BROOKYLN, N.Y., June 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In an intimate evening event at New Lab, the 84,000 sq ft former shipbuilding facility that today is a hub for entrepreneurs working in bleeding-edge technologies, local city leaders, urban tech entrepreneurs, university innovators, potential investors and corporate partners were treated to a first-hand look at The Circular City. This new program aims to reimagine the public-private partnership as an agile collaboration where entrepreneurs, scholars, city leaders, private companies and forward-looking investors prototype, iterate and deploy technology-based solutions to the most pressing challenges facing cities today.
The event marked the first time all collaborators convened to share the vision for The Circular City. The evening opened with remarks from David Belt, New Lab's CEO & Co-Founder, followed by a lively call to action from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. Next, the founders of the three startups who are participating in this first-of-its-kind program took the stage: Ro Gupta of street-level intelligence platform Carmera, Tara Pham of Numina, which is building an API for Streets as they deliver on their mission to empower cities with data, and, finally, Starling Childs of Citiesense, a company focused on creating a centralized neighborhood knowledge platform that enables people to undertake planning, policy and economic development in a more real-time, data-informed way.
Rounding out the evening was a dynamic panel discussion moderated by New Lab's Urban Tech Hub Director, Shaina Horowitz, with the formative partners who are helping to shape The Circular City: Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Francesca Birks, Associate Principal of Foresight & Design Strategy at Arup, André Corrêa d'Almeida, director of the MPA in Development Practice at Columbia University and founder of ARCx: Applied Research for Change, and Sander Dolder, Director and Assistant Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams underscored the catalytic role New Lab is playing in Brooklyn's future and the borough's embrace of tech and innovation: "Every time I walk into this building I grow and learn," adding, "What we do in Brooklyn will be the direction that New York City travels, and the direction that New York City travels is the way the world travels."
"The launch of Circular City is a clear signal that Brooklyn is leading the way for innovation and discovery in the tech industry. Home to some of the world's smartest tech startups, it only makes sense that we harness that expertise and apply it to make our communities better places to live. We are excited to partner with industry leaders to further that growth, share ideas and build toward a smarter, stronger Brooklyn," shared Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Regina Myer.
The Circular City was conceived to enable urban tech companies to bring their work beyond the walls of New Lab and out into the city, beginning with Downtown Brooklyn. In early discussions with entrepreneurs and civic leaders, Shaina Horowitz, New Lab's Urban Tech Hub Director, quickly realized what both parties wanted: permission to experiment, with a strong feedback loop between the city—its leadership and residents—and the startups building new products. That's what inspired The Circular City, she said, adding, "We want to create the conditions for safe, iterative experimentation and to build a consortium of supporters who can help scale promising concepts."
About New Lab: New Lab is a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs who are defining the future of technology and human experience. Located in a former shipbuilding facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the site was once at the center of New York City's manufacturing industry. Today it aims to be a similar center of gravity for pioneers working in advanced technology and is home to over 600 entrepreneurs working across disciplines including robotics, additive manufacturing, connected devices, big data and AI. At New Lab products are prototyped, tested and iterated faster thanks to: resources including $4M+ worth of prototyping equipment, the brain-trust of 100+ member companies and a network that includes leading corporations, city agencies, universities and VCs.
New Lab City is New Lab's public-private partnerships program with a mission to harness emerging technologies to address the most pressing challenges facing cities today.