Our Mission

NYDesigns is an economic development program of the City University of New York (CUNY) at LaGuardia Community College that catalyzes growth for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the design, fabrication, technology and maker spaces. We pursue this mission by distributing our work across three fundamental concentrations: business incubation, fabrication, and advocacy. We are proudly located in Long Island City, Queens.

Meet the team of NYDesigns

Tristan Bel

Executive Director

Tristan Bel, Executive Director

As Executive Director, Tristan designs and leads the overarching strategy for NYDesigns as well as manages the team in the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Tristan has spearheaded the creation and development of product lines and the building of operations for startups and non-profit organizations in the technology and wellness/sustainability industries for over 12 years. He is recognized for his strong business acumen and for his ability to lead teams to excel consistently in a poised and happy environment.

Tristan has a MEng in Industrial Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Marseille (Grande Ecole), and a MSc in Competitive Intelligence from the Universite de St Jerome.

When he is not helping build the future of entrepreneurship, Tristan dances Argentine tango or treks in places beyond the end of the road.

Stephanie Dolan

Operations + Finance Manager

Stephanie Dolan, Operations + Finance Manager

Stephanie Dolan is responsible for making sure the ships stays right – managing NYDesigns facilities, including the 5,000 sq ft FabLab where residents can work on prototypes, product design, and production. She also manages financial records as well as developing strategies to further NYDesigns long-term goals. She is thrilled to be a part of the team and inspired everyday by the amazing companies in the hustle here at NYDesigns.

Prior to joining NYDesigns, she has spent her career in non-profit management working with entrepreneurs and startups at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and managing economic development programs at the New York City Financial Network Action Consortium, and Urban Upbound.

Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana she loves to cook and eat. When she’s not in the kitchen you can find her somewhere in the outdoors hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, or running.

Denise Espinal

Program Assistant

Denise Espinal, Program Assistant

As Program Assistant, Denise provides administrative support to the NYDesigns team by coordinating projects and facilitating office procedures.

Denise is a native Brooklynite and has worked in the nonprofit community in NYC as an Administrative Assistant and Community Relations Specialist for the last ten years. She received her A.A. in Liberal Arts from Borough of Manhattan Community College.

When she is not supporting the team, Denise enjoys spending her time finding furniture deals on Craigslist and watching documentaries.