New York State Adds NYU Incubators As START-UP NY Development Zones

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

NYU Polytechnic Institute (Photo:
NYU Polytechnic Institute (Photo:

The State of New York has declared the three start-up business incubators of the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering tax-free zones as part of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s START-UP NY program to foster job growth and economic development. To date, the incubator spaces in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn have created more than 1,000 jobs and provided an economic impact of $251 million.

The measure aims to attract larger companies with more jobs, as well as more tech talent, to New York State. The NYU incubators, created in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), will continue to serve start-up companies with high potential, whether or not their founders are affiliated with the university.

“This announcement is a perfect example of the great accomplishments that can happen when academia, private enterprise, and government work together,” said NYU Dean of Engineering Katepalli R. Sreenivasan. “By fostering start-up technology companies, New York State is helping NYU provide a safe landing place for entrepreneurs to create a more efficient and sustainable urban environment.”

By building upon an already successful incubator network, NYU and New York State will continue to provide homes for new companies to develop software, hardware, and other technologies to promote cleaner and more sustainable urban environments. The economic assistance is also expected to attract larger companies from around the globe to move to New York to tap into groundbreaking NYU research as well as the City’s infrastructure, amenities, and other assets.

The long-term goal for NYU and the START-UP NY program is to consolidate all three incubators and tax-free zones in 370 Jay Street, a long-derelict building in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn and proximate to the School of Engineering’s core space in MetroTech Center. This hub of entrepreneurship and technology will serve as an anchor for the thriving Brooklyn Tech Triangle and will cement NYU’s place as a leader in Brooklyn’s emergence as a center of technology in the state.

“Gov. Cuomo created START-UP NY to grow the economy in a new and innovative way that creates new jobs for New Yorkers across the State, including in New York City,” said START-UP NY Executive Vice President Leslie Whatley. “This announcement about NYU’s participation in START-UP NY marks our latest effort to advance the program in the five boroughs, and I look forward to working with our partners at NYU and around the City to attract businesses and jobs here.”

“The START-UP NY designation is an important benefit to the resident companies, in addition to the affordable workspace, mentorship, training, and collaborative environment at the incubators that allows entrepreneurs to move ideas into the marketplace,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.

“This dynamic alliance will assist new businesses in Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle in obtaining valuable resources and forming collaborative relationships that are vital in our global marketplace. As a new participant in the START-UP NY program, NYU will continue its contribution to assisting business with access to talent, markets, capital, and research—further cementing its presence as a leading academic and job-creating institution in Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. 

New York State Senator Martin J. Golden, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship, has worked with NYU on its incubator development and its game laboratory. Golden is responsible for development of the most comprehensive incubator law in the country and has championed and led the development of Startup Zones in Brooklyn with NYU. “What it means for our area is a spur to economic development, as the track record of the NYU incubators has shown. New York is waking from a decades-long economic slumber and is removing barriers to development and opportunity with changes like this one.”

“NYU incubators plus START-UP NY equals a formula for real job growth and economic development in Downtown Brooklyn,” said New York City Council Member Stephen Levin. “More and more entrepreneurs are choosing Downtown Brooklyn as their place of business and the introduction of the START-UP NY program gives them even more reason to move here.”