AN OA­SIS FOR EN­TREPRENEURS

Fast Company - - Innovation By Design -

“He called me and said, ‘You’ve got to come stand in this space with me,’” says en­tre­pre­neur and artist Scott Co­hen, re­call­ing the day in 2011 when his friend and business part­ner, real es­tate de­vel­oper David Belt, vis­ited an aban­doned, de­cay­ing struc­ture while on a tour of the Brook­lyn Navy Yard. Fol­low­ing a ren­o­va­tion by Belt’s firm, Macro Sea, the cav­ernous steel turn-ofthe-cen­tury ship­build­ing site known as Build­ing 128 was re­born last year as New

Lab, an in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary hub where roughly 500 spacesqueezed New York City founders, de­vel­op­ers, and de­sign­ers are cre­at­ing emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy, from cube satel­lites to ex­per­i­men­tal smart­phones. New Lab’s 95 mem­ber com­pa­nies share ac­cess to fab­ri­ca­tion labs (with $3.5 mil­lion in pro­to­typ­ing tools), stu­dios, meet­ing spa­ces, and, most cru­cially, each other. Ca­sual en­coun­ters within the light­filled space, where three foot­bridges hang from the build­ing’s old gantry cranes, are “help­ing a lot of these com­pa­nies get new ideas,” says Belt. Al­ready, Hon­ey­bee Robotics and Cold­steel Laser have col­lab­o­rated on a laser scalpel, and so­larpanel maker Voltaic Sys­tems helped So­cial Bi­cy­cles cre­ate a pho­to­voltaic panel for the bike-share net­work’s fleet. Next year, Belt and Co­hen will launch New Lab Ven­tures, its own $50 mil­lion ven­ture-cap­i­tal fund. —KELSEY CAMP­BELL-DOLLAGHAN

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