The majority of New York-based startups run between Midtown and lower Manhattan, a geographic result of the local tech scene getting its start in ‘Silicon Alley.’ But as real estate in Manhattan is a hot commodity, and tech startups need the space to house growing employee counts, New York City startups are opting for locations off the beaten path.
Neighborhood: As Brooklyn’s northernmost enclave, Greenpoint was once a predominantly Polish-American immigrant community, but has seen an influx of new businesses and diverse residents in recent years. Though a considerable trek from Manhattan on the G train, Greenpoint’s homey, charming and communal vibe makes it an attractive place to work.
Bio: Kickstarter is a popular crowdfunding platform that counts about 150 employees in its New York office. The 30,000 foot space includes a two-story theater, kitchen and dining spaces, courtyards and a green roof. The company chose Greenpoint as its headquarters for the neighborhood’s relaxed vibe and variety of after work restaurants and bars.
Neighborhood: Located in the northern part of Manhattan, Harlem has long stood as an African-American neighborhood. Throughout its history, Harlem has experienced economic booms and busts, a cultural renaissance and more recently, the effects of gentrification.
Bio: Gooroo connects academic tutors with students through its app. Through the company’s app, students can find, chat with and pay tutors for their services, as well as scope out previously vetted spots to study. The company makes its home in the southern end of Harlem, adjacent to Columbia University’s campus.
Neighbors: Cofound Harlem
Neighborhood: In the center of Brooklyn, Crown Heights is a mix of brownstones, a Caribbean food scene and run down apartment buildings. Another neighborhood in transition as a result of gentrification, Crown Heights is also home to a number of museums, retail shops and a bustling nightlife.
Bio: Common, a pioneer in the coliving space, set up its first location in Crown Heights and now has four buildings in the neighborhood. The company partners with property owners and local organizations to create residential communities with monthly terms, shared services and community events. While Common also has locations in other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Washington, the company has opened so many locations in Crown Heights due to its easy access to transit options as well the affordability of the neighborhood. The company’s office headquarters are in Midtown, Manhattan.
Neighborhood: Known for its tree-lined streets and cultural diversity, Prospect Heights is a small neighborhood in Brooklyn that’s easily accessible from Manhattan. Due to Prospect Park, the area offers plenty of green space and reasonable prices.
Bio: Created by former This American Life and Planet Money producer, Alex Blumberg, Gimlet Media is on a mission to shake up traditional podcasting. The company launched as a result of Blumberg chronicling his efforts to launch the company through a podcast called Startup. The program gained serious traction among listeners, and the company used the momentum to raise funding, expand its team and develop its programming.
Neighborhood: With waterfront parks and fast-paced residential growth, Long Island City has become a hub for business in recent years. While Queens has traditionally served as a center for manufacturing, new startups are starting to take hold of the area, as it’s a short subway ride from Grand Central.
Bio: Shapeways, a 3D printing startup that prints items at an industrial scale, has a 25,000-square-foot factor in Long Island City. The company employs a number of industrial sized 3D printers to print customers’ uploaded designs. Shapeways officially opened its Long Island City operation in 2012 and now ships about 120,000 3D printed products every month.