SUNY Levin Institute

Case Study: FastTrac 1000 – Building the American Enterprise

Challenge

In February 2011, The SUNY Levin Institute, a 21st century model for learning, research and public engagement that addresses key aspects of globalization, together with the Department of Small Business Services celebrated a key milestone:  more than 1,000 New Yorkers had completed the Kauffman FastTrac® NewVenture™ and FastTrac® GrowthVenture™ programs, administered by The SUNY Levin Institute.  Both programs were launched in 2008 as part of Mayor Bloomberg initiatives to stabilize the economy in New York City after the financial crisis.  The Kauffman FastTrac courses help entrepreneurs – the backbone of America’s economy – develop the skills needed to start and grow successful businesses. The goal was to raise media awareness for the program’s success.

Strategy

To celebrate this key milestone for creating the New American enterprise, The SUNY Levin Institute hosted an event on February 9, 2011, together with the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and The Kauffman Foundation. Expedition PR worked with the SUNY Levin Institute on the media relations strategy. The approach was to showcase the overall program impact by sharing the stories of New York FastTrac graduates and offer overall statistics, such as job creation. Expedition PR invited the local business media to attend the event, offering interviews with FastTrac graduates.  The agency also created a press announcement that was distributed to the business media nationwide.

Outcome

The event was covered by the local and national media, including Crain’s New York, The New York Enterprise Report, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Tennessean and Innovation America. All stories included the program’s key messages and portrayed the SUNY Levin Institute FastTrac programs as a successful tool to help grow businesses – and thereby the economy – in New York City.

Event video: http://vimeo.com/19945227

“Katja Schroeder of Expedition PR, one of our FastTrac graduates, was a key partner to raise awareness for the success of the New York FastTrac program. Katja helped share the stories of our amazing graduates, many of whom are now successful entrepreneurs,” said Helene Rude, Director of Educational Programs, The SUNY Levin Institute.