Cybersecurity, Hardware and Design

On Thursday, October 4, NYDesigns attended the launch event announcing the CyberNYC initiative spearheaded by the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to grow New York City’s cybersecurity workforce through research, development and training opportunities. At the center of this $30 million dollar  initiative are programs and training centers that will position NYC as global leader in cybersecurity.


Cybersecurity Innovation Center Partners:

  • SOSA will launch provide collaboration space, coworking, programs and events through the Global Cyber Center in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
  • Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) will launch, an innovation hub focused on developing enterprise-ready cyber companies, connecting them with investors and partners to create the next-generation of international market leaders here in New York City.


Inventors to Founders:

  • Columbia University will create programming around cyber security startup sourcing and commercializing IP research for university students and faculty. The university will also launch applied learning programs under the initiative.


Applied Learning Initiative:

The following four universities and IQ4, an online learning platform teaching various workforce development classes, will implement diverse workshops, classes and majors to train the cybersecurity workforce of today and tomorrow.

  • CUNY
  • NYU
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell Tech
  • IQ4


Cyber Bootcamp:

LaGuardia Community College and Full Stack Academy will bridge the access gap into Cyber Security by launching startup bootcamps to train New Yorkers from diverse backgrounds the skills needed to succeed in the sector. We’re extremely excited for the initiative as NYDesigns is a program of LaGuardia Community College, and we hope to learn from all partners how the intersection of hardware, software, security, and workforce development shapes the future of our startup business incubator.


We couldn’t help but offer our own thoughts for the emerging center and how hardware startups will design the future products that incorporate cybersecurity.


Wearable Devices

If you think innovative wearable devices have had their time in the sun and their dead, well you’re wrong. Wearables devices provide consumers, doctors and researchers with vital health data that can help transform the way deliver care to patients of all ages and backgrounds; wearable device data has the power to transform preventive care and provide the insight to keep people healthier for longer periods of time. However, data at the end of the day is data, and it needs to be protected. How consumers successfully integrate their data into medical records, and how do hospital systems protect that data?


Connected Devices and Internet-of-Everything (IoE)

We recently read a CEPro article highlighting statistics from the International Data Corporation report and were intrigued that there are 97.7 million Home Monitoring and Security Device shipments expected in 2018 and 244.9 shipments by 2022. There are 99.9 million Smart Speakers expected to ship in 2018 and approx. 230.5 by 2022. Voice assistants like the Amazon echo  and Google Home, and smart speakers like the Sonos One and Sonos Beam have made a wave in the market. Controlling items with voice or motion is not new, it has just been reimagined, reengineered. We can now control everything with smart sockets and plugins, thermostats, energy consumption, lighting, smart sensors to detect leaks, smart door locks, etc. The connected and smart home, commercial store, school, street, alleys, etc, has arrived, and is here to stay. How do we protect our voice, motions, triggers, and smart device preferences? How do we prevent hackers from controlling our homes or listeninging into our homes or place of business? Especially for the smart homes, how do we protect our home identities?


Kiosk Marketplaces

We have been extremely excited by the success of our alumnus companies such as KeyMe and Vengo, two companies that have reengineered how we use kiosks to serve our real-time and on-demand needs, and added a twist to the decades old vending industry. There is more research & development to be explored into kiosk businesses, like Hoplite Power who has been developing affordable vending technology for portable smartphone chargers via a rent and return system. With any kiosk business, how businesses incorporate cyber security to protect customer data, preferences, identities, and privacy.


General Summary

There is a strong connection to how cyber security and hardware intersect. The biggest question is how do we prevent hackers and tamperers from taking over our devices, home, wearables, and machines? Like any sector, the cyber and security sectors will have a lot of room to evolve and help solve critical problems that impact how we access, share and maintain our privacy, and identities.  We at NYDesigns is extremely interested in learning from our industry peers, partners, tech workers, experts, and strategists. Drop us an email or comment if you have additional insight to offer at


Photo credit: NYCEDC

We Live for Hard Tech & Design & We’re Hiring 🔧🔩🔨

Founded in 2006, NYDesigns is dedicated to the success of design and hardware tech startups in NYC. Companies in our incubator get three years of private studio space and access to a network of mentors and advisers. Makers can prototype their design ideas in our safe, secure, 5,000-sq-ft fabrication lab. We produce events and programs for a thriving community of creators and innovators. NYDesigns is a program of LaGuardia Community College.

Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan

Executive Director, NYDesigns

On June 28th, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz unveiled the first Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan entitled Live, Work, Create: A Roadmap for Equitable Growth of the Western Queens Tech Ecosystem. Long Island City tech leaders Tristan Bel, Executive Director of NYDesigns, and Gail Mellow, President of Laguardia Community College, were announced as committee members.

Introducing The UniProject

Sam & Leslie Davol of Street Lab, commonly known on the streets as The Uni Project, joined the NYDesigns incubator program in May 2018. Check out our newly relaunched blog to learn how these two design dynamites are changing the way children and parents interact with reading, science, math, art, and design.

Meet Desiree Frieson

Desiree Frieson, NYDesigns

Desiree joined NYDesigns in June 2018 as Assistant Director overseeing programming and marketing. If you are interested in joining our volunteer mentor and advisor network, or lead a lunch & learn discussion. please introduce yourself to her at

New strategists and mentors

In Q1 & Q2 of 2018, Tamecca Seril and Michael Lightman joined NYDesigns as our first-ever Strategist in Residences, a strategic coaching program made possible through a New York State Innovation Hot Spot Grant. Tamecca and Mike coach our nine in-house resident companies on their business model, sales, marketing, fundraising, and financial management strategies. If you want to discuss your design or hardware focused startup, RSVP below for an upcoming office hour with both Tamecca and Mike.

Sophie Lefebvre joined the NYDesigns volunteer mentor and advisor network in June 2018. She is a New York based strategist, product development and product marketing leader. Sophie leads the full lifecycle experience, from ideation, strategy and creative vision, to detailed execution and launches, of emerging and global B2C and B2B companies and brands. 

Dedicated Desk

Rent a Dedicated Desk for $350/mo.

Studio Space

If you’re looking to upgrade your space for a team of 3+ people, inquire below about a private studio and our incubation program.


Laser Cutting 101
Tuesday, July 10
6:00 – 9:00 PM

NYDesigns is hosting this beginner workshop to get acquainted with how to use a laser cutter. Got some great ideas for jewelry, art, or the next big breakthrough in hardware? Learn the basics to get your project off the ground.

Woodworking Basics
Tuesday, July 24
6:00 – 9:00 PM

Walkway from this workshop with your own custom designed candle holder after you learn woodworking techniques such as: sanding, gluing, fabrication, and clamping.

We’re Hiring

Tell all your program buddies & dudettes NYDesigns is hiring a Program Assistant. Here are some highlights of the position:

Program Support:

  • Support the team in marketing, recruitment, and other general administrative activities
  • Assist in processing invoices, payment requests, and contracts by compiling appropriate documents

Space and Event Management:

  • Coordinate space use for NYDesigns residents and partners, as well as some of LaGuardia’s other programs and departments
  • Coordinate logistics for on-site and off-site events to ensure smooth functioning of activities, including coordinating schedules, identifying vendors, and placing orders for supplies and services
  • Coordinate facilities maintenance tasks, interfacing with building and grounds as needed.

Data and Record Management:

  • Lead management of client growth data, including gathering, storage, and reporting
  • Manage client and partner records, including license agreements, insurance documentation, fabrication lab waivers, memoranda of understanding, vendor contracts, etc.


  • Minimum of associate’s degree required, bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in area related to office/administrative support or program coordination
  • Strong ability to think ahead, take initiative, and work both independently and as a team member

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.


NYDesigns Untitled-1bw1



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.


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.

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.
On Twitter: Image 1





  • 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.



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.


Valentine Goods


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

How we did it

It’s up! Our installation at Industry City officially opened on Saturday May 10th. Thanks to our talented team, we conceptualized, produced and installed this show in only 15 DAYS. That just goes to show you what can be done when you believe in a mission.


NYDesigns’ installation at Industry City challenges visitors to consider the issue of diversity in NYC’s design industries. We have highlighted key demographic information of both the national and metropolitan design-related labor markets. This data, presented as a series of colorful infographics, is presented alongside portraits of entrepreneurs and students selected from the NYDesigns community. All are participants in one of two separate initiatives: the NYDesigns Business Incubator or the AAS degree program in Industrial Design at LaGuardia Community College.The individuals represented on the installation wall are not identified as either students or entrepreneurs, but a collection of individuals at different stages of a design career. This is the diversity NYDesigns hopes to influence in the design industries so that the face of design reflects the vibrant mix and variety of contemporary NYC.


Thanks to WantedDesign for the opportunity.