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PR- 026-11
January 24, 2011


20,000 Square Foot Space Will Incorporate Educational Programming, Communal Workspace and Support Services to Foster Collaborative Practices and Learning Opportunities

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and General Assembly Co-Founder Adam Pritzker today announced the opening of the new General Assembly technology and design campus in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The 20,000 square foot space, located at the intersection of Broadway and 20th Street, will offer technology-related classes for the public and provide space for entrepreneurs to build new start-up businesses in New York City. The facility features an event space with room for up to 200 guests, a 35-person classroom, a library, seminar rooms, a state-of-the-art media facility, a full kitchen, bar, lockers, mailroom, bike storage area, and two work areas for dedicated members. It is part of the Mayor's effort to support entrepreneurship and encourage start-up companies to locate and grow in New York City.

"The new General Assembly technology and design campus represents the latest in a series of partnerships between New York City and private sector entities to support and promote entrepreneurship," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It will offer a variety of courses open to the public, and a collaborative environment for start-up businesses, providing New York City's next generation of business innovators with tools they need to transform their ideas into working ventures, while creating jobs for our economy."

"General Assembly's unique focus on education will help equip New Yorkers with the tools necessary to navigate the 21st Century economy," said NYCEDC President Pinsky. "In addition to providing designers and developers with access to affordable workspace, its educational programming will help ensure that New Yorkers are able to launch new startup companies here, and train new employees with the skills required to succeed in the marketplace."

"We realized that the college setting and campus design fosters some of the best thinking, where people have the space to think, explore, learn, and also have the benefit of serendipitous encounters and we drawn on this concept of inspiration," said Adam Pritzker, co-founder, General Assembly. "In one day at General Assembly, someone can attend a class on emerging APIs, HTML5, sit in on a storytelling workshop, and join in on a social gathering of gaming industry leaders."

The new General Assembly facility provides users with three tiers of engagement. The first tier, which is open to the public, allows individuals to attend workshops and classes centered on design, technology, and entrepreneurship, as well as events and lectures hosted at the space. Programs range from building web applications and law for entrepreneurs, to a 10-week comprehensive design training program for early stage companies in partnership with LUXr, a workshop on design thinking in partnership with IDEO, and a seminar on augmented reality and computer vision. New York City Economic Development Corporation provided a $200,000 grant to help establish the programming. Courses begin on February 1, 2011.

"IDEO does a great deal of work with educational institutions and in the realm of design for learning," said Ryan Jacoby, co-location head, IDEO New York. "We really think General Assembly's notion of an urban campus focused on technology, design and entrepreneurship is compelling and unique. Our designers are excited to be working and part of that community."

The second tier provides communal members - serial entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of their next ventures, top-tier investors, designers and developers - with 24/7 access to the campus. These include: Chris Hughes (Co-founder of Facebook); Mike Yavonditte (CEO of Hashable); and David Tisch (Director of TechStars NYC); Amanda Hesser (New York Times food columnist, launched T magazine); Casey Pugh (Emmy winner, early employee at Vimeo); Chris Maguire (Co-founder of Etsy); Julian Gutman/Joe West; and Zach Klein (Co-founder, Vimeo, Svpply, Busted Tees, and College Humor).

The third tier includes New York City-based startups that will be based full-time out of the space and includes:

  • The Pandora for the fine art world. Powered by the Art Genome Project, is building a global high-end art marketplace, integrated with a personal recommendation engine using their proprietary artificial intelligence technology.
  • Fashism: A crowdsourced stylist that uses social recommendations to help you navigate your wardrobe based on your personal style.
  • Newscred: A global content distribution platform, helping content producers generate new outlets of revenue by allowing them to syndicate content via the NewsCred API and providing publishers with an alternative source of premium, multi-platform content to reduce costs.
  • VHX: A service that lets users watch videos anywhere, anytime, on- or offline. Users can save videos for later to watch on their computer, smart phone, or TV.
  • Profitably: A company building a next-gen business analytics and financial optimization software-as-a-service, with onboard tools to drive growth, optimize business operations, and manage profitability. Profitably brings together a respected tech, design and sales team, with a product that has received recent critical acclaim.
  • food52: A virtual crowdsourced cookbook and recipe sharing community, bringing together food lovers and home cooks to learn from each other and share ideas, recipes and culture. Founders include former New York Times food columnist and author Amanda Hesser.
  • Easel: A real-time tutoring for the touch generation, combining hands-on learning applications on mobile devices with on-demand instruction from real tutors and making your textbooks come to life by partnering with content publishers.
  • SeatGeek: A ticket search engine that enables users to quickly access millions of sports and concert listings, with price forecasting.

The new General Assembly facility is the latest in a series of New York City initiatives to support entrepreneurship and promote business innovation. They include engaging the academic world in a partnership to create a-state-of-the-art Applied Science campus, seen as a major opportunity to strengthen New York City's position as a global innovation leader; establishing seven business incubators across industry sectors whose tenants to-date have received over $20 million in funding and created more than 110 new jobs; creating the $22 million NYC Entrepreneurial Fund, a seed and early stage investment fund with FirstMark Capital to grow New York City-based technology startups; developing the JumpStart and FastTrac training programs to help emerging entrepreneurs start new businesses, grow their businesses, or transition to new sectors; launching the NYC Next Idea global business plan competition and the NYC BigApps Competition; and limiting the tax liability for more than 17,000 New York City-based small businesses.

General Assembly was founded by Adam Pritzker, Brad Hargreaves, Matthew Brimer, and Jake Schwartz and is supported by top organizations including IDEO, Skype, Silicon Valley Bank, Rackspace, and Wilson Sonsini.


Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Julie Wood / Libby Langsdorf (NYCEDC)   (212) 312-3523

Dena Cook (General Assembly)   (310) 600-7160


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