The network of business incubators and accelerators is booming throughout New York City. A new facility designed to house startups and support sustainable infrastructure officially opened last week in Downtown Brooklyn’s “Tech Triangle.”
Designed to offer affordable work space, training services and resources for talented entrepreneurs and schoolchildren who can provide solutions to global urban problem, Urban Future Lab was created by a partnership between the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) —which has sponsored 15 incubators in the city so far—and the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Urban Future Lab occupies 10,000 square feet of space on the 19th floor at 15 MetroTech Center. The 21-story office tower is owned by Forest City Ratner, one of the largest urban development companies in the nation.
Following the Varick Street incubator that was inaugurated in 2009 and the DUMBO incubator that opened two years ago, the Urban Future Lab marks the third collaboration between the city and NYU. This initiative was made possible with funds coming from public and private resources, including lease support from Forest City Ratner and a corporate sponsorship from National Grid through its “Connect 21” program.
“The Urban Future Lab encourages economic growth, job creation and innovation while connecting New Yorkers to the flourishing clean technology sector,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen in a prepared statement. “Cultivating the tech sector, through incubators like the Urban Future Lab, is critical to developing jobs for all New Yorkers, including students, teachers, and low-income entrepreneurs.”
Once it becomes fully operational, the new clean tech business incubator is expected to provide shared work areas for around 20 companies that can help cities and infrastructure become smarter and more sustainable. The lab will also offer 2,000 square feet of demonstration and exhibition space, combined with teaching and research rooms for 50 public school teachers annually, including NYU School of Engineering’s K-12 STEM programming and the Science of Smart Cities program for middle school students.
The Urban Future Lab in Downtown Brooklyn is expected to create more than 9,000 new jobs by 2025.
Image via Forest City Ratner