The Big Idea: Make It In Brooklyn

If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere, they say. 

With the world’s attention on Brooklyn, we asked ourselves what it takes to make it here.

It takes a special brand of grit, hustle, openness to new ideas – and it also take the connections and capital of those who have already “made it” to bring success to the next generation of Brooklyn-based business leaders.

What sets Brooklyn apart?

As Brooklynites, we live here because we love the unique vibe of the neighborhoods, the diversity of our public spaces, the creative ways to spend our free time.

Brooklyn is a place where, at any given moment, a local café or bar might be filled with the founder of a future podcasting empire, a Dean of Engineering, a Fortune 100 executive, a budding app builder, a Creative Director, and the owner of a local fashion label.

 It is a place where established companies do business with and right next door to bootstrapping startups and artisanal entrepreneurs.

Our goal is to be the connective tissue that brings these people together in an intentional way, so people can connect, converse, and come up with newer and even bigger ideas together.

This is what lies at the heart of our Make It in Brooklyn campaign. Because we are an economic development organization, we focus most specifically on the world of business.

Innovation Summit

In June 2015, we launched our first ever Innovation Summit, where leaders across industries could come together to meet, exchange ideas, and foster new business growth with startups and small business owners in Brooklyn. This included talks, panels, and networking opportunities common at many conferences, with a decidedly Brooklyn flavor: a drumline kicked off the program, we held a “speed dating” breakfast that gave participants face time with some of the biggest names in real estate, and our pitch contest closed out the night with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Board Co-Chairs investing $50,000 in a local startup.

Join the movement

With the success of the Summit, a movement was born. We now hold quarterly pitch contests for entrepreneurs in all fields. Some of our past finalists have gone on to scale their operations, secure new funding, or sell their company.

Our 2nd annual Innovation Summit was held in September 2016, with the focus on that “making it” phase. We asked ourselves a question: when a company is at its tipping point, what does it need to reach greatness? We created our entire summit around helping Brooklyn entrepreneurs with that goal in mind.   

Make It in Brooklyn is a big idea that just keeps getting bigger. Our plans for the future will continue to focus on creating resources for entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level, right here in Brooklyn by increasing their access to connections, capital, and each other.