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Artists and designers have long been underserved by traditional technology incubators. “Scaling up may not be their top priority,” says Julia Kaganskiy, director of New Inc, an incubator managed by the New Museum in New York. For example, she says, rather than solving a common problem, tech-savvy artists may want to create a product that is simply fun or that makes a statement.
New Inc, which was launched in September 2014, provides artists, designers and technologists with a place to build products, design studios and web development stores. The program offers eligible entrepreneurs full-time annual subscriptions ($ 600 per month) or part-time terms of three to six months ($ 350 per month), both renewable, with space available for 100 members. Artists retain fairness in their businesses and all intellectual property rights in their work.
Allison Wood joined New Inc in 2014 to launch her startup. “I think it’s my creative MBA,” says co-creator and CEO of Reify, a platform that turns music into sculptures using 3D technology and augmented reality. “It’s the first time I’ve started a business, and I knew I had to be somewhere where I had the creative support and the professional development support to make it work.”
To welcome its range of members, New Inc teaches fundraising tactics, writing grants and crowdfunding in angel investments and venture capital. The audience for the demo day includes investors, gallery curators, creative directors of major brands and agencies and members of the press.
Collaboration is encouraged. Wood met Technical Director, Creative Director, Creative Director and several independent designers from New Inc. “It was really great to have it all under one roof,” says Wood, who is now renting a second office in Brooklyn. for his growing team. “I don’t think you can pay for it.”