City's first biz incubator hatches first chicks

Five startups are set to “graduate” from Varick Street center and move on to the real world. Another 30 or so launches are bustling away as the city's earliest experiment in entrepreneurial development celebrates its first anniversary.

Break out the birthday candle: The city's Varick Street business incubator is celebrating its one-year anniversary on Thursday.

A joint venture between the New York City Economic Development Corp., the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Trinity Real Estate, the incubator at 160 Varick St. in SoHo was launched in July 2009, part of a broader effort by the city to foster new businesses. So far, the gamble has paid off – since the incubator's opening, tenants housed at 160 Varick have created upwards of 110 jobs, hired more than 250 freelancers and interns, and raised more than $12 million in venture funding.

“This is the incubator that at this point has been open the longest, and the rewards we're reaping from it are even exceeding our own aggressive expectations,” said EDC President Seth Pinksy.

That success is especially good news for the EDC, which has announced a total of five business incubators – focused on everything from fashion to food – and expects to announce several more by the end of the year.

Continue reading