-- First Such Facility in Borough Targets Startups Run by Women and Immigrants --
FLUSHING, NY, September 29 – Today’s ribbon-cutting marks the official opening of the Tech Incubator @ Queens College, the first such facility in the borough. Funded by the City Council and housed on campus in a newly renovated building with 24-hour card-key entry, the incubator is designed to appeal to Queens-based startups, including those led by women and immigrants.
The site offers flexible rental work space with a total of 70 seats, high-speed Internet access, wireless connectivity, and state-of-the-art peripherals, from servers to a 3-D printer. In addition, the incubator puts tech entrepreneurs in contact with the talent pool of Queens College, a local economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any institution in the metropolitan New York area. [Read more here about the activities of QC’s computer science department.] Wherever possible, student interns will be integrated in the incubator’s operations.
“It is a very exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Queens,” says President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “The incubator will help them build successful technology companies, which will of course promote innovation and development here in our borough and expand job opportunities. Members of the incubator also will have easy access to the college’s excellent faculty, students, and staff, who have the knowledge and skills to help companies develop and thrive.”
“This incubator is part of a city-wide initiative,” says its sponsor, New York City Council Committee on Technology Chair James Vacca ’01, who represents the Bronx but knows QC well—he earned a master’s in urban studies here. “We want to encourage students to use technology to move ahead in their careers. Incubators are already at Lehman College and the College of Staten Island, and we’re going to be expanding to other CUNY campuses.”
To fill seats at QC, the incubator’s management is casting a wide net—reaching out to the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Queens Economic Development Corporation, and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, working with Asian, Hispanic, and other ethnic media, and sending an email blast to alumni. Plans call for the creation of an ambassadors committee of key borough people and organizations that can spread the word here and overseas. [The incubator will also host 20 international entrepreneurs identified through the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) run by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The IN2NYC program facilitates collaborative partnerships between international entrepreneurs and CUNY institutions. These partnerships qualify entrepreneurs for H-1B visas that enable them to grow their businesses in New York City and provide CUNY with international talent to support entrepreneurship programs for students.] Ten startups have already taken seats in the incubator. The businesses include Numeraxial LLC, a financial tech firm; Kidmoto, a mobile app for passengers seeking carefully screened drivers with properly installed child seats; and FixMe, a platform where home owners can post home improvement projects and get bids from licensed professional contractors.
About Queens College
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its nearly 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Learn more at www.qc.cuny.edu.