Start-ups Get Head Start

When Anand Sanwal wanted to move his start-up company out of the his 20-by-6-foot office in downtown Manhattan, he looked to buy an apartment in New Jersey that could function as an office. It was in 2008, the beginning of the economic crisis. Not the best time to launch a start-up business and Sanwal was looking to save money.

Luckily, in 2009, Sanwal landed a spot as one of the 36 businesses at the 160 Varick Street Incubator, part of a network of 16 affordable workspaces for emerging entrepreneurs and artists in New York City.


A City-Wide Effort

The 160 Varick Street Incubator is home to 36 companies in different fields from social media to green technology. The incubator is operated in cooperation with NYU polytechnic institute and Trinity Real Estate. By now, companies in the incubator have raised more than $20 million and created about 300 new jobs.

Companies in the incubator pay $300 per seat per month. Services like high speed internet connection, print services and conference rooms are included. So is the view, which overlooks Soho and Midtown.

“We look for companies that are in line with the strength of the city. Our focus for our tenants is not simply to find a venture capitalist that would invest in them, but to find customers,” explained Bruce Niswander, the director of 160 Varick Street Incubator.

NYU-poly formed an incubator in Brooklyn in 2004. After the economy crashed in 2008, the city approached NYU-Poly to set up the Varick Street incubator.


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