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Companies seated as part of Queens Tech Incubator program at Queens College, LaGuardia Community College

Sep. 6, 2023 By Bill Parry

The Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Queens Tech Council announced on Sept. 6 they will be seating companies at the tech incubators at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and Queens College in Flushing as part of the Queens Tech Incubator program.

These will be the fourth and fifth tech incubator locations for the initiative that launched last year, following locations in Jamaica, Jackson Heights and the Rockaways.

“Supporting a strong tech ecosystem requires more than just attracting the world’s most prominent tech companies to Queens, we also need to be doing everything we can to help homegrown startups succeed. There is no better way to do that than through tech incubators, and no better place to do that than on our CUNY campuses,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech said. “No institution is doing more to produce the talent that will drive and support the growth of tech in Queens than CUNY. We are delighted to partner with Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Queens College President Frank Wu, and LaGuardia Community College President Ken Adams on this program.”

Project Recess, Operant Systems and Evolv have taken space at the Queens Tech Incubator at Queens College, while Pong Space and SHYFT have moved into the location at LaGuardia Community College.

Two companies are seated at the Queens Tech Incubator initiative at LaGuardia Community College.Courtesy of LaGuardia Community College

“CUNY’s tech incubators have been nurturing homespun innovation since 2006, lifting the local economy while ensuring that the tech sector mirrors the full diversity of Queens and New York City,” CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said. “CUNY is grateful to the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Queens Tech Council for their support of the incubators at LaGuardia Community College and Queens College. Their partnership will promote the inclusive expansion of the borough’s tech sector, creating promising career paths for more Queens residents and CUNY grads.”

Pong Space connects ping pong enthusiasts with resources and coaching via two individual apps, one as a forum for enthusiasts and the second which acts as a virtual coach for players. SHYFT is a hospitality consultancy designed to be a partner moving in lockstep with its clients to achieve strategic objectives.

“We are proud to partner with the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Queens Tech Council to help elevate Queens as a center of innovation and technology and create unique opportunities for our community by providing mentoring, coaching, and ultimately high-paying jobs,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said. “We look forward to participating as a Queens Tech Incubator, alongside Queens College, to bring economic growth and development to the Queens community.”

Project Recess is an ed tech consultancy that partners with K-12 schools to provide meaningful professional development opportunities. Operant Systems is a practice management and data collection platform for schools and agencies that service autistic children and adults. Evolv is a lifestyle app startup providing dating services and community outreach to anyone interested in the plant based/vegan lifestyle.

“Queens College is deeply committed to its civic responsibilities as a member of The World’s Borough,” Queens College President Frank H Wu said. “We are delighted and eager to welcome startups to our campus tech incubator as part of this new endeavor by the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Queens Tech Council. Our tech incubator benefits from its relationship with our recently established School of Business, which is already strengthening its partnerships with local companies by providing internship opportunities and expanding our curriculum as part of a small business management certificate program. New and diverse faces and new ideas make our campus and our community a place where tech businesses can and will thrive.”

The Queens Tech Incubator is a key initiative of the Queens Tech Council, which launched in February 2021. Council members include representatives from Google, Facebook, Amazon, Pursuit, LIC Partnership, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, Crown Castle, JetBlue Ventures, Cornell Tech and The Business Incubator Association of New York State. The Queens Tech Council focuses on building an economy that embraces innovation and promotes tech adoption. This includes supporting tech companies from existing giants in established industries to startups working doing cutting edge work.

Applications to the Queens Tech Incubator were reviewed and selected by members of the Queens Tech Council. Companies chosen will have access to complimentary office space, mentorship opportunities from existing Tech Council members as well as resources provided by the Small Business Resource Network (SBRN). Resources from the Queens Chamber will be made available to existing companies at the Queens College and LaGuardia Community College incubators.

“Queens is truly America’s next great hub of technology and innovation, thanks in part to the dedication of the Queens Tech Council and the Queens Chamber of Commerce. We’ve made incredible progress together thus far through initiatives like the Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge, and the establishment of LaGuardia Community College and Queens College as tech incubators represents another critical step toward achieving that goal,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Partnerships like these are at the heart of any thriving industry, and I thank all our partners for coming together in such a comprehensive fashion to help grow the tech sector and create good-paying jobs right here in the ‘World’s Borough.’”

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