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Futureworks News
May 2, 2018

Futureworks Heads to Capitol Hill to Lead House Manufacturing Caucus Convening


From left: House Manufacturing Caucus Legislative Fellow – Office of US Congressman Reed (NY) – Andy Bicos, 43North’s Lauren Rivett, SecondMuse’s Greg Spielberg, Youngstown Business Incubator’s Brittany Mendez, Greentown Labs’ Micaelah Morrill, SecondMuse’s Katey Metzroth, AlphaLab Gear’s Afshan Khan, mHUB’s Haven Allen.


On Friday, manufacturing-incubator leadership from across the country came together in Washington to present learnings on how incubator programs are helping reshape urban economies. Organized by the House Manufacturing Caucus in collaboration with Futureworks Incubator & Shops lead SecondMuse, the discussion featured Boston’s Greentown Labs, Buffalo’s 43North, Pittsburgh’s AlphaLab Gear, Ohio’s Youngstown Business Incubator and Chicago’s mHUB.

Typically, conversations in DC revolve around corporate manufacturing and workforce development strategies. How Manufacturing Incubators are Powering Growth Across America highlighted the models that simultaneously boost local production and startup success rates and make cities more hospitable in general for growing hardware enterprises. As startups expand, their founders increasingly turn to regional manufacturers to prototype and build rather than continuing to do it inhouse. This gives them more time to spend on management, fundraising and operations, and also builds a bench of regional production knowledge and relationships.

Manufacturing incubators give startups an opportunity to gain solid initial footing and provides allies to grow more quickly. While presenters at the Caucus convening work out of different types of spaces, their models are generally the same. Facilitate extensive connections between startups, mentors, advisors, production centers, partnerships and investors to speed up learnings, share resources and increase revenue opportunities.

Futureworks Incubator, for example, supported 85 startups and entrepreneurs this year who in turn generated 81 jobs and re-invested $2.28 million into the NYC economy. Greentown Labs’ Manufacturing Initiative, based out of Greentown’s 100,000 sq-ft Somerville campus, has worked with more than 100 startups and 160 manufacturers and created 55+ manufacturing contracts across Massachusetts. In Chicago, mHUB’s 200 startups share $5 million in prototyping equipment provide investors with a cluster of potential companies to invest in. Pittsburgh’s AlphaLab Gear guides early-stage product startups through a constantly-refined 21-week customer discovery module, a 15-week manufacturing module and a pipeline to Pennsylvania manufacturers.

“From Youngstown to New York City, this convening affirmed that urban areas both large and small recognize the resurgence and value of supporting local manufacturing. New York City is as committed as ever to facilitating access to the kinds of resources necessary for innovators to develop their ideas, make connections, and grow their businesses here,” says NYCEDC Senior Project Manager of Futureworks David Smucker.

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