Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today broke ground on the first City-sponsored business incubator to facilitate development of new startup businesses in the Bronx.
The Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator, located in the historic BankNote Building at 890 Garrison Avenue in Hunts Point, will accommodate up to 400 entrepreneurs from the Bronx and across New York City over the next three years and is expected to be fully operational by February 2011. New York City Economic Development Corporation provided a $250,000 grant to establish the incubator, the sixth business incubator to launch in the City, all since September 2008. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement, held at the site of the new incubator in the BankNote Building, by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo, Sunshine Realty Management Co-Founder Cheni Yerushalmi, Taconic Investment Partners Senior Vice President Peter Febo, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business Dean John Elliott and Bronx Community Board 2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca, Jr.
“New York City continues to be a center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and the Bronx is increasingly turning out new and growing businesses,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “More than 15,000 new businesses were established in the Bronx in 2008, the most recent period for which there is data, and we’re creating the new Bronx business incubator to build on that momentum.”
“There is no city more welcoming to entrepreneurs than New York, but we know well that some challenges like the cost of physical space can make starting and growing a business difficult. Our network of incubators are designed to address that need and make things easier,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “New York City has numerous competitive advantages for entrepreneurs – for example, we just passed Boston to become the number two place in the country for early-stage startup investment – and we want to make it as easy as possible for those looking to start and grow small businesses to capitalize on them.”
“It can be hard to be an entrepreneur, so any help we can afford new small businesses is welcome, especially in this economy,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It is my hope that this new business incubator will lead to new job growth right here in the Bronx, and I am grateful to the city and the New York City Economic Development Corporation for providing the vital capital to help make the dreams of new start-up companies a reality.”
“The success of our incubator network to date has proven that there is a demand for this type of service among New York City’s entrepreneurial community,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “We expect that the Bronx Business Incubator will encourage that trend and facilitate the growth of more Bronx-based startups.”
Sunshine Realty Management has signed a ten-year lease with Taconic Investment Partners and expects the space to be self-sustaining within the first three years. The nearly 11,000-square-foot Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator will provide approximately 180 workstations – split between desks and co-working space for freelancers – targeted to startup businesses and entrepreneurs across industries including finance, new media, technology, green finance and technology, biomedicine, and healthcare. Tenants will be able to lease space on a month-to-month basis providing them with the flexibility required of a growing business. Desks at the incubator will initially rent for $295 per month, and co-working stations at $195 per month.
“Sunshine Suites has built a reputation at its two Manhattan locations as the place where start-ups grow-up,” said Sunshine Suites Co-Founder Cheni Yerushalmi. “Now, with our partners, we are bringing our affordable, scalable workspace model to Hunts Point, so we can offer a home to current and future entrepreneurs.”
“Taconic Investment Partners is proud to have Sunshine Suites join the BankNote building’s growing tenant roster; they will provide entrepreneurs in the South Bronx an opportunity to work in a collaborative first class working environment to grow their businesses,” said Peter Febo, senior vice president of Taconic Investment Partners. “Taconic is proud to be a partner with the City and the EDC in this endeavor and hopes to bring more small businesses, schools and non-profit organizations to BankNote which provides its tenants with an incredible Class-A office space in the South Bronx.”
In addition to workspaces, the incubator will offer conference rooms, bi-weekly networking events with tenants across all Sunshine locations in New York City, and support services including mentoring, coaching, and business training. Sunshine has partnered with Baruch College’s Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, and its associated Baruch Small Business Development Center to provide support services including assistance in developing business and marketing plans; evaluating and selecting funding alternatives, accounting systems, and technology; supervising employees; and studying the implications of business decisions for all of its incubator tenants.
The City’s network of incubators includes a technology incubator at 160 Varick Street; the Hive @ 55 for media freelancers in Lower Manhattan; the CFDA Fashion Incubator in the Garment District; an arts incubator managed by Chashama at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; and a kitchen incubator at La Marqueta in East Harlem. The City expects to launch two additional incubator spaces by the end of this year. To date, startup businesses located at the City-sponsored incubators have raised more than $15 million in venture funding and created over 150 new jobs; some of these tenants have already graduated into market-rate space and continue to expand.
Sunshine Suites is a community-based shared office space provider with two locations currently operating in Manhattan. Tenants interested in obtaining space at the Sunshine Bronx Incubator should call 311 or contact Sunshine Realty Management at: http://sunshineny.com/bronx.