewVenture businesses launched are Magnificent Baby, a provider of magnetic fastening infants wear, and Soul Pop U, an arts education organization dedicated to connecting the entertainment industry's new class of leaders with the community's new class of leaders. “I entered the FastTrac NewVenture program with a vision and the germ of a business idea. By the end of the course I had a roadmap and an amazing network of contacts – which has only continued to grow - to help get the business off the ground,” commented Glenton Davis, Founder and Executive Director of Soul Pop U, of his FastTrac experience.

“Our business idea was based on a very real need – a painless closure system for baby clothes. FastTrac helped us to seize the market potential of the idea and turn a dream into a business,” added Lawrence Scheer, Co-Founder of Magnificent Baby.

Amy DeGiulio turned her hobby into a successful business by founding Sugar Flower Cake Shop, a boutique cake shop offering special occasion and wedding cakes featuring realistic-looking flowers handmade from sugar. “The FastTrac GrowthVenture program gave me the resources and network to grow my business despite a challenging economy. My FastTrac instructors and fellow participants inspired me to broaden my distribution channels and sell my sugar flowers separately from my cakes to gourmet retail markets. In just a few months after completing the program, I started offering my sugar flowers at high-end retail stores. Thanks to the continued support by the program partners, such as NYC Business Solutions, I am celebrating getting the keys to a new commercial kitchen space this week,” said DeGiulio.

FastTrac courses, valued at approximately $1,200 per participant, are provided to New Yorkers at no charge. FastTrac® NewVenture℠ is offered to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses and FastTrac® GrowthVenture℠ helps existing companies to grow their businesses.

To find out more information on Kauffman FastTrac visit To apply online, visit To watch a short program introduction video, visit

About Kauffman FastTrac NewVenture and GrowthVenture

Kauffman FastTrac is the leading provider of learning curricula that equip aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with the business skills and insights, tools, resources, and network to start and grow successful businesses. Kauffman FastTrac was created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation in the United States devoted to entrepreneurship. For more information about Kauffman FastTrac®, visit

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship training and education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

About the Department of Small Business Services

The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to start, operate and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS' services, go to

About Levin Institute of the State University of New York

The Levin Institute of the State University of New York supports New York's economic and social vitality through innovative and competitive responses to the challenges of today's global economy. In partnership with NYC SBS, the Levin Institute also runs the Kauffman FastTrac® program in New York City, helping entrepreneurs develop the skills needed to start, manage and grow a successful business. Learn more at and

About Soul Pop U

Soul Pop U is an arts education organization dedicated to connecting the entertainment industry's new class of leaders with our community's new class of leaders.

About Sugar Flower Cake Shop

Sugar Flower Cake Shop specializes in baking cakes made from local ingredients, decorated with beautiful realistic-looking flowers handmade from sugar. Owner Amy DeGiulio runs her New York City cake boutique with one goal: to create masterpiece cakes for weddings and other occasions by using fresh, high-quality products from local farms and New York City's Greenmarkets. Inspired by her original location in the bountiful Hudson Valley, Ms. DeGiulio continues to use locally sourced ingredients. Her cakes, with artistically designed flowers she custom-makes from sugar, have been featured on the STYLE Network, at Macy's Herald Square, at Dean & DeLuca and in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. For more information, please see

Video: Sugar Flower Shop     

About Magnificent Baby

Our mission is to make parents and their infant's lives easier. Our Smart Close outfits get baby dressed in seconds without all of those annoying snaps, buttons, zippers or Velcro. Our two biggest compliments that we consistently hear are: “Why didn't I think of that?” and “Where were you when my son/daughter was a baby?” See "How it Works" here:

Named one of the Top 10 Products of 2010 by Pregnancy & Newborn magazine our designs are fresh and quality matchless. Products are 100% washer/dryer safe, lead and phthalate safe and mom, dad and grandparent approved. They are suitable for ages newborn to nine-months, feature European-designed prints and are made of 100% luxuriously soft Peruvian cotton. Retail prices range from $12-$43 and they are offered at exclusive baby boutiques and stores globally. For more information please see,

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