Four Local Businesses Each Receive $30,000 Grant, Marketing Assets and Mentorship Program
2021 Winners are It’s From The Sole (Brooklyn, NY), First Tech Fund (Brooklyn, NY), IV Comfort Solutions (Fairfield, CT) and Popcorn for the People (Piscataway, NJ)
New York, NY, April 22, 2021 – The New York Knicks and Squarespace, the leading all-in-one website building and ecommerce platform, today announced the winners of the fourth annual “Make It Awards,” a program that provides four tri-state area businesses with the funds, exposure and guidance they need to take their businesses to the next level. Each of the winning businesses will be provided with a $30,000 grant, a one-year subscription to Squarespace, a feature segment on MSG Networks and one-on-one mentorship from a member of the esteemed panel of judges.
The four winning businesses are: It’s From The Sole (Brooklyn, NY), First Tech Fund (Brooklyn, NY), IV Comfort Solutions (Fairfield, CT) and Popcorn for the People (Piscataway, NJ). Below are brief descriptions for each winner:
It’s From The Sole is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on providing sneakers to the less fortunate in New York City and other metropolitan areas. The company has distributed more than 30,000 pairs of sneakers over the past 8 years in 14 different countries, all on a 100% volunteer basis.
First Tech Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting NYC students from low income and underserved backgrounds, to ensure they have access to technology that will empower them and close the rampant digital divide. First Tech Fund provides students with the tools and skills they need to thrive.
IV Comfort Solutions (Medi Teddy) is on a mission to improve the hospital experience and normalize medical care for children who need infusions, transfusions and tube feedings. The IV bag cover, which is designed to look like a teddy bear, reduces anxiety for both patients and parents alike, with 95% of users reporting improved emotional well-being during an infusion and a 46% reduction in pain.
Popcorn for the People is a nonprofit dedicated to creating meaningful and sustainable employment for adults with Autism and other disabilities through the cooking, packaging, and selling of gourmet popcorn. They aim to combat the 80% unemployment rate in the Autistic community by creating the best popcorn, crafted by some of the best people, to create a more neurodiverse and accepting future within the workforce.
The $30,000 grant is inspired by the investment Squarespace Founder and CEO Anthony Casalena received from his parents to launch the company, and the submission process called for applicants to share details on their business and their inspiration, how they support their local community and their plan for how they would use the funds. This year, the program saw a record-breaking number of applications with more than a 100% increase in submissions since the program first launched in 2017.
The judging panel this year consisted of Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Malai Ice Cream owner Pooja Bavishi, Co-Founder of Street Dreams Magazine Steven “Sweatpants” Irby, Financial Gym owner & 2019 Make It Awards winner Shannon McLay, Entrepreneur & Creative Storyteller Bianca Jeanty and Filmmaker and Social Media Personality Nicolas “New York Nico” Heller. Additionally, Squarespace Founder and CEO Anthony Casalena returned as a judge for a fourth year.
About Madison Square Garden Sports Corp.
Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports) is a leading professional sports company, with a collection of assets that includes: the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, an NBA 2K League franchise. MSG Sports also operates two professional sports team performance centers – the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, NY and the CLG Performance Center in Los Angeles, CA. More information is available at www.msgsports.com.
Squarespace is a leading all-in-one website building and ecommerce platform that enables millions to build a brand and transact with their customers in an impactful and beautiful online presence. Our suite of products enables anyone at any stage of their journey to manage their projects and businesses through websites, domains, ecommerce, marketing tools, and scheduling, along with tools for managing a social media presence with Unfold and hospitality business management via Tock. Squarespace democratizes access to best-in-class design, helping our customers in approximately 180 countries maintain consistent branding across all digital touchpoints to stand out online. Our team of more than 1,200 is headquartered in downtown New York City, with offices in Dublin, Ireland, Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.squarespace.com.