History

The Data Future Lab (formerly known as Varick Incubator), launched in 2009 in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), was the first New York City-sponsored incubator, placing it at the forefront of the city’s rapidly growing technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The incubator was an opportunity to revitalize and diversify the recessionary economy using the creative ingenuity of dynamic entrepreneurs and the technical expertise of one of the nation’s oldest engineering institutions of higher education.

The New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE) also opened in 2009 with a $1.5 million grant from New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). It is the city’s first and preeminent cleantech incubator, an internationally recognized hub of entrepreneurs and innovative local businesses that provide solutions to climate and energy issues. Originally located at Varick Street, NYC ACRE relocated to the Urban Futures Lab in Downtown Brooklyn in 2014.

In 2012, a new incubator launched in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, in partnership with NYCEDC and Two Trees Management. The Digital Future Lab (formerly known as DUMBO Incubator) is located right in the heart of DUMBO’s digital district and represents the first incubator space in the area. DUMBO is home to NYC’s most prominent media technology and digital companies, and as a result the Digital Future Lab has helped spur the startup activity in the area.