The New York Islanders have launched a program called Startup of the Month presented by Justworks. Each month, one local company is selected to receive a 14-person luxury suite at a select Islanders home game, a free pre-game happy hour at Barclays Center, and in-bowl LED advertising during the game.
Justworks founder and CEO Isaac Oates has an extensive background in the media/tech space, with stops at Amazon and Etsy before starting his own company. Since creating Justworks three years ago, he has raised more than $20 million in three rounds of venture funding. Now he’s looking to give back to the community.
“Startup of the Month is an opportunity to showcase startups that are doing things that are unique and different in their space,” Oates told FishbowlNY. “The companies that are selected get access to some advertising resources. When you’re a startup, a lot of things are working against you but what’s working for you is that you are working really hard. What I love about this is the opportunity to give startups a little bit more.”
Barclays reached out to Oates about a potential partnership and the Justworks boss immediately realized it was a perfect match. The Barclays Center has established itself as “a really important force that is redefining downtown Brooklyn,” Oates said. Once Justworks realized the potential for a partnership was legit, Oates was determined to make it work and be a part of everything happening in the new-look section of the borough.
“Justworks is passionate about supporting small and growing businesses, and we share that same sentiment as Brooklyn is home to many successful startups,” Barclays Center evp Mike Zavodsky told FishbowlNY. “It takes a special level of toughness to start and maintain a new business. We are pleased to join with Justworks to honor those companies who are grinding day in and day out to be successful.”
So far the winners include October’s debut winner Grand Central Tech, which aims to provide local startups with the best resources. It’s essentially a startup that helps other startups. November’s winner was StrongArm Technologies, which provides materials handling companies with technology to increase worker safety and productivity.
BatteryPOP, an online kids network with original web series, animation, web clips, and games, took the prize in December. Common, a company that partners with property owners and local organizations to create residential communities with shared services and community events, was named January’s winner.
New York-based companies with anywhere from 5 to 50 employees can apply here. Barclays chooses the monthly winner.