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Futureworks Incubator launches with 13 Manufacture & Scale startups

On Wednesday, May 17, we launched NYCEDC’s Futureworks Incubator with a kickoff event at A/D/O in Greenpoint. The Incubator champions and supports the growth of 45 hardware startups across NYC and builds on the success of the New York’s Next Top Makers program. From smart basketballs to underwater drones, the city’s entrepreneurs are creating a new manufacturing ecosystem, and we’re bringing them all together. Below are the 13 growth-stage startups in our Manufacture & Scale cohort. Over the next nine months, we’ll be working closely with each team to help them produce locally, recruit talent, streamline operations, tell their stories and raise capital.

Futureworks Incubator is designed and run by global innovation agency SecondMuse and Chelsea-based Imagination in Space. Get to know the companies below as well as the 32 Market Validation companies which we broke out into these two posts. Join the Futureworks community to learn about subsidized production and contract manufacturing opportunities through Futureworks Shops. Or, follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

Astrohaus is a New York City-based product-design company founded by Adam Leeb and Patrick Paul. In January 2015, they launched Freewrite, a smart typewriter with an e-ink screen, via a successful $342,000 Kickstarter campaign. In May 2016, Astrohaus shipped the typewriter to 1000 backers. Freewrite lets users write anywhere, sync their work online through the cloud, but without all the digital distractions like email and web-browsing that stop you from becoming the next Hemingway. It’s a tool for professional and aspiring writers and available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and GetFreewrite.com. Today the Detroit-born company is a five-person team that’s refining Freewrite as well as designing new products like Sprinter, a distraction-free Web app. Get to know Astrohaus and join them on Instagram and Twitter.

When Cofounder Marc Forkosh was in 6th grade, he was cut from his school’s basketball team. Crying his eyes out, he came home determined to get better. He dedicated himself to hours of watching training videos and practicing in the driveway. Like most kids, he couldn’t afford a trainer and practiced alone. By the end of high school, he was captain of the basketball team. After graduation, it dawned on Marc: he could use his smartphone camera to track performance and give live feedback like his own virtual trainer. Marc, now 20, team up with his brother Eric, a former investment partner at Dorm Room Fund to invent DribbleUp, the smart basketball that helps kids like Marc train effectively and affordably anytime, anywhere. Since launching in August 2016, DribbleUp’s sold thousands of balls around the world and is the #1 smart basketball on Amazon. Get to know DribbleUp and join them on Instagram and Twitter.

Duro UAS
Duro UAS (Unmanned Autonomous Systems) helps make cities safer by manufacturing underwater drones and components for infrastructure inspection, environmental research and more. Duro allows the government, scientists and companies to collect marine data that is cheaper, safer, faster and higher-quality than legacy methods in many circumstances, allowing for more of this critical information to be gathered and utilized than ever before. Well-connected throughout the city, Duro is currently performing a bridge inspection grant in partnership with a local college and the US Department of Transportation, and collaborates with organizations such as the Billion Oyster Project on mapping the NYC marine ecosystem, among others. Get to know Duro UAS and join them on Instagram and Twitter.


iDu Optics
Capturing photos and videos through a microscope is a basic requirement in fields like medicine, life science, education, jewelry and microelectronics. But image-acquisition systems are expensive ($5,000+) and complicated. iDu Optics’ LabCam is an iPhone clip-on adapter that lets people take high-quality microscopic pictures that are equal to, or better than, the $5,000 options. Harvard, Penn, Stanford and University of Chicago are all iDu clients, and Amazon reviewers give LabCam 4.5/5-star reviews. Founder Du Cheng is an MD-PhD student at Weill Cornell and iDu recently won the Weill Cornell Business Plan Challenge. Get to know iDu, see the LabCam in action and join them on Facebook.
Shane Eten and Ely Greenberg founded Lotik from Manhattan’s Samsung Accelerator in November 2015. Their objective was to create a wireless sensor capable of providing real estate owners a better understanding of how and where water was being used within their buildings. Lotik sensors provide real-time, point-of-use water data, and are installed on the outside of pipes. Unlike traditional flow meters, Lotik sensors can be installed in seconds and don’t require tools. When a leak occurs, Lotik lets clients know through text or email. They’re currently working with product-development firms, property owners and piloting the technology with Brooklyn Public Library. Get to know Lotik


MICRO is building a fleet of six-foot-tall science museums. Brick-and-mortar museums are clustered in well-resourced neighborhoods and entry is often expensive. Science museums, especially, are in high demand, but they’re rare. By creating a scalable museum model, MICRO brings science museums everywhere. They work with researchers, designers and storytellers to squeeze complex ideas into boxes the size of vending machines. In their first museum, the Smallest Mollusk Museum, the story of snails, octopuses and giant squids engage visitors in a 700-million-year battle to survive. MICRO’s showcased at the New Museum, NEW INC, New Lab, the Billion Oyster Project’s display house on Governors Island and the Submerge Marine Science Festival. Cofounder Amanda Schochet worked as a computational ecologist with NASA prior to starting MICRO with Charles Philipp, who spent a decade working as a media producer. Get to know MICRO and join them on Instagram and Twitter.

Olivia Knox
Olivia Knox is a manufacturing collective based in New York City and Uganda that specializes in Ankole horn. It is 100% female-owned and managed by Ugandan-American entrepreneur Olivia Byanyima and her American cofounder, Shanley Knox. Olivia Knox’s replicable model develops localized, effective industries around materials for use in global markets. The vast majority of cause­-oriented supply chains in Africa are built by NGOs and small individual brands. NGOs, while very effective in raising awareness, are not profit driven and therefore bring products to market at less than market value. Olivia Knox believes that creative industries in Africa can only be scaled through profitable businesses that price quality African goods competitively alongside Western products. Olivia Knox works with Selima Optique, The Line, Dannijo, Bloomingdale’s, Bird and Cage and Oscar De La Renta, among others. Their mission is to build out their manufacturing supply chain here in NYC. Get to know Olivia Knox and join them on Instagram.

Pensa Labs

Pensa Labs is the brainchild of Pensa, the Brooklyn-based design firm with a track record of developing successful products, brands and strategies. Pensa firmly believes that the world can be continuously improved through understanding people and providing them with great design and a bit of clever invention. Pensa Labs’ D.I.Wire allows for mass customization or short-run production of wire forms. Currently, forming wire for medical or industrial applications is either time consuming, expensive or requires high minimum-order quantities. Get to know Pensa Labs and join them on Instagram and Twitter.

PlayDate is building out technology for pets and their owners. PlayDate’s first product is a camera-enabled ball that lets pet owners interact with their dog or cat from anywhere in the world using their mobile app. They’ve raised more than $800,000 on Indiegogo and are the highest-grossing pet technology campaign to date on any platform. PlayDate is a graduate of the Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator. Get to know PlayDate and join them on Facebook.


Poursteady brings speed, precision, and reliability to high-end commercial coffee retailers (and better coffee to discerning customers) by combining precision motion-control, elegant design and beautiful fabrication. The idea for Poursteady was born when two of the founders watched a busy barista attempt to make three pour-over coffees at once in a busy coffee shop in California. At the 2013 Maker Faire in NYC, Poursteady debuted the first prototype and made more than 800 cups of coffee. Since then, they’ve sold more 70 systems to coffee shops and offices everywhere that have in turn made hundreds of thousands of cups of coffee. Clients include Whole Foods, Cafe Grumpy and others. Poursteady is an NYCEDC Next Top Makers alumnus and Futureworks NYC Growth Initiative Grant awardee. Get to know Poursteady and join them on Instagram and Twitter.


StrongArm is defining the field of Industrial BioTelemetrics – the science of human data collection and analytics to inform the development and delivery of precise interventions to improve safety, efficiency and productivity. In the unpredictable world of workplace injuries, StrongArm innovates with data science and smart algorithms to bring accurate safety insights and a peace of mind to the manual worker – who they call Industrial Athletes. StrongArm’s FUSE IIoT Platform assesses, diagnoses and predicts injuries before they happen, and the FLx and V22 ErgoSkeletons protect workers by improving lifting ergonomics and reducing lower back injury risk factors. Founder Sean Petterson launched StrongArm based on his experience with family members working strenuous blue collar jobs, and recognizing that the manufacturing worker rarely receives the training and support they need to ensure proper lifting mechanics. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee, and StrongArm is a Next Top Makers alumnus. Get to know StrongArm and join them on Twitter and Instagram.


Thimble is a subscription service that delivers DIY electronics kits to your door every month. Along with the kits, Thimble provides guidance, increasingly challenging projects and continuing education. Without helpful guidance and rewarding progression, users become disengaged with projects and end up not learning the material needed to get better and better. Founders Oscar Pedroso and David Brenner met while teaching electronics at a makerspace. Thimble is a Next Top Makers alumnus and raised $300,000 on Kickstarter. Get to know Thimble and join them on Twitter and Instagram.

Voltaic Systems
Voltaic Systems is a Brooklyn-based solar company focused on small-scale charging solutions. The company was founded when it launched the original solar backpack, a new concept at the time which has since spawned a competitive new market. Their products are used for mobile charging by adventurers, aid organizations, and travelers of all types. Voltaic has also expanded its line to include solar panels and batteries for standalone use, particularly for IOT and industrial applications. More recently they designed and launched a line of solar lights, with a view to providing better solutions for developing countries and emergency situations. Founder Shayne McQuade is an Australian-born entrepreneur. Having worked in Tokyo, London and Melbourne, he settled in New York after coming for an MBA at Columbia University. Through Voltaic he continues to develop opportunities to leverage solar energy to promote social and environmental benefits. Get to know Voltaic Systems and join them on Instagram and Twitter.

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Futureworks Incubator launches with 32 Market Validation startups (Here’s 1-16)

On Wednesday, May 17, we launched NYCEDC’s Futureworks Incubator with a kickoff event at A/D/O in Greenpoint. The Incubator champions and supports the growth of hardware startups across NYC and builds on the success of the New York’s Next Top Makers program. Below are 16 of the startups in our Market Validation cohort. From ELIA Life, creating a new language for the blind, to Bonbouton’s smart shoe sensors, these companies are tackling internationally relevant problems through NYC manufacturing innovation. Over the next nine months, we’ll be working closely with each team to help them produce locally, recruit talent, streamline operations, tell their stories and set them up to raise capital.

Futureworks Incubator is designed and run by global innovation agency SecondMuse and Chelsea-based Imagination in Space. Get to know the companies below as well as the 13 Manufacture & Scale companies and the additional 16 Market Validation startups. Join the Futureworks community to learn about subsidized production and contract manufacturing opportunities through Futureworks Shops. Or, follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

Bonbouton creates cutting-edge sensor technology embedded into smart wearables to improve health care. Their proprietary graphene sensors passively monitor the skin’s physiological signals to predict injury, detect infection and monitor muscular activity. They are currently developing detective sneakers to prevent the development of ulcers in diabetic patients. Bonbouton is the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant, are an NYCEDC Next Top Makers alumnus, a 1776 Health Fellow and an NYCEDC Digital Health Breakthrough Network awardee. Get to know Bonbouton and join them on Twitter.


Dagmy Motors
Dagmy Motors is an advanced energy and transportation company creating price-competitive clean energy and transportation solutions. Dagmy Motors is working to make high-powered electric vehicles more affordable. Their main focus? The prohibitively expensive battery packs and battery technology. Dagmy is developing the highest-energy density, but lowest-cost battery pack on the market today. The Dagmy battery pack achieves a 70% increase in energy density at half the price of the Tesla Motors’ battery pack. Get to know Dagmy Motors and join them on Twitter.


Danielle Trofe Design
Danielle Trofe Design is a Brooklyn-based design studio that promotes a function-forward, sustainable and socially responsible approach to furniture and lighting design. Danielle aims to encourage a departure from conventional materials and production techniques in search of long-term, sustainable solutions. At the intersection of science, technology and design, Danielle Trofe Design’s worked with BMW, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and US Botanic Garden in DC. Her MushLume Lighting Collection is made of mushroom mycelium. Get to know Danielle Trofe and join her on Instagram and Twitter.


99% of people who have a visual impairment cannot read Braille. Without literacy, they suffer higher unemployment rates, high school dropout rates, and lower levels of independence than Braille readers. ELIA developed a new foundation for a modern reading system and is integrating the language into mainstream visual-impairment culture. ELIA is bringing greater opportunities in education, employment, literacy and independence to the blind. They work with NEW INC, The Good Work Institute, Columbia Teachers College Center for Technology Change in Schools, the SUNY College of Optometry, Lighthouse Guild International and VISIONS Services for the Blind. Get to know ELIA Life.


Fit A.I.
Fit A.I is a sports-tech hardware company that empowers sports coaches and athletes to quantify strength training data. By creating a data-driven frontier, Fit A.I. can minimize fatigue and optimize athletic performance in a simple, scalable and inexpensive way. The startup was founded to fundamentally improve how physical wellness is measured and attained. A data-driven approach to training and fitness helped Cofounder Tim Nugmanov shed 20 pounds and transform his athletic career. Based on more than a hundred industry interviews, the team found a laser-focus in helping collegiate athletics quantify, analyze, optimize strength training to reach peak sports performance. Currently, collegiate coaches and athletes spend hours on collecting mostly unreliable and antiquated strength training data. This approach works decently for individuals but rapidly breaks at scale. Get to know Fit A.I. and join them on Twitter.


One morning a few years back, one of our founders went to water his Brooklyn apartment’s vegetable garden only to find it had been destroyed by bugs overnight. Like most people, he felt a bit defeated and started thinking how to better design next year’s garden. Unlike most people however, he decided to quit his job and spend the next couple of years designing a solution. What GrowSquares quickly realized was something most urban gardeners have known for decades: growing vegetables inside a city is tough. Buildings can create irregular and inconsistent shadows, scattered parks limit natural pollinators and crowded spaces often results in dirty air. Our platform lets even first time urban gardeners grow beautiful herbs, fruits & vegetables with ease. The team works with the Healthy Materials Lab to help develop their product and the Queens County Farm to test them. Get to know GrowSquares.


Hoplite Power
Hoplite’s story started at a bar in NYC’s East Village when Cofounders Leo Tawilian and Jordan Mayerson were hanging out. Then the familiar happened: Leo’s phone died. He asked the bartender if he could charge it, and the bartender politely direct him to a charging locker. When Leo realized that the charging station required him to lock away his phone in a crowded bar, he hesitated. Then the idea came to them: If bike sharing and car sharing are possible, then why couldn’t they build a network for power sharing? Hoplite provides fully charged portable batteries that can be taken from location to location, and hubs that are designed to fit seamlessly into any aesthetic environment. Hoplite was launched in January 2017. Within a few months, they’ve expanded their network to cover much of the Greenwich Village area, the LES, as well as parts of Brooklyn. With hundreds of uses and great feedback, they are on track to reach our vision of a full power sharing network in the near future. All of their development and assembly is done inhouse at NYDesigns in Long Island City. Get to know Hoplite Power and join them on Instagram and Twitter.


Innovative Neurons
Innovative Neurons is commercializing the patented Auto-Retractable Multi-Needle Syringe called “FAST” (Fast, Accessible, Safe, Technology). FAST will drastically decrease the 400,000+ Needle Stick Incidents (NSI) per year in the USA that endanger clinician’s lives; they also plan to aggressively reduce the time-intensive cost to inject patients with multiple injections. The cost savings from reducing NSI by 29% is around $100 Million per year. The world market of safety syringes will reach $6.7 billion by 2019. Get to know Innovative Neurons.


Move38, an MIT Media Lab spinoff, seeks to delight hands, challenge minds and inspire curiosity. They believe people learn best when at play, and that our play shapes who we are. Move38 is making table games smart, and making smart games social. They’re creating a new kind of tabletop game, with components that think for themselves, talk to each other, and come alive under your fingertips. Get to know Move38 and join them on Twitter.


QuiO is a connected therapeutics company that improves clinical trials and disease management through remote monitoring of home injections. They provide smart injection devices and connected software for monitoring, engaging and supporting patients taking injectable therapies. QuiO’s devices make self-injection easy and reliable for patients while passively recording each dosing event. Data is then wirelessly sent to their cloud-based ConnectedRx platform without requiring patient input, a smartphone or syncing. The dose-level data can be securely shared through the platform with loved ones, care teams and customers including health insurers and pharmaceutical companies. QuiO is an NYCEDC Digital Health Breakthrough Network awardee. Get to know QuiO and join them on Twitter.


RaceYa is on a mission to help kids fail. They use fast, customizable, radio-controlled cars to teach kids about power of iteration, experimentation and persistence.  Starting with a raceable science kit and expanding out into an immersive universe of customization, STEM education and collaboration, RaceYa is building a community of fearless kids. Get to know
RaceYa and join them on Instagram and Twitter.


Will Chatham is a professional drone pilot who was asked to film a large stadium event but couldn’t get approval to fly a drone indoors over people. He realized that blimps were a great solution but there was nothing available with today’s most advanced capabilities. Sharing his problem with the other two founders, they realized that there was a huge opportunity for a smart blimp, and they started experimenting with blimp technology. Stadiums, arenas and other large crowd events are missing out on the drone revolution. Spacial brings the best drone technology safely over crowds in stadiums, arenas and other large crowd events. Get to know Spacial and join them on Instagram and Twitter.


Teleobjects is a brand introducing a new generation of everyday connected products. They prototyped with funding from Verizon Connected Futures program, validated alongside the NYC Media Lab’s Combine program and is a member at NEW INC. Get to know Teleobjects.


Urban Leaf
Urban Leaf believes that the future of food is fresh, local and personal. They make growing food at home fun, easy and accessible through hydroponic products. They have close relationships with a number of the commercial players in the New York AgTech scene, including Blue Planet, Farm.One, Edenworks, Cloud Farms and Square Roots. Get to know Urban Leaf and join them on Instagram and Twitter.


Wearable Media
Wearable Media is a creative e-textile service platform providing e-textile technologies for high-tech fashion products development. Their core team consists of three women from the tech and fashion industry: Yuchen Zhang, Jingwen Zhu and Hellyn Teng. Graduates of the Parsons Design and Technology Program and NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program, they focus on developing e-textile technologies, and high tech fashion designs. Recent projects have been showcased in Paris Fashion Week, SXSW, NYU Climate Action Conference and Creative Technology Week NYC. Wearable Media products are user-friendly and require minimal knowledge in electronic engineering and coding. Get to know Wearable Media and join them on Instagram.


WearWorks delivers products and experiences that communicate information through touch. Their first product is called Wayband, a wearable haptic navigation device for the blind and visually impaired. WearWorks specializes in haptics that provide information in an intuitive, non-obtrusive way. They are NYCEDC Next Top Makers and Urban-X accelerator alumni. Get to know WearWorks.

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Futureworks Incubator launches with 32 Market Validation startups (Here’s 17-32)

On Wednesday, May 17, we launched NYCEDC’s Futureworks Incubator with a kickoff event at A/D/O in Greenpoint. The Incubator champions and supports the growth of hardware startups across NYC and builds on the success of the New York’s Next Top Makers program. Below are 16 of the 32 startups in our Market Validation cohort. From Active Hands’ assistive rehabilitation equipment to Secco’s insta-cleaning technology, NYC-based companies are focused on improving quality of life. Over the next nine months, we’ll be working closely with each team to help them produce locally, recruit talent, streamline operations, tell their stories and set them up to raise capital.

Futureworks Incubator is designed and run by global innovation agency SecondMuse and Chelsea-based Imagination in Space. Get to know the companies below as well as the 13 Manufacture & Scale startups and the additional 16 Market Validation companies. Join the Futureworks community to learn about subsidized production and contract manufacturing opportunities through Futureworks Shops. Or, follow along on Instagram and Twitter.


Active Hands
Therapists currently have no means of qualitatively monitoring home-based therapy. Active Hands’ device uses RFID technology to identify functional task-specific objects and monitors how they are used. They recently won the Kaylie Hardware Prize, and $50,000 from Zahn Innovation Center. Active Hands’ initial product development was sponsored by clinician/researcher Dr. Kathleen Friel at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains. Their products help people with disabilities make better use of their hands and arms through gripping aids and assistive technology. Get to know Active Hands and join them on Facebook.

Allied Microbiota
Allied Microbiota is an environmental biotechnology company that develops and commercializes sustainable and energy-efficient products to remove toxic organic pollutants from the environment and industrial waste streams. A spin-off of Columbia Technology Ventures, Allied Microbiota cleans up toxic pollutants in soil, sediments and groundwater using microbes. Get to know Allied Microbiota.


After having his bike stolen for the third time, Founder and CEO Shabazz Stuart leveraged his experience in the public policy and public space realm to design a concept for smart, elegant, modular, secure bike parking. The kiosk is designed to scale and will be operated as a network with placemaking in mind. Eventually the kiosk will be able to provide space for other uses such as concessionaires and vendors. Shabazz Stuart worked at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership for three-and-a-half years under the leadership of President Tucker Reed. Get to know CUBIC.


Design Innovation 360
Design Innovation 360 was born when forensic photographer and Founder Chris Landano got tangled in debris during a building collapse rescue. His Trakbelt360 tool belt lets users slide and release tool pockets and holsters as needed. It also creates equal weight distribution for safer work. Get to know Design Innovation 360.


eKick Technologies
Proud to be established in Harlem, Ekick Technologies was founded by City College of New York students with a desire to make things that move with you. Their Torpedo Lights allow skateboarders to be seen at night on and off the road as well as to see rocks and potholes ahead of them. Get to know eKick and join them on Instagram.


The story of Emrals begins in the spring of 2014 when Sean Auriti and Alan Minor were chatting at Alpha One Labs and came up with the idea for a smart trash can. Sean went on to build and showcase his invention, the eCan, at several hackathons across NYC and at the Big Apps competition at which Emrals received accolades for its mission to help reduce litter through civic engagement. The first six prototypes of the eCan were sold to a university, a Business Improvement District, and a commercial space. Get to know Emrals and join them on Twitter.


KPLUSC’s compost bin removes food waste and turns it into pure organic fertilizer that sustains and renews the earth. And, they’re trying to do it in a way that’s 50 times faster than the traditional way of composting. Their design looks great and fits seamlessly into every kitchen. Get to know KPLUSC and join them on Instagram.


After winning a Google Hackathon in Buenos Aires with an app that recognized grocery items, INVIP realized the idea could be useful for people who suffer from vision loss. They started collaborating with Edson Tapia, who is blind, to figure out how they could improve his daily life with technology. INVIP uses Amazon Alexa and Raspberry Pi to create a novel, mobile assistive technology that works like a personal assistant for the blind with simple questions like “What’s in front of me?” INVIP has been awarded several prizes from New York University (InnoVention, Summer Launchpad, I-Corps, Prototyping Fund) and is dedicated to make new technologies affordable and accessible to everyone. They’re working with NYU and the New York Public Library – Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. Get to know INVIP.


Trying to quickly grab that precious photo of your smiling three-month-old? FaceTiming with Grandma but can’t get the little guy to focus? Getting a baby to actually look at the camera can seem impossible. Inevitably, parents are forced into a desperate and humiliating game of clapping, yelling, jumping, waving, and funny-face making. Enter Lookalu, the easiest way to capture your baby’s beautiful moments. They’ve created a clip for smartphones with a cast of plush-toy characters that bring their products to life. Lookalu is a smartphone accessory that instantly grabs and holds your baby’s attention for that perfect shot. Simply clip your Lookalu to any device, rattle your device to get your baby’s attention, and take your photo or video. And when your little one wants to play with one of our adorable, friendly characters, simply detach the plush toy from the clip, and your baby has a new friend. Get to know Lookalu.

Delivery of better health outcomes without disrupting lives is a foundational design principle for MedicaSafe. Their product, Regi, makes complicated, high-risk outpatient therapy manageable for the most vulnerable patients. Regi will recognize bottles or blister-packs as they come prescribed (so there’s no complicated loading), direct patients to take the right medication at the right time with friendly , and sense and communicate adherence data at the single-dose level. Roughly 50% of patients do not take their medication as directed and nonadherence is responsible for up to 25% of excess hospitalizations and readmissions. Get to know MedicaSafe and join them on Twitter.

With more than 60 people dying every day in the U.S. from a prescription opioid overdose, Peris is at the forefront of combatting the opioid epidemic. We empower users through preventing medication overuse by providing them with a proper medium which regulates their medication intake. Peris produces affordable, portable, and secure pill bottles that only dispense the prescribed dosage at the prescribed time. By preventing medication overuse, we significantly reduce the risk of addiction or a deadly overdose. Peris is changing the way people take their medication. Get to know Peris and follow us on LinkedIn.


Quark uses technology to prevent crashes from happening. Through proximity sensors and crowdsourced cyclist data, they’re able to provide bikes with safer and better rides. Quark is a member of the Zahn Innovation Center Summer 2017 accelerator.


R3 Printing
After years of running a 3D printer out of their college dorm room, the partners at R3 Printing dove feet first into tackling the most pressing problem faced by 3D printer users worldwide: how to get their hardware to deliver a perfect print the first time. Based on their years of hands-on experience, R3 Printing is developing products which specifically address the hardware issues found in most on-the-market 3D Printers. Get to know R3 Printing.


Secco is developing novel hardware and technology to disrupt the way people clean clothing. Their machine dries, sanitizes and deodorizes clothing in minutes – or seconds – using much less energy, no soap and no water. The idea was prompted when Erika Ostroff was at USC and balancing a full-time job. She’d wake up in downtown at the crack of dawn, exercise somewhere en route to Yahoo’s offices in Santa Monica, work until 5 pm, drive back to school, attend night class, go home, and start from the top. She’d return home after 12+ hour days with wet, sweaty clothes in plastic bags that were provided by gyms and studios. It occurred to her that it would be so convenient if she could just dry her clothes after working out. She finished school, was relocated to work in New York, but was still facing the same predicament. Erika fortuitously connected with Arjen, and together they sought out a solution with a goal of quick-drying clothes, while sanitizing and deodorizing them in the process. The chemistry – literally and figuratively – was perfect. And it dawned on them: The process of cleaning clothes had yet to be disrupted. Get to know Secco.


SyStem is a team of individuals who are really excited about the future of urban agriculture. As climate change and sustainability become increasingly important issues, it only makes sense that food should be grown where it is intended to be eaten. Their team is working tirelessly to build automated plant growing systems which collect many points of data and use this data to track the entire growth cycle of the plant and manipulate hardware such as lights, heaters and nutrient solutions so that plants get exactly what they need when they need it. They are currently working with mentors at the Zahn Center and the New York Business Plan. Get to know SyStem.
Wax Rax
Wax Rax is vinyl record storage, re-mastered. Founded in 2013 by David Stanavich, Wax Rax boutique manufactures the world’s finest vinyl media access units and accessories. Their unique, patented products provide stylish access to a vinyl library. Designed exclusively for analog audio, the Wax Rax catalog includes carts, consoles, stands and shelving that display and access 1 to 700 records. Built with pride in New York City, Wax Rax’s furniture is constructed from anodized aluminum, brass, steel and stainless steel. Wax Rax furniture is sustainable though its high level of craft and quality of materials. Get to know Wax Rax and join them on Instagram and Twitter.

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What skills gap? How Bushwick’s Total Metal Resource built a team of 2,000 local welders

Early last Spring, Bushwick-based Total Metal Resource won a contract with Riverside Developers to make 2,000 simple steel pieces for The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg. With his four-person team already committed to other projects, Founder Scott Behr didn’t want to scour Craigslist and expand his staff with cold hires. Then he remembered that through TMR’s Metal Shop Fantasy Camp, he’d taught 900 New Yorkers basic welding and metal work. Behr reached out to the community and quickly recruited 20 temporary hires to work in four-hour shifts. Less than three weeks later, TMR delivered the job.

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StrongArm CEO Sean Petterson leads Forbes 30 Under 30: Manufacturing & Industry selections

Sean Petterson, CEO of StrongArm Technologies and a former NYCEDC Next Top Makers Fellow, was picked for this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list. The national honor recognizes StrongArm’s dedication to keeping blue-collar workers safer and Petterson’s success in building his startup. His Navy Yard-based team is 15 people strong and plans a trio of hires in the first quarter says CMO Matt Norcia.

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Going back in time with fabric designer Maddy Maxey

Maddy Maxey: Smart fabric inventor, fashion designer, creative technologist. Founder of Loomia, 2013 Thiel Fellow, Forbes 30 Under 30 winner, Autodesk Pier 9 Resident, and, since last week, Marie Claire Young Women’s Honors awardee. She’s collaborated with Google and Zac Posen, advised the White House and is starting to develop ideas with Topshop. Maddy’s everywhere, so it feels like she’s been around forever, even though the Navy Yard-based designer is only 23. We asked Maddy to pause for a minute to chat about what she’s learned from the people, and places, she’s collaborated with. Starting with a near-catastrophic encounter with a London cab:  

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Catching up with Bre Pettis on the launch of his new startup, Bre & Co.

We sat down with Bre before his Dec 6 pop up, which you can RSVP for here.

Bre Pettis says he doesn’t want to scale, and his Bre & Co. headquarters at the Navy Yard looks it. There’s no white board, no calendar, no prototypes, no boxes of takeout. A giant Persian rug and a circle of 1930s arm chairs cover the middle of the floor. Abstract and landscape art decorate the white walls and an
Electric Objects digital frame plays soothing Tumblr gifs. Exposed ceiling beams match the long wooden table lined by Meiji-style stools. But the Makerbot Replicator 2 next to the coat rack is a reminder that Pettis is an expert scaler. Read more

Touring Boyce, New York’s most innovative advanced manufacturer

Tucked away in the manufacturing hub of Long Island City is Boyce Technologies, New York City’s most dynamic company. With back-to-back rankings on the Inc 5000 list, Boyce is good as building products as it is at turning down buyout offers. Founded in 2007, Boyce is riding 905% growth over the past three years, generates $29M in yearly revenue and is #6 on Inc’s list for national manufacturers. Their success is one of the reasons Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand paid a visit during her recent Manufacturing Communities Act tour. Read more


TechCrunch on BotFactory’s $1.3 million investment round

“Their first product, the Squink, took off. They’ve already shipped 106 machines and they’re on track to ship a dozen more. The Squink is obviously a niche product – not all of us need pick-and-place machines in the office – but it’s a great start for a fascinating project. The kit uses conductive ink or solder and can place components right on a circuit board.”

Read more on TechCrunch

How BREAKFAST turned social media into an Internet of Things industry

Cate Blanchett hangs out with BREAKFAST’s Luster at an Armani event in London. Credit: BREAKFAST 

Last month we wrote about the rise of manufacturing agencies in New York City. Rather than mass-produce on the assembly line, companies like SITU Studio create custom products for specific clients. It’s part of a larger zero-inventory movement that includes 3D-printing manufacturers like Voodoo and 3D Hubs. Creative-service clients and on-demand production gives NYC entrepreneurs tremendous flexibility in how to build revenue and where to set up shop. Down the street from SITU’s Dumbo HQ, we visited another manufacturing agency: the award-winning rapid product and prototype company BREAKFAST. Read more