It’s yet to be seen what impact Idealab’s recently announced high-profile, high visibility New York tech incubator will have on Tech Valley, much less what it’s presence will mean for creative communities up and down the Hudson River Valley. But there may be a few clues, south and east, in “The Queen City of the Sound”, New Rochelle, NY.
As reported earlier, Idealab is setting up a new shop in Tech Valley to promote innovation and support new business development. Based in Rhinebeck, NY, the Idealab incubator is said to be based on a 10-acre campus which includes a 5,000 square foot state-of-the-art innovation space for entrepreneurs, advanced manufacturing facility; and residential housing.
New York is the second largest startup ecosystem in the world with more than $70B of ecosystem value; venture investment activity alone grew from $2Bin 2012 to $13Bin 2017 in the region. The Idealab concept holds great promise to further boost for region’s innovation ecosystem.
A sample of just what that promise is can be seen in an Idealab Fellowship program that unfolded in new Rockelle last summer by taking over the city’s gabled-roof train station house in a VR arts program.
It was a first step in New Rochelle’s quest to become a regional hub for immersive arts and augmented and virtual reality. The fellowship space was outfitted with a lab and studio, as well as living space, for three resident artists. Another five fellows were housed off-site but worked within IDEALab’s studios. The lab was equipped for VR, motion capture and other immersive arts, while the rest of the floor contained a lounge, bedrooms and living space for three resident fellows.
According to report in westfaironline.com:
“IDEALabis the first major program launched by IDEA New Rochelle, a nonprofit founded last year through the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District, with support from the city government. ”
The overall goal of IDEA New Rochelle is to brand the city as a hub for immersive arts and augmented and virtual reality.
“By capitalizing on the city’s proximity to New York City, along with its anticipated growth under a downtown development master plan, the nonprofit plans to develop a connected community of artists and technologists.”
“We want a downtown and community that not only are economically successful,but also culturally vibrant and look toward the future with a sense of creativity and excitement,” said Mayor Noam Bramson. “By attracting creative technologists to New Rochelle, by integrating immersive technology into our planning efforts, we think we can design a healthier community in a way that includes the public more fully and has the capacity to grow an industry that would be new to the Hudson Valley.”
Back in Dutchess County, Idealab’s Rhinebeck New York incubator will leverage its unique approach to generating “durable startups and resilient founders.”
Founded in 1996 by Bill Gross, Idealab was established to create and operate pioneering technology companies. Idealab has worked with companies with breakthrough technologies in robotics (Evolution Robotics), wireless broadband (ClearMesh Networks) and renewable energy (Energy Innovations), among others. Idealab also continues to partner with venture capital firms and other strategic investors to provide the resources to maximize the potential of these companies. The incubating facilitates offer a wide range of resources that include: office space and the accompanying office services, development and technology, graphic design, marketing, competitive research, legal, accounting, and business development support and services. In addition, Idealab provides advice on strategy, branding and corporate structure.