NYU finds real estate sponsor for Incubators

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Cushman & Wakefield — a renowned international commercial real estate services firm — announced in August its exciting decision to serve as exclusive real estate sponsor for NYU’s incubator program.

With this sponsorship comes not only a promise of financial support, but also expert guidance in the form of leasing advice, corporate finance services and project management.

NYU’s Incubators, sponsored by the Polytechnic School of Engineering, started in 2009 and has since generated over 1,256 jobs, raised more than $145 million in capital, and had a local economic impact of $352 million.

But this success did not come easily. In the eyes of Claudio Silva, a faculty engineer in residence at the program, one common problem graduated startups often face is a lack of space to expand.

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“New York City has one of the most expensive real-estate in the world, and clearly for companies to grow they need access to space in desirable areas,” Silva said.

Another faculty engineer in residence, Anne-Laure Fayard, said she believes space issues are where C&W can help.

“Cushman & Wakefield will help startups find space after they leave the incubators,” Fayard said. “The incubators have been thinking of ways to help startups moving on to the next steps and it seems that this partnership aims at solving this issue.”

With the support of powerful firms like C&W, the Incubator program will be more likely to flourish and it is important that it does.

Kurt Becker, vice dean for research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said beyond inspiring young entrepreneurs to chase their dreams, the Incubator program has transformed parts of the curriculum and has positively influenced students’ lives.

“It provides opportunities to intern with the startups and provides a rather unique educational experience,” Becker said. “The presence of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, also has an impact on the curriculum and how we deliver certain materials. It has introduced new courses and components into courses that are more project-oriented.”

As the first city-sponsored and university-affiliated incubator in New York City, the NYU incubator program has come a long way.

“We were the first in New York City,” Becker said. “We’ve been the trendsetters in New York City and now, of course, we want to stay ahead of the pack.”

A version of this article appeared in the Saturday, August 29, print edition. Email Christine Wang at [email protected] 

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