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“How Do I Fund My Business?” Meetup: A Recap

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for the second ITAC + NYDesigns Urban Manufacturing Meetup last week!

On October 29th, a diverse group of founders and entrepreneurs gathered in our lounge to hear from five experts about a variety of different ways to finance their businesses. We learned how to pursue capital everywhere from hardware VCs to alternative lenders to industrial partnerships, heard useful tips for maximizing cash flow, and chowed down on some delicious empanadas.

Here’s a quick rundown of the evening:

Sumeet Shah from Brand Foundry Ventures taught us how to win over VCs. Some of his tips: be cocky, not arrogant; have a great team by your side; be prepared to talk about your buildout and scale-up strategies; and blow ’em away with a tight pitch you could recite in your sleep. He also boosted our confidence when he made it clear that you don’t necessarily need to be innovative to be successful. You just need to know your “X factor”: How do you stand out? Scroll down for a clip from Sumeet’s presentation.

John Sinnott from Cornell Center for Materials Research (who won the title for Speaker with the Longest Commute) walked us through all the resources the CCMR has to offer to startups, including a cash match program, an industrial collaboration program, and training. He also gave us a peek into the “national gem” that is the CCMR Shared Facilities lab, which is open to anyone who wants to test and prototype new materials in a high-tech environment and offers a $500 to first-time users (transmission electron microscope, anyone?).

Jun Shimada, the CEO and Founder of ThinkEco, told us the story of how ThinkEco went from building rudimentary models out of plastic bins from Bed Bath & Beyond to becoming the award-winning IoT success story it is today. A challenge that ThinkEco faced — and that many manufacturing-based startups face — is figuring out how to bridge the cash gap between procuring components from suppliers and getting paid by your customers. The key, he said, was to establish great relationships with everyone on his supply chain and then negotiate with them for more flexible financial terms. And how do you do that? Get your suppliers excited about what you’re doing! Scroll down for a clip from Jun’s presentation.

Bryan Doxford from New York Business Development Corporation gave it to us straight about how to approach lenders – and when you need to fire them. His advice? Your lender should be your partner and your advocate. If your lender is not being clear with you, find another one. Also: know your financials, know the difference between what you want and what your business really needs, and of course, don’t forget about the Bank of Mom and Dad.

John Abrashkin from Honeybee Robotics took us on a historical journey of Honeybee’s road to success — a road composed of many different types of financing over many years, including friends and family, government grants (SBIR), and strategic partnerships and commercial research. He left us with a critical piece of advice: when you’re in the concept generation phase, take a step back and think about the cost you’re building in to the final project. “Concept generation bakes in 60% of lifetime product costs — before any prototypes are built!”

Thanks to our partners at ITAC for a great event and delicious food! Keep an eye on our Meetup.com page for future events.

 

A few photos from the evening:

 

And videos:

Sumeet Shah (Brand Foundry) on preparing to approach a VC

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Jun Shimada (ThinkEco) on prototypes, pilots, and cash flow

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NEW FABLAB, NEW MANAGER

With the new FabLab nearing completion on the 9th Floor, NYDesigns certainly has no shortage of exciting times ahead. And perhaps no one anticipates them more than our brand new FabLab Manager, Doug Thornhill.

A non-traditional student and die-hard maker, his background in the sciences taught him that if a tool doesn’t exist, you have to make it yourself. He’s worked seemingly everywhere: building robots for a NASA x-ray observatory, teaching Arduino to Cub Scouts, helping engineering students with design prototypes, and creating biologically-inspired light sculptures.

In anticipation of the new FabLab, Doug brought his expansive skill set to NYDesigns earlier this summer. He envisions a collaborative space that is not only rooted in conventional equipment but also home to a variety of digital fabrication tools. Education will also be an important component of the new FabLab in the form of workshops open to the public. Doug plans to introduce more development tools for embedded electronics, capable of meeting the needs of the flourishing hardware scene in New York City.

NYDesigns FALL2014 NEWSLETTER

NYDesigns Fall 2014 Newsletter

Fall 2014 has been a busy time for NYDesigns and our residents. Below you will find some highlights of the events and other accomplishments of our staff and residents this fall. For more updates follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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NYDESIGNS INITIATIVES + EVENTS

#makingQUEENS
This fall NYDesigns launched #makingQUEENS — a fall 2014 initiative by NYDesigns featuring a series of events and presentations that explore all the types of creative making that take place in the borough of Queens. These events are part of NYDesigns’ ongoing effort to understand who is making (in) Queens — highlighting diversity in the design and maker communities in our borough.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION 

 

Making Cities Symposium
On September 20th NYDesigns welcomed the participants of Making Cities I3: Innovation, Incubation, Inclusion to our space. The event is a collaborative effort of The New School; the School of Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning (FADU) and the School of Social Sciences (FSC) of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA); and the School of Architecture of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
On Twitter: Image 1 || Image 2 || Image 3

Maker Faire

NYDesigns is proud to have participated, along with thousands of makers, in this year’s World Maker Faire NY on September 20th and 21st. Our space at Maker Faire included interactive activities such as puzzles with the neighborhoods and community boards of Queens.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

New York’s Next Top Makers 

On September 24th NYDesigns welcomed NYCEDC and the 2014 New York’s Next Top Makers fellows class to the Get Made Summit.
On Twitter: Image 1 || Image 2

Open House NY

On October 11th NYDesigns participated in this year’s Open House New York. On a rainy day we hosted over 50 people who met our residents, including: Vengo!, MTWTF, HUXHUX, and Bhold.
SEE IMAGES OF SITE VISITS 
On Twitter: Image 1

 

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RESIDENTS

Automata

  • Automata will be at American Field on Nov 22 & 23, 10am – 6pm, at Industry City in Sunset Park.
  • Automata will also be featured at Pop Up Flea from December 12-14.

Bhold

Crypsa

Czeck + Webley

  • Harvest season is still happening on many of Czeck + Webley’s terraces. This one on West 86th Street has abundant figs, flowering rosemary and pyracantha berries.
  • It was Czeck + Webley Landscape’s 2-year birthday on October 3rd. They had a little get-together with staff, contractors and the many people who helped them out along the way. (image)
  • C+W installed a waterfront garden in Connecticut using all salt-tolerant perennials just north of New Haven. They aren’t ready to release any photos of the space until it fills in next spring, but here is a view of the water from the site with a slice of Frank Pepe’s white clam pizza.

MTWTF

Valentine Goods

Vengo

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NYDesigns Open House New York (OHNY) 2014

Thanks so much to all those that attended our Open House New York (OHNY) 2014 site visits on October 11. Also, we would like to thank our residents Bhold, HUXHUX, MTWTF, and Vengo for opening their doors to our visitors. It was so much fun, and keep in mind that you can schedule a site visit at any moment by emailing us at info@nydesigns.org.

Vengo

OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: Vengo

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

Vengo

Vengo is a small, high-tech vending machine. Vengo creates retail in new locations, couples it with interactive media and extracts consumer insights. Vengo has 50 machines deployed driving 25,000 unique engagements per month.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?  
Lots of tinkering and prototyping!

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
An amazing, spacious community that affords us the ability to bring all of our team together in one space in comfort.

See Vengo in action!

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OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: MTWTF

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

MTWTF

MTWTF is a design consultancy that creates communication platforms for cultural, commercial, educational, and civic clients. Through research and analysis, we identify cultural and business contexts in which to design strategic communication platforms that get results. These platforms include signage systems, environmental graphics, exhibitions, identities, publications, websites, and posters. We believe that good design has the power to help individuals, organizations, and businesses clarify what they do and manifest their ideas to make change happen.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?
Samples of our recent work in signage systems, environmental graphics, exhibitions, identities, publications, websites, and posters.

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
An invaluable home and support system for young businesses and business owners.

See MTWTF in action!



HUXHUX_studio

OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: HUXHUX

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

HUXHUX

HUXHUX Design is dedicated to exceptional architecture, interior design, & furniture.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?
A working design studio where you’ll see the trappings and traces of customized designs… from 3d printed tiny things to custom textiles for pillows to custom wallpaper to giant interior design contract work here in NYC.

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
Prime studios for emerging design firms, along with a mindful community that is focused on design innovation.

Bhold Bheard

OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: Bhold

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

Bhold

Bhold creates thoughtfully designed functional objects that are also fun, whimsical and elegant. Unlike traditional product manufacturers, Bhold’s design is made better by technology and a community of beta testers worldwide. Their rapid prototyping produces over 50 or 100 versions within a few months before a design is deemed ready for release.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?  
Our 3D printers, a timeline of our prototypes and our designs. A touch of warmth, wit and whim.

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
A city-backed design incubator with friendly supportive folks and a good amount of space.

See Bhold in action!



Maker Faire 2014

NYDesigns is proud to have participated, along with thousands of makers, on this year’s World Maker Faire NY. The event was our launch of #makingQUEENS, a series of events and presentations we are hosting this fall that will explore all the types of creative making that take place in the borough of Queens. These events are part of NYDesigns’ ongoing effort to understand who is making (in) Queens — highlighting diversity in the design and maker communities in our borough.

Our space at the Maker Faire included interactive activities such as puzzles with the neighborhoods and community boards of Queens.
Look at these tweets, sent during the Maker Faire, that show how people tell us they are #makingQUEENS:

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#makingQUEENS

#makingQUEENS is a fall 2014 initiative by NYDesigns featuring a series of events and presentations we are hosting that explore all the types of creative making that take place in the borough of Queens. These events are part of NYDesigns’ ongoing effort to understand who is making (in) Queens — highlighting diversity in the design and maker communities in our borough.

Follow #makingQUEENS on Twitter and here on a specific page we have created here on our site.