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April 18, 2017

The growing ecosystem of Futureworks Incubator partners

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 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. 

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