Two young companies have been awarded a year’s free rent downtown following the conclusion of an inaugural small business plan competition.
KickStart Columbus, spearheaded by several local economic development agencies and community groups, said City Paws Home Health and Seven Studios are winners of $26,000 prize packages, which includes rent on a South Third Street storefront near the Columbus Commons.
City Paws, owned by Dr. Lauren Holtvoigt, provides in-home veterinary care for cats and dogs. Seven Studios is a life coaching, yoga and wellness center run by former 40 Under 40 honoree Julie Wilkes.
The Economic & Community Development Institute launched the initiative in Januarywith the city, Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District and Capitol South as a way to promote entrepreneurship and job creation.
The prize package also includes ECDI business mentoring sessions, free advertising from a local online media group and $1,000 toward business signage.
“The KickStart competition is helping to remove one of the biggest barriers to success for small businesses – access to capital,” councilmember Troy Miller, a KickStart judge and chair of the Columbus City Council’s small & minority business development committee, said in a press release.
City Paws and Seven Studios will move into their new locations downtown in the next month to two months, city council spokesman John Ivanic said.