Work with purpose. Katie Krawczyk, Partner and President of 19 IDEAS, insists this is the core of not only her company but also herself.
Returning to Buffalo in 2010 after living 10 years away from the area, Krawczyk didn’t plan on staying here long-term. But when she met Dan Gigante, current Partner and Digital Director at 19 IDEAS, she realized entrepreneurship was not only a possibility but a vital career path.
Founded in 2011, 19 IDEAS has become a leading marketing and communication agency with a focus on integrating marketing expertise into the fabric of the businesses they work with. With a specific mindfulness of the community, Krawczyk says the work they do has an impact not only in Western New York but also in the communities that their clients serve.
Working with companies such as 43 North, Tipico Coffee, Larkin Square, the Mansion on Delaware, Independent Health, Buffalo City Mission, the International Institute and many more, 19 IDEAS's approach as an agency is unique. As Krawczyk describes it, they work with people who live and breathe their mission. The focus of 19 IDEAS is to figure out how to advance that mission through marketing.
“Everyday at 19 IDEAS, we believe in finding a meaningful purpose. Understanding that everything you do for every client you work with whether is a non-profit, large company, the work we are doing is contributing to a much bigger picture…We are not just working as consultants, but we want to understand the goals of the business and work to achieve that,” Krawczyk says.
Reflecting on her journey as an entrepreneur, Krawczyk says that building partnerships and taking advantages of resources has been invaluable to the company's success. The form developed a critical partnership with Excelsior Growth Fund, a nonprofit organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution focused on assisting small business growth. Not only did they bring funding to the table, but also the expertise and strategic alignment that the company needed as they scaled.
Steve Cohen, President of the Excelsior Growth Fund, says, “Katie and Dan bring great experience and dedication to their business, and to the larger Buffalo community. We are proud to be their partner, providing the financing and one-on-one business support to put them in a position to scale up and grow.”
As 19 IDEAS continues to develop as a grassroots, community-minded marketing agency, Krawczyk shares insight as a female founder. “I always said to myself that I wouldn’t go into business by myself because of fear. And I think fear is a big driver of people to work towards or away from something. I was inspired by Dan because he showed me this was all possible and told me not to let fear get in the way.”
As a passionate team of talented professionals, 19 IDEAS continues to offer the community a unique combination of innovative digital marketing and public relations experience. Combining both, with a focus on integration with both themselves and their clients, the company looks ahead to continue to be a culture immersed in purpose and collaboration.
This In Focus business profile is sponsored by Excelsior Growth Fund.