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PR- 103-13
March 19, 2013


Business Incubator Will Provide Work Spaces to 150 Workers, Including Freelancers, Start-Ups, Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations

Part of the City's Growing Network of Incubators to Encourage Entrepreneurship and Create Jobs in Harlem in a Variety of Sectors

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky today announced the selection of Micro Office Solutions to develop, launch, and operate the Harlem Venture Space, a new business incubator to be located on 118th Street in Harlem, between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue. The incubator, which will be part of the City’s network of co-working spaces, will serve an important role in the Bloomberg Administration’s ongoing efforts to support entrepreneurship and innovation across a variety of sectors, as well as the revitalization of 125th Street and the surrounding area. The incubator will be established in a 6,000-square-foot space, and will accommodate a total of 150 workers through daily, monthly and full-time memberships. The incubator will also provide approximately 120 open-space desks with access to reception services, conference rooms, kitchen space, a mail area, fax and copy machines and Internet connections. The spaces will be rented out to freelancers, start-ups, small businesses and non-profit organizations seeking a full-service, professional working environment. The Harlem Venture Space incubator is expected to open in the summer of 2013. The space will provide membership discounts to minority and woman-owned businesses, and will hold a business plan competition offering free memberships at the incubator.  It will also hold networking events providing members with opportunities to establish relationships with other local organizations and the surrounding community.

“We’ve worked to transform Harlem, and particularly the central 125th Street corridor, into a revitalized hub for arts, culture, entertainment and new business,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Now, with the establishment of this new business incubator, we will witness the emergence of creative companies in the area, which will further strengthen our City’s innovative economy and continue to build on Harlem’s recent historic success.”

“This new Harlem incubator represents a milestone for two of the Bloomberg Administration’s major economic development goals: supporting our city’s small business community and encouraging the rebirth of Harlem,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “Providing low-cost work space to innovative entrepreneurs will help foster new companies, build our economy and create jobs.”

“Building on our already successful network of City-sponsored incubators, Harlem Venture Space will provide affordable office space for a number of cutting-edge companies, allowing them to grow and flourish while positively impacting Harlem’s economy,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky.  “This newest incubator’s development and launch are another important step in our ongoing efforts to nurture entrepreneurship across all sectors of New York City’s economy, as well as helping smaller companies in Harlem and contributing to the neighborhood’s continued renaissance.”

“We are excited to have the opportunity to develop and operate a project that will positively impact the local small business and entrepreneurial community in the area,” said David Rotbard, Co-Founder of Micro Office.  “Harlem Venture Space will be a great facility that will help companies grow and succeed and will be part of the Harlem renaissance.”

“Artimus is excited by the opportunity to encourage local Harlem entrepreneurs to develop their businesses in a collaborative environment,” said Yoav Haron, CFO of Artimus Construction, Inc. “As a company, we have strived to develop in communities where we can have a positive impact in the quality of life of the residents and business.”

Micro Office Solutions was selected to develop and operate the incubator due to their experience in establishing a network of co-working office spaces in New York City. The company currently operates five other co-working office spaces throughout Manhattan, which offer a variety of professional options including both large and small private offices, flexible co-working and a number of other amenities including high-speed Internet access and on-site mail handling. Harlem Venture Space will join these fully-equipped work spaces as another resource for small businesses in Harlem and across the City looking for an affordable base for their growing business.

Through the City’s growing network of business incubators – which includes 10 incubators currently open across City, three more forthcoming in the next year – small businesses are provided with low-cost office space (more than 130,000 square feet to date) as well as training and networking opportunities to hundreds of start-ups and small businesses. Approximately 600 startup businesses and over 1,000 employees are currently located at the City-sponsored incubators, and companies have raised more than $100 million in venture funding. Some of these tenants have already graduated from the use of incubators, opening their doors in market-rate spaces and continuing to expand and create jobs. Harlem Venture Space joins the City’s established network of incubators, which includes:

  • 137 Varick Street, the City’s first incubator located in Manhattan
  • The Hive at 55, a co-working facility for freelancers in Lower Manhattan
  • The Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator in Hunts Point
  • General Assembly, a technology and design campus located in Flatiron in Manhattan
  • Entrepreneur Space kitchen incubator in Long Island City
  • CFDA Fashion Incubator in Manhattan’s Garment District
  • BMW iVentures, located in the West Village in Manhattan
  • NYU-Poly Incubator located in DUMBO Brooklyn
  • Chashama - NYC Artist Studio at the Brooklyn Army Terminal
  • HBK Incubates, a kitchen incubator at La Marqueta in East Harlem

As part of the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to increase entrepreneurship across the five boroughs, the City has also launched the New York City Entrepreneurial Fund, the first City-sponsored seed and early-stage investment fund located outside of Silicon Valley, which makes up to $22 million available to New York City-based technology startups. In addition, there have been a number of programs and competitions established by the Bloomberg Administration to encourage entrepreneurship in New York City, such as the NYC Next Idea competition, whose 2012 winner, TaxiTreats, turned its $17,500 prize into $1 million in seed funding, which it recently used to launch its new product, Vengo, a vending machine for bars and restaurants, and whose 2013 winner was announced last week to be KisiBox, a smartphone-managed entry security system for buildings, apartments and other spaces.

The Harlem Venture Space is the latest phase of the ongoing renaissance of the Harlem area. In February, the first details were announced of a landmark project to transform an underutilized area in the heart of Harlem into the Urban League Empowerment Center, a hub for arts, culture, retail and community use.  This project will transform a currently underutilized 42,000-square-foot swath of property, located on 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard, into the Urban League Empowerment Center.  Once complete, this center will include New York State’s first-ever civil rights museum, as well as the new national headquarters for the National Urban League, a state-of-the-art conference center, and space dedicated to housing, retail and public parking.  At nearly half a million square feet once fully developed, the Urban League Empowerment Center will be Harlem’s largest mixed-use development, and will continue to advance the reactivation of 125th Street Corridor.  These projects are key pieces of Harlem’s ongoing resurgence providing neighborhood and cultural amenities, and creating jobs and economic activity in the area.


Marc La Vorgna / Julie Wood   (212) 788-2958

Patrick Muncie (NYCEDC)   (212)312-3523


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