“The Hub @ GCT” will serve growth-stage urban technology companies as part of City’s Urbantech NYC initiative
NEW YORK, NY—Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Grand Central Tech (GCT) today announced the launch of the Hub @ GCT, a 50,000 square foot space dedicated to urban tech.
The Midtown Manhattan space will host growth-stage companies working in the urban tech sector. Earlier this year, NYCEDC announced its partnership with New Lab and Grand Central Tech to create Urban Technology Growth Hubs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, respectively. The hubs are key aspects of the City’s Urban Tech NYC initiative, which offers space, equipment, pilot opportunities, and shared resources to companies addressing New York City’s most pressing urban challenges.
The Urban Tech Growth Hubs will activate approximately 100,000 square feet of flexible and affordable space, and provide dedicated resources for fast-growing cleantech and smart cities companies that have outgrown business incubators, accelerators, and other early-stage programs.
“The Grand Central Tech Hub is going to help innovation firms spark new ideas and grow their workforce. Our investment here is part of a bigger strategy to secure the space, train the talent and provide the infrastructure our tech ecosystem needs to thrive and compete. There is no city in the world better positioned to be the capital of technology and innovation than New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.
“Our partnership with Grand Central Tech is a win-win, helping develop innovative companies that are both creating good jobs and finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing cities today,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “We’re excited to welcome the Hub @ GCT to our Urbantech NYC team as we continue to grow a vibrant 21st-century economy in New York City.”
Located adjacent to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, Grand Central Tech is a leading technology accelerator designed to support startups and entrepreneurial ambition by leveraging the city's competitive advantages to build a diverse and inclusive culture of innovation.
The launch of the Hub @ GCT makes Grand Central Tech the largest tech-focused ecosystem in New York City, with 100,000 square feet spread across three different offices that cater to companies throughout the various stages of their growth.
The Hub is uniquely designed to accommodate the needs of the fastest growing companies in the Urban Tech ecosystem. With a flexible layout accommodating open workstations and modular offices, it is designed to hold companies of 10-120 people, ensuring NYC’s most successful companies have a home that matches their needs for flexible, affordable space in the heart of the City.
“New York is a destination for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in confronting urban challenges. The Hub will provide these companies with unparalleled opportunities to collaborate with both corporate and government partners,” said Matthew Harrigan, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Grand Central Tech. “The space is a culmination of years of investment downstream in the ecosystem by the city and private partners, and designed precisely to bring together the best and brightest from those and other efforts around the world who can benefit from being around each other, and having access to key decision makers from City Hall and the corporate world.”
“Cities and the urbanization of modern living is the next frontier for tech companies to address and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface for innovations that make city living easier,” said Charles Bonello, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Grand Central Tech. “There’s no better place to address these urban challenges than New York, and that’s why New York startups have more than doubled their relative share of the dollar volume invested into new tech companies nationwide between 2006 and today. We’re excited to play a big role in making the world’s best city even better with the launch of The Hub.”
In addition to a $2.5 million grant provided by NYCEDC, Milstein Properties contributed $5 million to build out the space at 335 Madison Avenue, further reinforcing their commitment to the City’s tech sector. Growth-stage firms will have opportunities with these partners in designing, testing and implementing new technologies. The Hub @ GCT will join the growing tech community at Milstein Properties’ 335 Madison, including the GCT accelerator, the Build Grand Central co-working space, and many other tech tenants.
The Hub also announced several corporate partners: GE, Microsoft and Lowe’s. GE Ventures, along with Current, powered by GE, will support The Hub in empowering entrepreneurs and innovators to address New York City’s most pressing urban challenges.
“New York City’s tech sector is thriving, but entrepreneurs with growth-stage companies need high-quality, flexible and affordable spaces to grow and succeed. The Hub creates a place for promising entrepreneurs to build the next generation of smart cities innovations, with expertise and support from Grand Central Tech, the City and corporate partners,” said Howard Milstein, Chairman and CEO of Milstein Properties. “We’re very excited to welcome the Hub @ GCT to 335 Madison, joining the vibrant tech ecosystem in the building.”
Teams at GE Ventures and Current will be among those who support the selection of cohorts into the program, offering mentorship and even the potential for standout applications to join Current’s Intelligent Cities partner ecosystem at the completion of their time at The Hub.“The pervasiveness of technology and the expansion of open data policies is about to unleash an economic growth engine for urban innovation that we have never seen,” says John Gordon, Chief Digital Officer at Current, powered by GE, who is working with cities across the globe on Intelligent LED lighting deployments. “For the first time in history, we are creating digital cities through open, ubiquitous infrastructure and we need entrepreneurs, developers and everyday citizens to dream up applications to solve for challenges we haven’t even yet realized. Incubation centers and programs like this one are critical on this journey.”
"Accelerators like Grand Central Tech are where we are going to grow the next generation of New York success stories," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I'm looking forward to seeing this space, and the services it provides, contribute to our tech sector success."
“The [email protected] is a great example of a public-private partnership in New York City,” said City Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, Dan Garodnick. “Not only will it provide early-stage entrepreneurs with an affordable, state-of-the-art office and strategic advisors, but the commitment to urban tech will ensure that our city will reap the benefits of the innovative urban solutions that emerge from this space."
The Hub also announced its first Executive Director, Robinson Hernandez. Robinson most recently served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services for New York City, where he launched the New Business Acceleration Team, a civic initiative focused on helping businesses open faster.
“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at Grand Central Tech and to foster the growth of the next generation of urban tech innovators,” said Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director of the Grand Central Tech Hub. “These growth-stage companies will have unparalleled access to partners like New York City and GE, as well as the strong network of tech companies at every stage of growth that are already part of the Grand Central Tech ecosystem.”
"We're excited to work with GCT. With 22 urban tech investments, half of which are in NYC, we understand the specific challenges facing startups that want to make cities better. GCT Hub provides unique growth stage access to expertise and stakeholders in areas ranging from city government to real estate," said Shaun Abrahamson Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Urban.Us.
Already, ten growth-stage companies have become members at the Hub, including iobeam, a company that provides real-time monitoring of hardware for cities and BlocPower, a tech company that engineers and finances clean energy projects in under-served communities. BlocPower is a graduate of EDC’s Urban Future Lab and a great example of the potential for public-private partnerships to support the growth of innovative companies throughout different stages of their development. Companies interested in these programs can learn more and apply at www.urbantechnyc.com.
Urbantech NYC builds upon Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC vision, making the city more sustainable and resilient while promoting equity and economic growth for all New Yorkers. As part of the One City: Built to Last plan, the Hubs will ensure that local companies are positioned to compete for private and public investment dedicated to making the city’s built environment and infrastructure more efficient, including reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.