The Future Is Here: Futureworks Gets Serious about Tech in NYC

A group photo of the Futureworks NYC Panel participants held at the CUNY ASRC. From left to right: Stacey Weismiller (NYCEDC), Dan Woods (TechShop), Jacob Trevino (CUNY ASRC), Katy Metzroth (SecondMuse), Greg Spielberg (Imagination in Space), Casey Rieder (Coalition for Queens), and Mary McKay (ITAC). 

A group photo of the Futureworks NYC Panel participants held at the CUNY ASRC. From left to right: Stacey Weismiller (NYCEDC), Dan Woods (TechShop), Jacob Trevino (CUNY ASRC), Katy Metzroth (SecondMuse), Greg Spielberg (Imagination in Space), Casey Rieder (Coalition for Queens), and Mary McKay (ITAC). 

Silicon Valley, watch out. New York City is on the move, with some prognosticators predicting that New York will surpass Silicon Valley as a tech and hardware hub.

Over the past few years New York City and State have invested billions to build high tech facilities, create incubator spaces, and attract and keep talent right here in the Big Apple.

The cornerstone of this vision is Futureworks NYC, a project of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) that offers a multi-faceted program to support hardware entrepreneurs through mentorship, access to facility space, and financing.

As part of this effort, Futureworks NYC committed funding to the ASRC, in order to promote the lab on the hill and serve as a resource to the entrepreneurial community. By supporting the facility, Futureworks NYC also helps to keep down membership costs for start-up entrepreneurs looking to access a state-of-the art facility.

Stacey Weismiller of NYCEDC delivers opening remarks at a Futureworks NYC Panel event, hosted by the CUNY ASRC NanoFabrication Facility.

Stacey Weismiller of NYCEDC delivers opening remarks at a Futureworks NYC Panel event, hosted by the CUNY ASRC NanoFabrication Facility.

“The ASRC has something so unique and fantastic from a facility standpoint,” said Stacey Weismiller, a senior project manager for the NYCEDC. “They have a massive $30 million worth of nanofabrication equipment.  There are only a few places like this in the world.”

With the help of the funding from Futureworks, the ASRC will put on 15 seminars, 2 workshops, and a day-long symposium on nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing over an 18-month period.

Dan Woods, CEO of TechShop, gives a preview of their new facility opening in the Brooklyn Army Terminal, October of 2017.

Dan Woods, CEO of TechShop, gives a preview of their new facility opening in the Brooklyn Army Terminal, October of 2017.

“We want the hardware community to know that there are many opportunities throughout New York City to develop and manufacture technology products,” Weismiller said.

In addition to the ASRC, Futureworks NYC’s network of partners includes SecondMuse, a convening innovation agency; TechShop, a global open-access workshop and fabrication studio set to open in Brooklyn this fall; Coalition for Queens, which fosters the Queens tech ecosystem; and Staten Island MakerSpace, a community space offering shared access to advanced tools and equipment.

Beyond these relationships, Futureworks NYC also has a number of other initiatives. For example, its Futureworks NYC Growth Initiative just closed a final round of a competition that will award grants of $30,000 to 10 companies. The Futureworks incubator program is currently selecting 70 hardware start-ups looking to grow their businesses here in New York and connect with local supply chains.

Katy Metzroth of SecondMuse and Greg Spielberg of Imagination in Space, discuss the Futureworks Incubator and Futureworks Shops programs being offered through Futureworks NYC.

Katy Metzroth of SecondMuse and Greg Spielberg of Imagination in Space, discuss the Futureworks Incubator and Futureworks Shops programs being offered through Futureworks NYC.

Have a manufacturing company you would like to bring into the 21st century? Futureworks NYC can help there too. “We will also offer business extension services that target existing manufacturers looking to adopt new technologies to increase their bottom line,” Weismiller said.

“Our goal is to keep companies growing and to help the businesses of tomorrow flourish.”