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VIDEO: Futureworks Incubator manufacturing discussion at Futureworks Shops A/D/O in Greenpoint

June 8, 2017

NYCEDC Futureworks Incubator Manufacturing Discussion at A/D/O from SecondMuse on Vimeo.

Futureworks Incubator supports and champions the growth of 45 startups, and we’ll welcome another 30 entrepreneurs later this summer. We’re passionate about sharing all the resources we create and capture with the wider community. As part of that mission, we’ve shared the panel discussion from the Futureworks Incubator launch at Futureworks Shop A/D/O. Listen as RockPaperRobot, Thimble, WearWorks, StrongArm, Dog Parker and BotFactory share their experiences and most valuable lessons from starting a manufacturing company in New York City. All of our panelists are alumni of New York’s Next Top Makers, the predecessor of Futureworks Incubator. Also, learn more about Futureworks Shops and join us on Twitter and Instagram.

From far left: Jessica Banks of RockPaperRobot, David Brenner of Thimble, Keith Kirkland of WearWorks, Mike Kim of StrongArm, Todd Schechter and Alex Tosti of Dog Parker, Nico Vansnick of BotFactory and Katey Metzroth of SecondMuse.

Earlier in the evening, NYCEDC Director of Smart & Sustainable Cities Lara Croushore welcomed 150 guests to A/D/O.

SecondMuse Director of Cities Katey Metzroth breaks down the pool of Futureworks Incubator applicants.

DribbleUp Founders Eric and Marc Forkosh explain the smart basketball technology to Jeff Crystal and Julia Connors of Voltaic Systems.

Pensa Founder Marco Perry chats with Travis Collins and Kirsten Taggert of Forbes.

Each Futureworks Incubator startup received a 100-page Program Guide filled with resources and contacts across New York City’s advanced manufacturing sector.

Wearable Media Founder Yuchen Zhang.

WearWorks Founder Kevin Yoo and Teleobjects Founder Victor Vina.

A Futureworks Incubator cohort breaks out for an independent intro and discovery session.

Autodesk’s Alex Romero and VR specialist Edwin Rogers.

Refreshments courtesy of Bronx Beer Hall.

SecondMuse’s Elyssa Dole and A/D/O’s Ben Scheim.


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Futureworks Incubator launches with 13 Manufacture & Scale startups

May 24, 2017

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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The growing ecosystem of Futureworks Incubator partners

April 18, 2017

Building a successful hardware or advanced manufacturing company is hard. But so are most worthwhile endeavors. Like, say, perfecting homemade bread. Just ask Dan Barber, the award-winning Blue Hill founder who shares how an early, doughy, failure inspired him to perfect his craft. Even more compelling is Barber’s attention to cultivating a holistic ecosystem. To make the Blue Hill Farm hay better, he introduced cows; to spread fertilizer, he introduced chickens; to trim the encroaching forest, he introduced goats. And to build a farm-to-table-movement, he used this ecosystem to build an all-natural, sustainable farm to go along with his Greenwich Village and Tarrytown restaurants.

For Futureworks Incubator, we’ve been building an ecosystem that will support thoroughbreds. You hear a lot about unicorns, but in reality, unicorns are as frequent in the business world as they are in the real one. Startups tell us what they really need is a well-rounded support system to help them work, create, refine, raise capital, build teams, test products, manufacture and repeat.  We take a look at a baker’s half-dozen of the Futureworks Incubator partners who will help hardware startups rise over the next 12 months. This is just the beginning.

Alley is an entrepreneurial hub where teams and individuals grow their businesses surrounded by like-minded people and a supportive environment. Journalists, app developers, lawyers, fashion designers, venture capitalists and open innovation labs come together to form a community of hustlers. Alongside private offices and communal desk space, Alley curates frequent events (like a recent convo with Twitch.com Founder Justin Kan), offers strategic office hours and recently launched their Resilience series podcast.

In addition to Alley’s hubs in Chelsea and Midtown, they host the AB InBev Techstars Connection accelerator and are building a VR playground with Verizon. Learn more about Alley, and join them on Instagram and Twitter. Alley Chelsea is Futureworks Incubators’ HQ and we’ll be hosting office hours and happy hours here throughout the program.


Hester Street Fair

Founded in 2010 by three Lower East Side locals, Hester Street Fair set the standard for what a market is. Transcending the notion and meaning of a typical “food court” or “flea,” they’ve become a one-of-a-kind curious, cultural and community gathering, drawing from the diversity of the neighborhood and New York City at large. Their mission is to empower pursuits of passion, and Hester Street Fair has been the starting point for hundreds of such pursuits.

Open every Saturday through October 28 from 11am-6pm at Seward Park (intersection of Hester and Essex), you can see the full calendar of market themes and special events here. Check out videos of past events and join Hester on Instagram and Twitter. Hester is teaming up with Futureworks to help startups and entrepreneurs showcase their consumer goods in front of thousands of guests per day.


Infinia Group
Infinia Group is a brand strategy and design firm based in NoMad. They combine experience and empathy with flexibility and agility to create high-impact, bespoke brand-based solutions for clients ranging from Fortune 500 to pre-seed startups, and across industries from nonprofit to healthcare to professional services. Infinia works with senior leaders and founders who are committed to growing faster and smarter – clients with the ambition to build their businesses through inspired design and memorable experiences critical to successfully competing in today’s connected world.

In addition to being Agency of Record for Futureworks NYC, Infinia is currently working with wide-ranging clients including HackensackUMC, Westfield Insurance, The Theatre Development Fund, Cerimani and Wellforce. Join Infinia on Twitter.

Kickstarter helps designers, technologists, filmmakers, musicians, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. To date, more than 120,000 creative projects – big and small – have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community. For the remainder of 2017, Kickstarter’s Design and Technology outreach team are focusing their efforts on supporting creators across three distinct categories; Creative Tools, Delightful Design, and Boundary Pushers. You can learn more about this open call for projects, here. To discover the latest projects, ideas, and opportunities in tech and design, sign up for Kickstarter’s Invent newsletter and join them on Twitter.

Kickstarter is working with mid-stage Futureworks Incubator startups to strategize, refine and launch crowdfunding campaigns. They’re also ushering product startups through the design-for-manufacturing process to streamline the post-raise experience. 


Prime Produce

Prime Produce is a guild for slow entrepreneurship being constructed in Hell’s Kitchen. They support an economics of nourishment and a life of hospitality from their hundred-year-old autobody shop in the city and from a farmhouse in Brewster, NY. Join Prime Produce on Twitter and Facebook.

Prime Produce is supporting Futureworks Incubator entrepreneurs by providing a place to convene, critical thinking, a supportive community and workspace.

The Bronx Beer Hall
Nestled in the heart of the Arthur Avenue market, The Bronx Beer Hall offers a full lineup of New York State craft beer as well as a menu from their neighbors. Brothers Anthony and Paul Ramirez also run Mainland Media, a startup that’s helping propel the uptown borough’s brand. Stop by or join The Bronx Beer Hall on Instagram and Twitter.

The Bronx Beer Hall is Futureworks Incubators’ food and beverage partner with a big side of #goodvibes.


Tomorrow Lab

Tomorrow Lab is a hardware innovation studio based in Chinatown. They believe that new hardware products are complex, wonderful beasts. Tomorrow Lab tames these forces and resolve the complexities of emerging technologies, user needs, business cases, and consumer insights by combining the disciplines of brand Strategy, product Design, and engineering. Their processes align creative, R&D, marketing and development efforts. Tomorrow Lab calls this Holistic Innovation. Check out their projects and clients in the 2016 Year in Review.

Founded in 2010 by partners Ted Ullrich and Pepin Gelardi, the six-person team is busy working on a number of products for both new and returning clients. These projects range in size and scope depending on whether our clients are new startups, in a hardware accelerator, or a well-founded, cross-functional team inside a global brand. Tomorrow Lab strives to make new and innovative products for small-scale or mass manufacturing.

Some of these are smart home products, others are within the charging solutions landscape, and others still are toys to teach STEM. This summer, they’ll be teaching a course in New York City alongside their colleagues at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) called “Hardware Innovation: Hacking Connected Devices.” You can learn more about that here. Join Tomorrow Lab on Instagram and Twitter. Tomorrow Lab is mentoring Futureworks Incubator companies on prototyping, designing for manufacturing and hosting consulting sessions for startups. 


Futureworks Incubator Mentors from Adam Winski to Zach Dunham

April 10, 2017

Now that applications for Futureworks Incubator are closed, we get to welcome our community of Mentors. From designing for manufacturing to marketing and storytelling to financial modeling, our Mentors will help companies grow here in NYC. Last night, we got together at Alley NYC in Chelsea to strategize how to make the program incredible. A big thanks to Alley and to our partners The Bronx Beer Hall.

Adam Winski
Growth Strategy and Innovation Advisor

Adam is an entrepreneur and advisor who helps award-winning startups and iconic brands like Nike and AT&T create, commercialize and scale products and services. Join Adam on Twitter.

Aleef Mahmud
Aleef is an award-winning leader with a successful history of driving innovation through Lean Six Sigma and Agile Development. He’s led product development in VR, IoT, robotics, medical devices, SaaS, mobile apps, wearables, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles. Aleef is also the recipient of the Maritime Heroes Award from US Sailing. Learn more about Protyo and join Aleef on Twitter

Alex Tosti
blink blink
Alex is COO and cofounder of blink blink, a company that develops creative circuit kits for kids. Alex has a BFA in philosophy from Santa Clara University and a MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons. She has a background in branding, marketing, and production consulting and is currently a freelance web designer and product strategist. Alex was a Fellow in last year’s New York’s Next Top Makers cohort. Learn more about Alex and join her on Twitter.

Babak Kia
Boston University
Babak Kia is a senior lecturer at Boston University’s College of Engineering. He is a product-design and strategy advisor to high-impact technology companies across the country. Learn more about Babak Kia and join him on Twitter.

Bart Clareman
Clareman & Co., Tiggly
Bart is the founder of Clareman & Co., a management consulting company that works with IoT clients and media companies with a focus on consumer retail. Previously, Bart was cofounder and COO of Tiggly, where he was responsible for retail sales, marketing and biz dev. Tiggly is in more than 2000 retail stores, including Apple Retail, Target, Toys R Us, and Best Buy. Bart contributes at AlleyWatch and volunteers at Venture for America. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in history from Williams College. Prior to earning his MBA, Bart worked in the Executive Office Client Service Group at Goldman Sachs. Learn more about Clareman & Co and join Bart on Twitter.

Brynna Tucker
Brooklyn Public Library
Brynna Tucker joined the Brooklyn Public Library as the BKLYN Incubator Manager in August 2016. Before BPL, Brynna built The Refinery incubator at Pratt Institute’s Center for Career and Professional Development. She is a founding member and serves on the Leadership Council of the NYC Innovation Collective which works to shape and strengthen the innovation ecosystem through increased collaboration, transparency and access in the new economy. Learn more about the BKLN Incubator and join Brynna on Twitter.

Casey Rieder
Coalition for Queens
This is Casey Rieder’s second stint in New York City. He left the city in 2006, after deciding that a PhD in Ethnomusicology did not offer much of a career trajectory. Returning to his hometown of Philadelphia, he co-founded a pharmaceutical data management consultancy. After a few years, his partner and he sold their software and closed their doors. Casey proceeded to work in operational, financial, and managerial roles at several clean energy startups. Eventually, he returned to New York to pursue opportunities as a financial and management consultant cleantech and healthcare startups. Somewhere along the way, Casey earned an MBA and taught himself software development. These days, he spends his days creating a hardware program at the Coalition for Queens. Casey is an avid runner, a novice furniture designer, and an aspiring roboticist. Learn more about Coalition for Queens and join Casey on Twitter.

Charles M. Doomany
Darwin Launch Lab
Charles is an inventor and independent product developer. He is an expert in prototyping and making things work. He holds an MA and MSc from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London in Innovation Design Engineering as well as a BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University. Learn more about Darwin Launch Lab and join Charles on Instagram.


Chris Chavez
prime produce
Chris creates collaboratories. He is the cofounder of prime produce, a guild for 21st-century craft in Hell’s Kitchen promoting a decelerator model for entrepreneurship. He also leads expansion for House of Genius, a global neighborhood of entrepreneurs who want to make neighborhoods as resourceful as the world and the world feel as intimate as a neighborhood. House of Genius has locations in cities including New York, Tel Aviv, Sao Paolo, London, and Bangalore. His best learning comes through you. Learn more about prime produce and join Chris on Twitter.

Chris Gorges
Infinia Group
Chris is Managing Director of Infinia Ventures, part of Infinia Group, where he focuses on brand strategy and design for early-stage ventures. Equally comfortable with ideation, analytics, research and content, he was previously with Havas Worldwide New York, orchestrating multichannel digital and brand strategy for IBM clients, including the Watson team. As a freelance consultant, he has collaborated with senior leaders of Droga5, CHI&Partners, Firstborn and Clear M&C Saatchi. He spent five years in management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton and IBM Global Business Services in the Washington, DC, area. Chris holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BSBA in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. Learn more about Infinia Group and join Chris on Twitter.

Christina Yugai
New York Public Radio
Christina Yugai is the partnerships and fundraising manager for New York Public Radio, where she is helping define public radio in the digital era. Specifically, she is tasked with fundraising for internal innovation and startup in the digital audio space. Prior to joining New York Public Radio, she was the head of programming at FilmBuff, a digital-first film distribution company. Christina is currently obsessed figuring out how to engage young audiences in civic media and looks forward to nurturing startups in this space. She holds an M.B.A. from New York University and B.A. from George Washington University. Learn more about New York Public Radio and join Christina on Twitter.

Daniel Gross
Myers Wolin
Daniel Gross is an intellectual property attorney at Myers Wolin. He brings experience from his work as in-house counsel at a financial technology company, where he built and maintained patent and trademark portfolios. He has also worked independently with clients to develop patent and trademark strategies for diverse technologies. Daniel’s research experience as WIPO Senior Fellow for Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy, as well as his participation as a finalist in the International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference Design Competition, give him a unique perspective on the technical aspects of invention and innovation. Learn more about Myers Wolin.

Davar Ardalan
Davar Ardalan is an NPR News veteran and current director of storytelling & engagement at the open innovation agency SecondMuse. At SecondMuse, she is leading storytelling strategy campaigns for partners such as NASA, Nike Inc., USAID, The Australian Aid program, and The World Bank. The campaigns have centered around food security, ocean health, materials innovation, and big data. She’s been at the forefront of experimenting with new storytelling tools and techniques including 360 capture, VR, and drone storytelling. Most recently at SecondMuse, she lead a Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Development Hackathon in Australia and a global call-out for VR/AR immersive storytelling content to drive healthy food and nutrition outcomes. Learn more about SecondMuse and join Davar on Twitter.

Digant Dave
UnCommon Consulting
Digant is a product-design professional, experienced in taking products from concept to market using a data-driven and customer-centric approach at companies ranging from growth startups like Elemental Path and MakerBot to Fortune 500 clients like Stryker and IBM. Learn more about UnCommon Consulting and join Digant on Twitter.

Elli Papadopoulos
Skopos Collective
Elli works with entrepreneurs to design their business’s financial systems so it informs business strategy and engages third-party funders. She has helped implement project plans and connect business owners to more than $20 million in capital. After seven years working with the Grow America Fund, a nationwide Community Lender, and having to reject dozens of applications for funding, she set out on a mission to work on the other side of the equation with business owners. With Skopos Collective, Elli helps business owners organize their financials, use business intelligence to devise strategies for growth and apply for the right kind of funding. When she’s not helping small businesses thrive, you can find her traveling, at a live music show or snapping photos. Elli serves on the Board of ACCION East, and fosters dogs in need of homes with In Our Hands Rescue. Elli earned her B.S. in Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Skopos Collective and join Elli on Twitter.

Ekin Binal
Sonavox, HAX, SOSV, First NYC
With an extensive experience in R&D and technical management, product development, and generating new revenue streams, Ekin is one of the pioneers in bringing ‘smarts‘ into the HiFi world. He has helped countless audio brands tool up to stay relevant in the Sonos age. As President of BICOM and VP of Business Development for Sonavox he focuses on integrating cutting edge IOT capabilities into the old-school audio world. Ekin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Fordham University. All this being said, he still thinks one of his top accomplishments is entering the Guinness book of world records for a non-stop movie watching event sponsored by Netflix. Learn more about Sonavox, HAX and SOSV.


Erica Dorn
Good Work Institute
Erica Dorn is Managing Director at The Good Work Institute, started by Etsy, where she choreographs experiential and participatory business leadership programs. Erica champions the notion of ‘deep scale’ in business – she believes we can all contribute to building inclusive and compassionate economies through appropriately-scaled, collaborative enterprises. Learn more about Good Work Institute and join Erica on Twitter.

Erum Azeez
Erum works on innovation strategy for messagingLab, a consulting firm for the life sciences. She has a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry & Toxicology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. For five years, she worked on drug development at GSK before moving to Johnson & Johnson. Erum left the lab in 2010 to work as Fellows Program Director for INK (formerly TEDIndia), where she curated the talks of 25 fellows. She then worked with Mindvalley to develop a technology ecosystems and produce the Singularity University Global Impact Competition. Later, she joined the founding team of Carbon Continuum, a sustainable nanomaterial manufacturing company which she now advises. Besides her work at messagingLab, Erum is on the founding team at Memory Lane, a reminiscence therapy software on Amazon’s Alexa. She is also an advisor to the Emerging Leaders of Energy & Environmental Policy and Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority at NYU. Learn more about messagingLab and join Erum on Twitter.

Ethan Meyer
Bristol Palmer
Ethan is an entrepreneur building the next-generation outsourcing service provider and focusing on high-growth companies. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, then jumped to mortgages in the secondary market, building out a trading platform for Quicken Loans. He’s obsessed with finding a better way and process optimization is his passion. Ethan believes the companies we build today will shape the world for those who will come after us, and loves being able to have a small part in structuring that future. Learn more about Bristol Palmer and join Ethan on Twitter.

Greg Castro
Varick North
Greg Castro is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in strategy, sales, and marketing. As the CEO & cofounder of Varick North, a full-service marketing firm for high-growth companies, he understands what it takes to build scalable companies. Varick North is the marketing arm of Interplay Ventures and services a diverse range of clients, from startups to Fortune 500s. Learn more about Varick North and join Greg on Twitter.

Jamie Dwyer
Electric Wonder
Jamie Dwyer is a creative director, artist and brand consultant with a deep focus on design and innovation. He speaks and consults on trends in emerging technology, brand storytelling, strategy and design. After 11 years as Senior Creative/Digital Director with Zandl Group, an NYC-based trends & insights agency, he founded Electric Wonder in 2012, a creative outfit specializing in art direction, trends in experience & innovation, and brand strategy across advertising, business, art and tech. He holds both a BA in Digital Art and an MA in Art & New Media from New York University. He’s also a regular guest lecturer in Advertising and Marketing at NYU. Learn more about Electric Wonder and join Jamie on Twitter.

Jason Saltzman
Jason Saltzman is the CEO and founder of Alley, a post-business incubator and shared workspace for entrepreneurs. He also cofounded the tech company, SeamlessDocs. Jason advises and invests in a variety of early-stage companies and is a mentor for the Techstars accelerator program. Jason has worked with the US State Department, traveling the world to assist the growth of startup communities. On his latest trip to the Middle East, he produced and starred in a documentary about the Kuwaiti startup ecosystem. Jason has published content for CNN, The Wall Street Journal and is a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. Learn more about Alley and join Jason on Twitter.

Jessica Califano
Jessica Califano is the director of community, support and publishing at Adafruit, a woman-owned electronics manufacturing company located in Manhattan. She establishes marketing and branding strategies for the company and manages a team in charge of social media, customer support, content creation and management, and community building partnerships. She has represented Adafruit at multiple events including a visit to the White House for the National Week of Making. Jessica graduated from NYU with a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications with a specialty in Technology and Society. Learn more about Adafruit and join Jessica on Twitter.

Jim Allen
Voodoo Manufacturing
Jim Allen is the director of manufacturing at Voodoo Manufacturing, a fast, affordable, and high-volume 3D printing service in Brooklyn. He was also founder of a number of manufacturing startups and an independent consultant to technology companies for 3D printing, manufacturing, business development, funding and economic development incentives. His clients included Shapeways, where he was involved in creating their 3D printing factory in New York City. Jim has spent much of his career in both traditional and advanced manufacturing industries but was also the manufacturing outreach program director at an economic development organization near Chicago. Prior to his career in manufacturing, Jim served as an officer in the US Navy. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and is a certified Powder Metallurgy Technologist. Learn more about Voodoo Manufacturing and join Voodoo on Twitter.


John Azubuike
KEC Ventures
John Azubuike is an associate at KEC Ventures, a New York City seed fund that partners with companies in the mobile, digital media, e-commerce, marketplace and enterprise software spaces. John spends his days seeking out and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs in the New York startup ecosystem. Learn more about KEC Ventures and join John on Twitter.

John Briscella
John focuses on technology, art and complexity. His specialties include in industrial design, generative design, 3D printing and scanning as well as automated manufacturing, architecture (urban planning) and store design. Interested in consulting joining projects with emergent technology and software. An American artist, industrial designer, architect, urban strategist, technologist, machinist, entrepreneur, and educator, John is cofounder of AMiNiMAL studio. He’s worked with Autodesk, Makerbot, Herman Miller, Shapeways, Polaroid, Lomography, Ntopology and the Moma store. Learn more about AMiNiMAL and join John on Instagram.

John Tarantino
John began his career in the real estate world, working in various roles in finance, investment, and development. After spending ten years in that industry, he began working on a side project that ultimately turned into Martenero. Martenero is a direct-to-consumer watch company that aims to be the best option in the entry-level luxury category of watches, while also providing an excellent, modern ecommerce experience in an industry that has been slow to adapt to modern ecommerce trends. Learn more about Martenero and join John on Twitter.

John Vaskis
John heads up Indiegogo’s hardware vertical and helps entrepreneurs bring their innovative products to market. Learn more about Indiegogo and join John on Twitter.

Jonathan Askin
Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic
Jonathan Askin is a professor at Brooklyn Law School, teaching technology, telecommunications, and entrepreneurial law and policy. He is the founder of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, which represents Internet, new media, communications and other tech entrepreneurs, startups, innovators and organizations on business development, policy advocacy and law reform. He is also the Faculty Chair and Innovation Catalyst for the Brooklyn Law Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship. Jonathan has served as a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, a Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, and Founder/Advisor to iLINC, a network of legal support clinics for the European startup community. Jonathan spent Spring 2016 as a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab and Summer 2016 as a Fulbright Scholar with the University of Amsterdam. Jonathan chaired the Internet Governance Working Group for the Obama ’08 Presidential Campaign. He is an honors grad of both Harvard College and Rutgers Law School. Learn more about Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic and join Jonathan on Twitter.

Jonathan Gass
Nomad Financial
Jonathan Gass is the Founder & CEO of Nomad Financial, a company providing interim CFO, accounting, tax, and banking services for early to mid-stage companies, as well as an Operating Partner at Interplay Ventures. He also spends time as a consultant, advisor, and investor working with both early-stage, venture-backed startups as well as established digital / tech businesses, including Capital New York (acquired by Politico), Drama Fever (acquired by Softbank), and RecordSetter. He previously spent five years at IAC in a variety of strategic, transactional and operational roles, most recently serving as the head of Finance & Business Development at Vimeo, and prior to that was a consultant at Bain & Co. Learn more about Nomad Financial and join Jonathan on Twitter.

Keenan Williams
Keenan Williams is cofounder of REZI, a digital landlord for single-family rental homes and recent Y Combinator graduate. Before launching REZI in 2015, Keenan was at CB Richard Ellis, Barclays Capital and JPMorgan Chase. Learn more about REZI and join Keenan on Twitter.

Kevin Tung
Interplay Ventures
Kevin W. Tung is a partner at Interplay Ventures. Before joining Interplay Ventures he cofounded Image Space Media, an in-image advertising platform, that was successfully acquired by Vibrant Media in 2012. At Vibrant, he led the business development team. Prior to Image Space Media, Kevin cofounded Warsh Tung Partners and together with art investors, they created two private equity funds to invest in art as an asset class. The funds took advantage of an arbitrage opportunity between Chinese contemporary art prices and Western contemporary art prices. Kevin honed his business acumen as an investment. Learn more about Interplay Ventures and join Kevin on Twitter.


Krystal Persaud
Krystal Persaud is an industrial designer and the director of product design at littleBits, an award-winning platform of electronic building blocks that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. A graduate of the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design, Krystal is also the founder and managing member of the design collective Grouphug and teaches a course on product development processes & materials at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In her work, Krystal is committed to the idea that product design will revolutionize the fields of education, public health and sustainability, and is passionate about bridging gaps between industrial design and other disciplines. Learn more about littleBits, Grouphug and join Krystal on Twitter.

Lee von Kraus
Halo Neuroscience and Nebulab NYC
Lee conducts research alongside DARPA, NASA, and the US EPA, and has written multiple biotechnology patents, which form the basis of Halo Neuroscience, a company he cofounded in 2012. Based in SF, Halo has since raised more than $10 million in funding and released a first-of-its-kind device that improves human cognition and motor abilities and is currently in use by US Special Forces. In 2014, he founded Nebulab NYC, a Brooklyn-based, privately-funded laboratory conducting pioneering research in neuropsychology and cybernetics. His work has been noted in Wired, Newsweek, TechCrunch, Sports Illustrated, BBC, MoMA, The New Yorker and IEEE Spectrum. In 2013, he assisted NASA in SCUBA search and recovery of organisms exhibiting evidence of unique photosynthetic mechanisms, and in 2016 became an active firefighter for the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. Learn more about Halo Neuroscience and Nebulab NYC and join Lee on Twitter.

Len Gray
Gray Legal
Len is a serial entrepreneur, multiple startup founder and corporate law generalist. Len’s practice focuses on representing small, midsize and emerging growth companies from formation to exit and in the variety of day-to-day matters they will face in between. Len has extensive experience working on a diverse range of corporate and financial transactions, including venture investments, acquisitions and sales of publicly- and privately-held companies, strategic alliances, secured lending arrangements, securities law matters and corporate governance. After graduating from law school, Len was a corporate associate in the New York City office of Latham & Watkins LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms. Len received his J.D. with honors from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.S. in Business Administration (Finance concentration) from the University of Florida. He is licensed to practice in New York. Learn more about Gray Legal and join Len on Twitter.

Marco Perry
Marco is an information sponge, addicted to the news, blogs and audio books. Marco has more than 25 years experience inventing, designing and engineering just about everything from candy to CNC machines and solar chargers. When he is not busy with his work, he loves to build things with his kids. Learn more about Pensa and join Marco on Twitter.

Marjan Tabari
Cambridge Negotiation Organization
Marjan is a former intellectual property lawyer, and currently a business consultant and mentor to social impact startups at MassChallenge, MIT Enterprise Forum and Center for Women & Enterprise. She also sits on the board of advisors of a social impact startup, and is the founder and director of Cambridge Negotiation Organization, which is devoted to advancing the art of negotiation to entrepreneurs. Marjan has law degrees from Harvard Law School and McGill University, where she specialized in intellectual property and business law. Learn more about Cambridge Negotiation Organization and join Marjan on Twitter.

Matthew Epler
Matthew Epler is a technologist and inventor of Kinograph, an open-source, crowd-sourced hardware project for digitizing reels of film. Learn more about Matt and join him on Twitter.

Nicolas Vansnick
Nicolas Vansnick is cofounder of BotFactory, a Next Top Makers Fellow. He’s a double Master’s graduate in robotics (UCL) and wireless communications (NYU), and a maker at heart. He previously designed and built an autonomous robot for the European Robotics Competition, a brainwave reader (EEG) with his BotFactory co-founder Carlos Ospina, a wireless brain implant, and a wireless mouth device. He was a semifinalist of the NYU Entrepreneurs Challenge and a Stanford EBootcamper. Learn more about BotFactory and join Nicolas on Twitter.

Nir Sandbank
Nir is the CEO and Co-Founder of Malltip, a mobile-focused startup that helps mall owners and retailers to engage with mall shoppers throughout the shopping journey. Nir has more than ten years of experience launching and growing early stage ventures both digital and physical. Nir has developed deep knowledge and expertise in bringing products ideas to life through lean testing and prototyping as well as in helping startups identify business models and monetize. Learn more about Malltip and join Nir on Linkedin.

Pepin Gelardi
Tomorrow Lab
Pepin Gelardi works at the intersection of purpose and possibility, exploring the role of entrepreneurship and technology in solving future-facing problems. As a partner at Tomorrow Lab, Pepin leads the industrial design and mechanical engineering teams to invent and develop new, impactful hardware products. After hours, Pepin teaches workshops in design, aspires to become a Pasta Scientist, and creates site-specific art with his wife Teresa. Learn more about Tomorrow Lab and join Pepin on Twitter.

Philippe Laguerre
Myers Wolin
Philippe Laguerre is a registered patent attorney with experience in the full range of trademark and patent matters. He approaches all aspects of his practice with an emphasis on strategy and client communication. His clients can expect deep knowledge of the company targets and goals. Philippe has worked with individual inventors, startups, and Fortune 500 companies. He has experience in many technical areas, including telecommunications, wireless communications (e.g., LTE, TDMA, design), image processing, cryptography, mobile and internet gaming applications, computer software, electronics, medical devices, mechanical structures, and cosmetics. With a professional career path spanning the globe, including France and Brazil, Philippe brings a wealth of international insight to his clients. Learn more about Myers Wolin and join Philippe on Twitter.

RJ Wafer
Startup Consultant
RJ works with innovative companies to assist in the growth and expansion stages, keying on strategy, vital personnel, distribution & reseller streams, and partnerships to build momentum for launch and growth. RJ has led market expansion efforts in 3D printing and telepresence robotics and is currently involved in launching a VR platform. Join RJ on Twitter.

Robert Steiner
Roboto.NYC is New York City’s premier light fabrication service specializing in 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser engraving/cutting, CAD, and model making. Located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the company was founded by former MakerBot executives, engineers, and designers. Learn more about Roboto.NYC.

Roxann Stafford
Roxann Stafford brings together the worlds of social impact and design thinking. Her background in mechanical engineering, business, and psychology combines the analytical rigor and empathy necessary for sustainable systems design. She is the Director of Program (NYC) for Matter, a startup accelerator and venture capital firm grounded in the principles of design thinking that supports early-stage media entrepreneurs and mission-aligned media institutions building scalable ventures that make society more informed, inclusive, and empathetic. Roxann has extensive international experience identifying big system problems in regions from the Pacific Islands to East Africa to the Caribbean, and cultivating opportunities for entrepreneurship to solve those issues. Roxann has been named a tech innovator by NPR, for whom she is a commentator on diversity, inclusion and innovation. Learn more about Matter and join Roxann on Twitter.

Sacha Thompson
Sacha Thompson is an attorney, research scholar and human-centered design facilitator. Her work focuses on community development initiatives that incorporate sustainable technologies and financial innovations. Her recent projects include developing a speaker series for African American female tech founders and creating design thinking workshops to help product developers better understand the needs of human rights organizations.

Sam Utne
Madcap Factory
Sam is a development strategist, entrepreneur, and creative director. He is cofounder of Madcap Factory and former managing director of Impact Hub NYC. He is focused on understanding the challenges that businesses face and helping them forge a path to success. Sam develops programming, products, and businesses with an eye on community building and authentic brand storytelling. Sam advises on numerous startups and has consulted many organizations at all stages. Learn more about Madcap Factory and join Sam on Twitter.

Sarah Meister
As manager of hardware and design at Indiegogo, Sarah Meister works with technology companies from around the world to bring their ideas to life. Before Indiegogo, she was head of projects at Vann Alexandra, a creative agency for crowdfunding campaigns, where she worked on more than 30 campaigns with a variety of different clients across film, technology, design, and publishing. Prior to that, she worked in post-production and live TV as well as freelance public relations, e-commerce, social media, and marketing. Sarah loves to learn and graduated from The University of Puget Sound with a bachelor’s in history and a minor in sociology, and even went to culinary school. She speaks regularly at industry events across all verticals. Learn more about Indiegogo and join Sarah on Twitter.

Shana Dressler
NYC Innovation Collective
Shana Dressler has built a decades-long career leading and nurturing entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and social change leaders. As the executive director of Google’s 30 Weeks, Shana ran a distinguished incubator for design entrepreneurs that Fast Company named one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015. Shana is an Aspen Institute Scholar, a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judge for The Webby Awards and a graduate of the THNK School of Creative Leadership. Shana makes her way around New York on a midnight blue Vespa. You can follow her @shanadressler. Join Shana on Twitter.

Shanley Knox
Olivia Knox Inc
Shanley Knox began her career as a social entrepreneur, working on issues ranging from poverty and gender inequality to domestic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Discovering a love for strategy, she began applying what she learned to the world of brand and product innovation, conducting in-depth research and analysis for leading companies including Nike, Google ATAP, Facebook, Adidas, Bailey’s, and GM. Still deeply committed to solving social issues through innovative enterprise, though, Shanley is also building her own company, Olivia Knox, that is shifting the perception of East Africa from unreliable sourcing partner to the premier destination for luxury manufacturing. Current partners include Oscar De La Renta, Restoration Hardware, Google, Chopard and more. Learn more about Olivia Knox Inc and join Shanley on Twitter.

Spencer Wright
Centerline Labs
Spencer is a writer, a product manager, and an engineer. His career spans small scale fabrication, residential robotics, consumer electronics, and industrial additive manufacturing. He blogs at pencerw.com. Learn more about Centerline Labs and join Spencer on Instagram.

Stephan von Muehlen
Stephan von Muehlen is a product designer and entrepreneur based in NYC. He graduated from the Joint Program in Design from Stanford University and has worked in New York City as a designer, engineer, and fabricator on a wide range of projects. He previously cofounded and was the design director at EnergyHub, a startup in Brooklyn that creates technology to help people use less electricity in the home. Currently he is founder and CEO at Poursteady, a Next Top Makers Fellow, and a company that manufactures automated pourover coffee machines for retail coffee businesses. Stephan also teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Learn more about Poursteady and join Stephan on Twitter.

Story Bellows
Brooklyn Public Library
Story recently joined the Brooklyn Public Library as Chief Innovation and Performance Officer. Prior to coming to Brooklyn, she cofounded and served as Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Philadelphia, a civic idea and innovation incubator and R+D lab inside City Hall. Story previously was Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and United States Conference of Mayors. An urban designer by training, Story started the city-focused phase of her career in private design practice in Chicago, where she founded an interdisciplinary research group and worked with leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors on urban, education, healthcare, and environmental projects and initiatives. She holds a BA from Colgate University and MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Learn more about Brooklyn Public Library and join Story on Twitter.

Sumeet Shah
Brand Foundry Ventures
Sumeet handles sourcing and managing new opportunities as a Principal at Brand Foundry Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on low-tech and high-tech consumer products and devices. He has over 6 years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners. He also assisted in the creation of XRC Labs, a consumer and retail accelerator run by Kurt Salmon and Parsons, as the Program Manager for their inaugural class and was Head of Strategic Partnerships for their second class. Sumeet graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering, where he specialized in Biomechanics. Learn more about Brand Foundry Ventures and join Sumeet on Twitter.

Ted Ullrich
Tomorrow Lab
Ted Ullrich is the founding partner of Tomorrow Lab, an internationally recognized product design and engineering studio based in NYC. Tomorrow Lab develops smart hardware products for their clients, and was recognized on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine in 2014 as Top Tech Innovators. Ted regularly speaks on the role of design studios as invention centers and the application of science and design to entrepreneurial ventures to create new technology products that solve big problems. Ted holds a Masters of Industrial Design from Georgia Tech, a Bachelors of Inventive Design Engineering from Purdue University, and has taught design studio courses at Drexel University in Philadelphia, the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and the Copenhagen Institute of. Learn more about Tomorrow Lab and join Ted on Instagram.

Zach Dunham
Zach Dunham is Kickstarter’s design and technology communities outreach lead. Based out of NYC, he helps creators across these two diverse categories to launch their projects, and find their voice on Kickstarter. Zach is also a creative technologist with a focus on acoustics and music; the co-creator of The Public Radio; and an alumni of the School For Poetic Computation and Bard College. Learn more about Kickstarter and join Zach on Twitter.


Futureworks Incubator applications open through April 10!

February 22, 2017

Over the past few years, we’ve run New York’s Next Top Makers to champion and support the growth of hardware startups here in NYC. We worked with brands like PCB:NG, BotFactory, smart dog house creator DogParker, advocates for and protectors of Industrial Athletes StrongArm Technologies, the wearable tech company Bonbouton and more. Through working with incredible startups (like those mentioned above) we’ve had our finger on the pulse of the city’s advanced manufacturing community and bore witness to New York’s ecosystem growing in every direction.

Today, we launch the application for Futureworks Incubator (formerly known as Next Top Makers), which will help grow hardware and advanced manufacturing startups and entrepreneurs from idea to market to scale stage across all five boroughs. Do you have a hardware product idea? Are you looking to scale production and connect with local NYC supply chains? Are you still figuring out who is your target market? Whether you’re prototyping the next breakthrough innovation or fixing a problem that affects your daily life, preparing for crowdfunding or recently closed a Series A, Futureworks Incubator is for you.

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