IncubateNYC Hopes to Stir A New Harlem Renaissance With Startups

12/6/11Follow @jpruth

A campaign to win the contract to bring a technology incubator to Harlem went into high gear on Monday with the launch of a new website. IncubateNYC, a group of entrepreneurs and investors co-founded by Marcus Mayo and Brian Shields, believes it has the answer to the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s request for proposals to establish a home near 125th Street to nurture fledgling tech companies.

Though New York has technology incubators scattered across neighborhoods such as SoHo and Brooklyn’s DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Harlem has not seen similar activity.

“Right now people are leaving Harlem to go to the West Coast,” Mayo says, “or they are going to other places in the country because they don’t see the opportunity here.” He says entrepreneurs are looking for places they can scale up their businesses, and he believes a technology incubator in Harlem could be an attractive prospect for startups. “There is talent in Harlem and around the country that is looking to relocate where there is more access for building out their businesses and providing resources,” Mayo says.

According to its request for proposals, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration wants a business incubator in place in the vicinity of 125th Street, with an emphasis on technology, new media, and services, and it may include co-working space. Mayo says IncubateNYC has signed up not-for-profit Abyssinian Development Corp. as a community partner for its proposal. Mayo must work fast to finalize … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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