It’s only been operational for a few weeks, but Urban-X in Greenpoint is eager to welcome the community.
With Kickstarter leading the way with a HQ a little bit to the north, the new accelerator establishes Greenpoint now as an official corner of New York City’s tech scene. Urban-X occupies 5,000-square-feet of A/D/O, a 23,000-square-foot space devoted to “exploring new boundaries in design,” according to its website. The former industrial location had its grand-opening party today, welcoming well over 100 people from local tech, economic development and media organizations around the city.
The new facility has only been operational for the last several weeks. Urban-X is a shared venture between carmaker Mini (a BMW brand) and venture capital firm, SOSV which exclusively invests in companies that come through its eight accelerators all over the world. Accelerators are shared work spaces with shared resources (such as mentorship, equipment and contacts) that facilitate startups getting to market (or failing) more quickly. They frequently end in investments from the companies that back the accelerators. Urban-X will hold a demo day for this cohort in May.
Industrial era companies opening or backing accelerators has been a trend for a while now. Samsung has five accelerators, including one on in Midtown Manhattan. Barclays has four worldwide locations, including one that’s also in Midtown. Even The New York Times has one.
Micah Kotch, of Urban-X, said during his welcome, “Really what we’re trying to do is increase their escape velocity.”